The Oklahoma Senate

Week In Review
Monday, April 19th through Thursday April 22nd, 2004

Monday, April 19th

• The Senate convened to hear legislation from the House of Representatives. April 22nd is the deadline for third reading. Among the legislation considered were the following:

-HB 2660 by Sen. Cal Hobson, Sen. Ben Robinson, and Rep. Larry Adair would provide for a levy of tax on the sale of cigarettes and would provide for apportionment of funds. The measure would include the Governor’s plan to use the revenue to provide medical coverage to uninsured Oklahomans, create a cancer research center and enhance the state’s trauma care system. The measure passed 33-12.

-HB 1867 by Sen. Ben Robinson and Rep. Robert Worthen would expand the definition of tobacco products to include any material used in the smoking, chewing, or other form of tobacco consumption including cigarette papers, pipes, holders of smoking materials, and other items designed for the smoking or ingestion of tobacco products. The committee substitute includes an emergency clause and was adopted. The bill failed 24-21 but Sen. Robinson made a motion to reconsider.

-HB 2613 by Sen. Angela Monson and Rep. Joe Sweeden would require health benefit plans to cover comprehensive tobacco dependence treatment programs, in accordance with standard, accepted, and published medical practice guidelines. The bill failed 17-31. Sen. Monson made a motion to reconsider.

-HB 2250 by Sen. Ben Robinson and Rep. Bill Paulk would increase particular court fees and would deposit additional revenues in the Trauma Care Assistance Revolving Fund and would require an annual disbursement from the fund. The title was stricken by the House. The bill passed 43-3.

-HB 1838 by Sen. Sam Helton and Rep. Glen Bud Smithson would prohibit willful false statements made in CLEET applications and would provide a penalty for making the false statement. The bill passed 43-0.

-HB 2186 by Sen. Jay Paul Gumm and Rep. John Carey would allow the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food, and Forestry to enter into any cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to certify or establish an inspection service to grade fruits, vegetables, and nuts. The bill and emergency passed 43-1.

-HB 2198 by Sen. Frank Shurden and Rep. M.C. Leist relates to the Governmental Tort Claims Act and would add a liability exemption for authorized environmental cleanup. The bill passed 44-0.

-HB 2134 by Sen. Nancy Riley and Rep. Ron Peters would delete the blood test requirement to receive a marriage license. The bill passed 39-6.

-HB 2382 by Sen. Ben Robinson and Rep. Wayne Pettigrew would create the Oklahoma Trauma Services Act and the Oklahoma Trauma Care System Advisory Council. The bill and emergency passed 45-0.

-The Senate also approved several appropriations bills for various state agencies as well as many of Governor Brad Henry’s nominees on Monday.


• The House was also working to consider legislation on the floor including several appropriations measures. Among the measures that were heard on the floor:

-HB 2280 by Rep. Bill Paulk and Sen. Dick Wilkerson would create the Homeland Security Act and states the duties and responsibilities of the office and provides for compensation and retirement. The bill and emergency passed 74-22.

-HB 2442 by Rep. Paul Roan and Sen. Kenneth Corn would cover 100 percent of the health care premium cost to a retired employee of the Oklahoma Law Enforcement Retirement System who retired from the system because of a service-connected disability determination and their spouse. The Senate amendments were adopted and the bill and emergency passed 98-0.

-SB 860 as amended by Sen. Angela Monson and Rep. Clay Pope would modify
the new income limitation requiring individuals to notify the county assessor from $25,000 to be raised to an adjustable level using the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) standards. The enacting clause was stricken and the bill then passed 95-0.

-SB 1210 as amended by Sen. Ben Robinson and Rep. Opio Toure would modify requirements for the assignment of certain child support benefits to attorneys. Rep. Wayne Pettigrew made amendments and including an amendment that will allow the bill will go into effect upon the approval of the governor. The bill passed 96-0.

-SB 1220 by Sen. Jonathon Nichols and Rep. Stuart Ericson would require the governor to set a new execution date under certain circumstances and would clarify the grounds for claim of ineffective counsel. The bill passed 97-1.

-SB 1397 by Sen. Ben Robinson and Rep. David Braddock would allow civil action to be taken against a sexual offender of a child within five years of the perpetrator’s release from incarceration. The custodian of the prisoner would be given prior notice and 15 days to respond when the prisoner is required to appear in court. The bill and emergency passed 96-1.

-SB 1531 as amended by Sen. Cal Hobson and Rep. Larry Adair would confirm language relating to worker’s compensation. The bill passed 98-1.

-SB 1551 as amended by Sen. Charlie Laster and Rep. Joe Dorman would provide for an income tax deduction for capital gains on Oklahoma property. The bill passed 96-0.

• Governor Brad Henry signed several bills on Monday including a measure to eliminate the backlog of endowed chair programs awaiting matching funds at Oklahoma Colleges and Universities. The bills signed are as follows:
-HB 1904 by Rep. Jack Bonny, Rep. Bill Mitchell, Sen. Mike Morgan, and Sen. Ben Robinson expands the principal of the Oklahoma State Regents’ Endowment Trust Fund and authorizes the additional use for the principal of the Trust Fund.
-HB 1872 by Rep. Bill Graves and Sen. Jerry Smith increases the maximum estate value for summary administration from $60,000 to $150,000.
-HB 2166 by Rep. Ray Young and Sen. Kathleen Wilcoxson prohibits the cultivation of a substance that is not a controlled dangerous substance.
-HB 2351 by Rep. Chris Benge and Sen. Jim Maddox creates the Fuel Cell Initiative Task Force.
-HB 2383 by Rep. Terry Harrison and Sen. Richard Lerblance expands who can witness an execution to the Cabinet Secretary of Safety and Security and other correctional personnel deemed appropriate and approved by the Director.
-HB 2697 by Rep. Larry Ferguson and Sen. Daisy Lawler removes the limitation for the number of motorcycle headlamps.
-HB 2662 by Rep. Larry Adair and Sen. Kenneth Corn provides 100 percent of the flexible benefit allowance for teachers to be covered.
-SB 899 by Sen. Mike Morgan and Rep. Larry Rice defines advanced registered nurse practitioners as any person who holds a valid license as a registered nurse and has met the requirement for the Advanced Nurse Practicum.
-SB 1234 by Sen. Glenn Coffee and Rep. John Carey prohibits the recording of motion pictures without consent on certain premises.
-SB 1399 by Sen. Dick Wilkerson and Rep. Jari Askins lists a variety of minimum court fees as the cost of representation.
-SB 1435 by Sen. Charlie Laster and Rep. Opio Toure will revoke an individual’s driver’s license for non-payment of child support.
-SB 1488 by Sen. Ted Fisher and Rep. Jari Askins modifies the membership requirements of the Oklahoma Accountancy Board.
-SB 1558 by Sen. Kenneth Corn and Rep. Gary Taylor provides for municipal authorities and the bargaining agent to agree on a certain ballot.


Tuesday, April 20th

• The Senate convened to continue hearing legislation as well as continue honoring term limited senators for this week. They honored Senator Rick Littlefield and Senator Maxine Horner for their many years of service as well as considered the following legislation on the floor:

-HB 2632 by Sen. Robert Milacek and Rep. Randall Erwin would call for a vote of the people to increase the gasoline and diesel fuel tax. The bill passed 30-14.

-HB 2205 by Sen. Glenn Coffee and Rep. Mike Wilt would allow the Director of the Department of Corrections to prescribe rules for the sale of contraband confiscated from prisoners as well as address inmate litigation reform. Sen. James Williamson attempted to make an amendment of the floor substitute previously introduced on tort reform. The amendment was out of order and Sen. Coffee moved to advance his bill. The bill passed by a vote of 45-0.

-HB 2259 by Sen. Glenn Coffee and Rep. Mike Wilt would call for a vote of the people to amend the Oklahoma Constitution to define marriage as a union between one man and one woman. The amendment would also prohibit the state from recognizing same sex marriages from other states. Sen. Ted Fisher made a motion to table the reconsideration and the motion was adopted, sending the bill to the House of Representatives for consideration.

-HB 2549 by Sen. Charlie Laster and Rep. Danny Morgan relates to uninsured motorists coverage and would not allow drivers to make insurance claims on workers compensation policies, if the injuries were covered by automobile insurance. The measure passed 42-1.

-HB 2577 by Sen. Frank Shurden and Rep. Jim Newport would change the hours required for certification as full-time officer and time period for obtaining certification. The bill passed 45-0.

-HB 2630 by Sen. Sam Helton and Rep. David Braddock would require the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education to review and change the policies on residency for military dependents. The bill passed 39-0.

-HB 2416 as amended by Sen. Frank Shurden and Rep. Fred Stanley would clarify language relating to the Horse Racing Act in relation to drugs given to horses. Sen. Jeff Rabon made an amendment that would allow smoking in designated areas of the horse track. The amendment was adopted. The bill passed 25-11 but the emergency failed 23-13.

-HB 2164 as amended by Sen. Angela Monson and Rep. Abe Deutschendorf would change language relating to the Oklahoma Private Activity Bond Allocation Act. The bill was amended three times with all amendment adopted. The bill passed 46-0.

-HB 2691 by Sen. Kenneth Corn and Rep. Larry Ferguson would authorize additional survivor benefit amounts of the Uniform Retirement System for Justices and Judges. The bill passed 44-0.

-HB 2271 as amended by Sen. Jim Reynolds and Rep. Carolyn Coleman would modify the grounds for expungement of records. The enacting clause was restored and the bill passed 43-0.

• The House once again passed several appropriations shell bills as well as considered the following legislation:

-SB 1413 as amended by Sen. Glenn Coffee and Rep. Jim Newport would remove time limitations in relations to rape, which includes sodomy performed by a school employee on a child among the forcible sodomy definitions, regardless of consent. The age of consent was raised from 16 to 18 years of age through an amendment made by Rep. Greg Piatt. The title was restored and the bill and emergency passed 88-10.

-SB 816 as amended by Sen. Dick Wilkerson and Rep. David Braddock would allow electronic monitoring through a Global Positioning System for inmates authorized by the Department of Corrections. The bill passed 66-32 and the emergency passed 70-25.

-SB 892 as amended by Sen. Jeff Rabon and Rep. Paul Roan would allow counties to levy a tax not to exceed one cent on gasoline and diesel fuel sales. The tax must be approved by a majority of registered voters in the county. The bill passed 51-43.

-SB 1090 as amended by Sen. Jay Paul Gumm and Rep. Joe Dorman would require the court to determine applicability of alternative methods of testimony for a child witness. The bill and emergency passed 92-3.

-SB 1164 by Sen. Mike Johnson and Rep. Susan Winchester would authorize expungement of records relating to identity theft crimes. The bill and emergency passed 97-0.

-SB 1172 by Sen. Kenneth Corn and Rep. Glen Bud Smithson would set penalties for the manufacturing of methamphetamine within a certain distance from a school, park, or facility of higher education. Rep. Joe Dorman made an amendment prohibiting the playing of pornographic movies on a television inside a vehicle that can be seen by outside passengers and set a penalty of $500 for the misdemeanor. The bill and emergency passed 83-0.

-SB 1430 by Sen. Ben Robinson and Rep. Joe Dorman would make information communicated to a physician for the purpose of diagnosis or treatment of the patient’s condition in an effort to unlawfully obtain insurance benefits by fraud not a privileged or confidential conversation. The bill and emergency passed 94-0.

• Governor Brad Henry signed several bills on Tuesday including SB 1546 by Sen. Ben Robinson and Rep. M.C. Leist implements a portion of the governor’s health care initiative and authorizes the state to provide premium assistance to employers to help provide health coverage to employees.
Other measures approved by the Governor are as follows:
-HB 2154 by Rep. Larry Rice and Sen. Kenneth Corn relates to civil liability when using an automated external defibrillator.
-HB 2197 by Rep. Abe Deutschendorf and Sen. Gilmer Capps will add accessibility compliance as a component of state agency long-range electronic data processing plan.
-HB 2435 by Rep. Jari Askins and Sen. Dick Wilkerson allows a laboratory to collect and analyze an individual’s blood, breath, saliva or urine for evidence if the lab is accredited.
-HB 2444 by Rep. Paul Roan and Sen. Dick Wilkerson requires peace officers to find housing for stolen or lost livestock if the owner cannot be determined.
-HB 2446 by Sen. Mary Easley and Sen. Ben Robinson clarifies language relating to the Insurance Department Anti-Fraud Revolving Fund.
-SB 900 by Sen. Scott Pruitt and Rep. Fred Morgan states that the surplus property agent may participate in programs through which the Government of the U.S. offers to provide surplus military equipment.
-SB 1153 by Sen. Dick Wilkerson and Rep. Bob Plunk authorizes state agencies to lease employees to certain Indian Nations.
-SB 1523 by Sen. Kenneth Corn and Rep. Glen Bud Smithson designates the Sallisaw Welcome Center as the “Hoppy Lockhart Welcome Center.”
-SB 1574 by Sen. Kenneth Corn and Rep. Glen Bud Smithson specifies the rights of utilities and cable television systems when relocating facilities.

Wednesday, April 21st

• The Senate met to continue hearing legislation on third reading before the end of the day to meet the third reading deadline. The Senate also considered several appropriations measures. Among those pieces of legislation considered by the full Senate were the following:

-HB 2559 by Sen. Robert Milacek and Rep. Bill Nations would increase the rate of taxation on gasoline and diesel fuel and would specify the amount of increase and provide for apportionment of revenues. The bill passed 34-11.

-SJR 54 by Sen. Jay Paul Gumm and Rep. Paul Roan would call for the Commerce Department to collaborate with Murray State College to develop strategies to attract firearms manufacturers to the state. The resolution passed 45-0.

-HB 2321 by Sen. Kenneth Corn and Rep. Jim Wilson relates to the Oklahoma Pharmacy Act and adds certain requirements for prescription labels. The conference committee report was adopted and the measure then passed 40-6 and the emergency passed 41-5.

-HB 1784 by Sen. Frank Shurden and Rep. Randall Erwin would call for a vote of the people to lower the penalty of participating in cockfighting from a felony to a misdemeanor and provide a fine of not more than $500. The bill was laid over because the amendment was a floor substitute that was not distributed in time.

-HB 1867 by Sen. Ben Robinson and Rep. Robert Worthen would extend the definition of a tobacco product to include any material used in the smoking, chewing, or other form of tobacco consumption to include cigarette papers, pipes, and other items designed primarily for the smoking or ingestion of tobacco products. A committee substitute was approved. The motion to reconsider passed 29-15 and the measure then passed 25-19 but the emergency clause failed 25-19.

-HB 2159 by Sen. Robert Milacek and Rep. Wayne Pettigrew would require people to drive in the right lane of any four-lane divided highway except when passing and provides a minimum fine of $50 and a maximum fine of $500 if found in violation. The bill passed 39-6.

-HB 2624 as amended by Sen. Daisy Lawler and Rep. Jari Askins would require the State Regents for Higher Education to provide resident college credit courses and programs, including upper and lower division classes and programs and graduate classes at the Masters level at Cameron University. They bill and emergency passed 44-0.

-HB 1832 as amended by Sen. Sam Helton and Rep. Bill Paulk would allow a municipality to issue a traffic citation for improperly transporting a firearm. Sen. Scott Pruitt made an amendment to clarify penalties could not exceed penalties of the Oklahoma Self Defense Act. The bill passed 45-1.

-HB 2613 by Sen. Angela Monson and Rep. Joe Sweeden would require health insurance plans to cover comprehensive tobacco dependent treatment programs, in accordance with standard, accepted and published medical practice guidelines. The motion to reconsider failed 23-21.


• The House also focused on floor action and approved the following measures:

-CCR for HB 2321 by Rep. Jim Wilson and Sen. Kenneth Corn relates to the Oklahoma Pharmacy Act and would allow pharmacies to place symptoms on prescription labels and add language that would allow optometrist to perform non-laser surgeries authorized by the Oklahoma Board of Examiners in Optometry. The committee conference report was adopted 85-8 and the bill and emergency passed 85-9.

-The House rejected Senate amendments on the following measures:
-HB 2379 by Rep. Larry Rice and Sen. Penny Williams
-HB 2287 by Rep. Kevin Cox and Sen. Debbe Leftwich
-HB 2554 by Rep. Bill Nations and Sen. Jonathan Nichols
-HB 2332 by Rep. Barbara Staggs and Sen. Daisy Lawler
-HB 2680 by Rep. Joe Dorman and Sen. Robert Kerr
-HB 2336 by Rep. John Carey and Sen. Johnnie Crutchfield
-HB 2470 by Rep. David Braddock and Sen. Charlie Laster
-HB 2472 by Rep. David Braddock and Sen. Sam Helton
-HB 2134 by Rep. Ron Peters and Sen. Nancy Riley
-HJR 1063 by Rep. Barbara Staggs and Sen. Herb Rozell.

• The House then adjourned so members could attend the funeral of former Representative Jack Begley of House District 61. Representative Begley died Friday April 16th at the age of 70 in Oklahoma City and was a staunch supporter of Oklahoma’s education system. He retired from the House of Representatives in 2002 after serving consecutively for 14 years in the House of Representatives.


• Governor Henry signed several bills on Wednesday including the following:
-HB 2352 by Rep. Chris Benge and Sen. Debbe Leftwich requires individuals to possess an instruction permit for six months before eligible to obtain a drivers license.
-HB 2355 by Rep. Lucky Lamons and Sen. Sam Helton expands authorization for the expenditure of funds from the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation for awards and commemorative items for employee performance.
-HB 2615 by Rep. Dale Wells and Sen. Charlie Laster allows officials to enter any site identified as a superfund site or brownfield to conduct environmental response activities.
-SB 1312 by Sen. Charles Ford and Rep. Doug Miller authorizes Oklahoma Real Estate Commission to promulgate rules an individual called into active military service for purposes of satisfying the post-licensing educational requirement.
-SB 1374 by Sen. Johnnie Crutchfield and Rep. Ray McCarter allows the county sheriff to collect DNA samples.
-SB 1382 by Sen. Angela Monson and Rep. Fred Stanley deletes the time limit on tax credits in relation to immunizing food service employees against Hepatitis A.
-SB 1401 by Sen. Bernest Cain and Rep. Terry Ingmire authorizes the release of confidential information upon written request by the defendant for the purpose of updating the defendant’s criminal history record.
-SB 1429 by Sen. Angela Monson and Rep. Kevin Cox provides exemption of certain health maintenance organizations from the provisions of the Health Maintenance Organization Act of 2003.
-SB 1552 by Sen. Bernest Cain and Rep. Terry Ingmire creates the Interstate Compact for Juveniles Act.
-SB 1625 by Sen. Jerry Smith and Rep. Chris Hastings increase the fine for disobeying a defendant’s subpoena.
The Governor vetoed HB 1966 by Rep. Jack Bonny, Rep. Bill Mitchell, Sen. Mike Morgan, and Sen. Ben Robinson that would make an appropriation to the Office of the Attorney General.


Thursday, April 22nd

• The Senate convened at 9:30 a.m. to continue working through House measures on third reading to beat the deadline at the end of the business day. They will reconvene on Monday, April 24th at 1:30 p.m.

Other News

• Senator Charles Ford, President of the Oklahoma State Senate Historical Preservation Fund, Inc. dedicated a painting of Ambassador Jeane J. Kirkpatrick by Norman artist Mike Wimmer on Monday. The painting was a gift of Lt. Governor Mary Fallin. Other paintings dedicated this week were:

• A painting depicting George Washington Carver’s visit to Tulsa in 1929 by artist Mike Wimmer on Tuesday. The painting was gift of Senator Maxine Horner; and

• “The Buffalo Skinners Cart” by world renowned artist Gordon Snidow on Wednesday. The painting was a gift of the Harold C. Stuart Foundation, a charitable foundation in Tulsa.

• The second hearing on tort reform met on Thursday in the House of Representatives Chamber.

Index