The Oklahoma Senate
Monday, April 26th
• The Senate convened to recognize Senator Mike Fair for his 16 years in the State Senate. Among the legislation considered were the following:
-SB 1107 by Sen. Daisy Lawler and Rep. Joe Sweeden would reduce the amount of administrative reimbursement for the Department of Environmental Quality and the Tax Commission to 3.5 percent; would reduce the amount available for certain reimbursements for business entities to 10 percent; would provide a one-year moratorium on collection of waste tires; and states liability of any person, corporation or other legal entity for conservation project cleanup or remediation for 10 years. The bill and emergency passed 42-0.
-SB 1246 by Sen. Jonathan Nichols and Rep. Glen Bud Smithson
would require the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services
to promulgate rules concerning the granting and structure of therapeutic
visits and would require the Forensic Review Board to approve such visits.
House amendments were adopted and the bill passed 42-0.
-SB 1253 by Sen. Johnnie Crutchfield and Rep. Joe Sweeden would change the dates upon which gross production taxes are levied upon certain production and also modifies the dates upon which certain computation must be made by the Oklahoma Tax Commission. The bill and emergency passed 45-0.
-SB 1111 by Sen. Bernest Cain and Rep. Debbie Blackburn modifies the exemptions to the Oklahoma Child Care Facilities Licensing Act. The bill passed 42-0.
-The Senate moved to rescind the signing of SB 1600 by Sen. Bernest Cain and Rep. Ray Vaughn modifies the definitions related to the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act. The Act would not provide the exclusive method of establishing or enforcing a support order under the laws of this state or grand a tribunal of this state jurisdiction to render judgment or issue and order relating to child custody or visitation.
-HB 1821 by Rep. Susan Winchester and Sen. Jerry Smith would change the procedures for the adoption of children of foreign countries. The measure was amended on the Senate floor by Sen. James Williamson that reverses the legal opinion of the Attorney General, which stated that the state is obligated to recognize out-of-state adoptive parent/child relationships, regardless of whether the parents are eligible to adopt in Oklahoma. Sen. Williamson changed the bill to state that not more than one member of the same sex to be listed on the birth certificate of adopted children. The bill passed 93-4.
-CCR for HB 2451 by Rep. Dennis Adkins, Rep. Clay Pope, and Sen. Sam Helton would change the thresholds for telecommunications companies serving less than 15 percent of access lines in the state and may adjust local exchange rates. The bill and emergency passed 74-23.
-HB 1133 by Rep. Joe Eddins and Sen. Herb Rozell would allow school districts to recommend medical evaluations for students who are not reading at the age appropriate grade level to parents or legal guardians without being liable for associated costs. The bill and emergency passed 97-0.
-HB 1864 by Rep. Randall Erwin and Sen. Frank Shurden
would modify sales tax exemption in relation to certain utility services.
The title was stricken. The bill and emergency passed 92-5.
-Senate amendments were rejected on the following bills
• Governor Brad Henry signed a measure to establish a permanent Office of Homeland Security in Oklahoma. HB 2280 by Rep. Bill Paulk and Sen. Dick Wilkerson creates the Homeland Security Act and states the duties and responsibilities of the office and provides for compensation and retirement.
• The Senate convened to continue hearing legislation as well as continue honoring term limited senators for this week. They honored Senator Herb Rozell for his 28 years of service. The Senate approved several appropriations measures as well as considered the following legislation on the floor:
-SB 1163 by Sen. Bruce Price and Rep. James Covey would modify certain fees per head on sheep and a fee per pound for wool. The bill passed 45-0.
-SB 1206 by Sen. Bruce Price and Rep. James Covey would
add a member to the Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and
Technology Research and Development Board. The bill and emergency passed
-SB 1413 by Sen. Glenn Coffee and Rep. Jim Newport would
remove time limitations in relation to rape and includes sodomy performed
by a school employee on a child among the forcible sodomy definitions,
regardless if the act was consensual. The House amendments would restore
title, raise the age of consent and clarify language dealing with sodomy.
The bill was laid over.
-The Senate rejected House amendments to SB6, SB 667,
SB 747, SB 756, SB 1134, SB 1135, SB 868, SB 989, SB 1142, SB 1143,
SB 1144, SB 1252, SB 1269, SB 1319, SB 1494, SB 1531 and SB 1534.
• The House considered the following legislation:
-HB 2145 by Rep. Al Lindley and Sen. Debbe Leftwich would create the Advancement of Hispanic Students in Higher Education Task Force and sunsets July 1, 2009. The bill passed 58-39.
-HB 2303 by Rep. Bill Mitchell and Sen. Angela Monson
would authorize judges to designate a juvenile officer or assistant
juvenile officer as a staff position for an existing court-appointed
special advocate program and would authorize salary supplements funded
by counties. The bill passed 53-44 and the emergency failed 59-37.
• Governor Brad Henry signed six bills on Tuesday,
including the following:
Wednesday, April 28th
• The Senate met to honor Penny Williams for her 16 years of service. The Senate also considered appropriations measures. Among legislation considered by the full Senate were the following:
-SB 1256 by Sen. Ben Robinson and Rep. Ray Vaughn would modify penalties and would provide for suspension of certain license for three or more violations of the Prevention of Youth Access to Tobacco Act by employees. The measure is aimed to protect approximately $7 million in federal funding that state receives for substance abuse programs monitored by the Department of Mental Health. The bill and emergency passed 44-0.
-SB 1347 by Sen. Penny Williams, Sen. Mark Snyder and Rep. Dale Wells would create the Oklahoma Art in Public Places Act and would create a committee within the oversight of the Oklahoma Historical Society to make recommendations for the implementation of art in public places. The bill passed 31-12.
-SB 816 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 and would delete
certain prohibitions to suspended sentences. The bill and emergency
-SB 1106 by Sen. Kenneth Corn and House Speaker Larry Adair would increase the amount of flexible benefit allowance for school district employees to 100 percent of the premium amount for the HealthChoice option plan for an individual offered by the State and Education Employees Group Insurance Board. The bill and emergency passed 44-0.
-SB 1174 by Sen. Herb Rozell and Rep. Michael Tyler would allow offenders with mental illness and ineligible LSI into community sentencing. The bill and emergency passed 40-4.
-SB 1561 by Sen. Harry Coates and Rep. William Paulk would create the Fair Pay for Construction Act and established guidelines and procedures for certain billings and payments. The bill passed 33-10.
-HB 2194 by Rep. Abe Deutschendorf and Sen. Penny Williams would change the format which publishers provide to the State Textbook Committee for producing Braille textbooks. The Senate amendments were adopted by a vote of 54-42 that deleted Rep. Bill Graves’ evolutionary clause. The bill and emergency passed 96-0.
-HB 2252 by Rep. Mike O’Neal and Sen. Jerry Smith would provide that a copy of judgment and sentence does not have to be delivered with a defendant to the Department of Corrections if an electronic copy has been previously sent. The bill and emergency passed 94-0.
-HB 1832 by Rep. Bill Paulk and Sen. Sam Helton would allow a municipality to issue a traffic citation for improperly transporting a firearm. The bill passed 93-1.
-HB 1896 by Rep. Lucky Lamons and Sen. Sam Helton would change the free passage distance of a stopped or parked vehicle to other vehicles from 200 to 400 feet. The bill also defines “highway” as any public road, street, or turnpike used for vehicular travel. The bill passed 95-1.
• The Senate convened at 9:30 a.m. to honor Senator Jerry Smith for his many years of service in the legislature. They will reconvene on Monday, May 3rd at 1:30 p.m.
• Senator Charles Ford, President of the Oklahoma State Senate Historical Preservation Fund, Inc. dedicated a painting depicting The Butterfield Stage at Boggy Depot by artist Joe Beeler of Sedona, AZ. The painting was sponsored by William E. Lobeck and Kathryn Taylor. The historical painting is of one of the first mail services to carry mail from St. Louis to San Francisco twice a week and employed more than 800 people running up to 250 coaches.
• The third hearing on tort reform met on Thursday in the Senate Chamber.