The Oklahoma Senate

Week In Review
Monday, April 26th through Thursday April 29th, 2004

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 1522 Sen. Jay Paul Gumm and Rep. John Carey would require the chief medical examiner to tack and forward records of certain deaths to the Sudden Infant Death Syndrome Coordinator at the State Department of Health. The committee substitute was adopted, which restored the title and issues an emergency clause. The House amendments were adopted and the bill and emergency passed 34-7.

-SB 1095 by Sen. Bernest Cain and Rep. Bill Case corrects the name of the Oklahoma Professional Boxing Commission and entitles the State Department of Health to reimbursement for the cost of providing administrative support to the Commission from the Professional Boxing Licensing Revolving Fund. The bill and emergency passed 40-2.

-SB 1598 by Sen. Bernest Cain and Rep. Susan Winchester relates to petitions regarding a person requiring mental health treatment and would allow conduct of certain hearings under specified circumstances. The bill and emergency 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.

• The House was also working to consider legislation on the floor including the following:

-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.

-HB 2559 by Rep. Bill Nations and Sen. Robert Milacek would increase the rate of taxation on gasoline and diesel fuel and specifies the increase and provides for apportionment of revenues. The Senate amendments were rejected.

-Senate amendments were rejected on the following bills as well:
-HB 2250 by Rep. Bill Paulk and Sen. Ben Robinson;
-HB 2164 by Rep. Abe Deutschendorf and Sen. Angela Monson;
-HB 2577 by Rep. Jim Newport and Sen. Frank Shurden;
-HB 2630 by Rep. David Braddock and Sen. Sam Helton;
-HB 2718 by Rep. Kevin Calvey and Sen. Jim Reynolds;
-HB 2541 by Rep. Lucky Lamons and Sen. Sam Helton;
-HB 2432 by Rep. Doug Miller and Sen. Jonathan Nichols;
-HB 2612 by Rep. Joe Sweeden and Sen. Kenneth Corn;
-HB 1867 by Rep. Robert Worthen and Sen. Ben Robinson;
-HB 2440 by Rep. Jerry Ellis and Sen. Richard Lerblance;
-HB 2314 by Rep. Al Lindley and Sen. Kenneth Corn;
-HB 1847 by Rep. Susan Winchester and Sen. Angela Monson;
-HB 1803 by Rep. Jari Askins and Sen. Bruce Price;
-HB 2626 by Rep. Jari Askins and Sen. Debbe Leftwich;
-HB 2505 by Rep. Rebecca Hamilton and Sen. Mike Fair;
-HB 2306 by Rep. Hamilton and Sen. Frank Shurden;
-HB 2632 by Rep. Randall Erwin and Sen. Robert Milacek;
-HB 2536 by Rep. Purcy Walker and Sen. Kenneth Corn;
-HB 2277 by Rep. Larry Rice and Sen. Kenneth Corn;
-HB 2132 by Rep. Ron Peters and Sen. James Dunlap;
-HB 2477 by Rep. Terry Harrison and Sen. Charlie Laster.

• 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.

Tuesday, April 27th

• 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 43-0.

-SB 1372 by Sen. Angela Monson and Rep. Bill Nations would allow pharmacists to certify that a brand name drug is medically necessary for the well being of a patient. The bill passed 42-1.

-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.

-HCR 1080 by Rep. M.C. Leist and Sen. Frank Shurden recalls HB 1018 from the Governor’s desk.

-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.

-HB 2477 by Rep. Terry Harrison and Sen. Charlie Laster would exempt students who have an individualized education programs in an area related to reading from the reading goal for Oklahoma. The bill and emergency passed 97-0.

-HB 2278 by Rep. Danny Morgan and Sen. Johnnie Crutchfield would add holding companies to procedures for acquisition or control of certain domestic public utilities and would add limited liability companies to entities required to file information. The bill and emergency passed 97-0.

• Governor Brad Henry signed six bills on Tuesday, including the following:
-HB 1577 by Rep. Joe Dorman, Rep. Ray Young, Rep. Jari Askins and Sen. Debbe Leftwich modifies duties of the State Auditor and Inspector’s Performance Audit Division.
-HB 2568 by Rep. Fred Morgan and Sen. Glenn Coffee clarifies language to the Oklahoma Public Health Code.
-SB 1381 by Sen. Jerry Smith and Rep. David Braddock increases the time applications for bail bondsmen from six months to one year.
-SB 1397 by Sen. Ben Robinson and Rep. David Braddock allows civil action to be taken against a sexual offender of children within five years of the perpetrator’s release from incarceration.
-SB 1411 by Sen. Jonathan Nichols and Rep. Bill Nations clarifies language relating to the Service Warranty Insurance Act.
-SB 1543 by Sen. Mike Morgan and Rep. Larry Rice allows for a special single license and special permit to sell low-point beer for certain events held outside a physical structure.

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 passed 45-2.

-HB 2451 by Sen. Sam Helton, Rep. Dennis Adkins, and Rep. Clay Pope would change the thresholds for telecommunications companies serving less than 15 percent of access lines in the state and could possibly adjust local exchange rates. The bill and emergency passed 43-1.

-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.

• The House also focused on approving several appropriations bills and approved the following measures:

-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.

• Governor Henry signed five bills on Wednesday including the following:
-HB 2321 by Rep. Jim Wilson and Sen. Kenneth Corn relates to the Oklahoma Pharmacy Act and will give pharmacies permission to place symptoms on prescription labels and adds language that would allow optometrists to perform non-laser surgeries authorized by the Oklahoma Board of Examiners in Optometry.
-HB 2404 by Rep. Ray Young exempts the sale of any tangible personal property or service to a person 62 or older from sales tax.
-HB 2606 by Rep. Ron Peterson and Sen. Scott Pruitt modifies fees relating to municipal courts and provides continuing education requirements for judges.
-SB 1460 by Sen. Debbe Leftwich and Rep. Terry Ingmire relates to the Crime Victims Compensation Revolving Fund.
-SJR 54 by Sen. Jay Paul Gumm and Rep. Paul Roan relates to the State of Oklahoma establishing a coordinated effort to recruit firearms manufacturers to relocate to the state.

Thursday, April 29th

• 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.

Other News

• 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.