The Oklahoma Senate
Monday, May 3rd
• The Senate met briefly to consider legislation, including the following:
-SB 1136 by Sen. Kenneth Corn and Rep. Glen Bud Smithson would provide for veterans’ preference if an agency implements a reduction in force over those nonveterans who have equal retention points. The bill passed 47-0.
-SB 1160 by Sen. Sam Helton and Rep. Larry Ferguson would
require providers of vision insurance to be actively engaged in certain
services and would limit the number of vision plans and rate schedules
offered annually. The Senate refused to concur with House amendments.
-SB 1547 by Sen. Kathleen Wilcoxson and Rep. Joan Greenwood would create an Oklahoma Long-Term Care Partnership Act and would specify powers and duties of the Health Care Authority and the Insurance Department and direct the Authority to amend the state Medicaid program to allow for asset disregard. The bill passed 47-0.
-HB 2159 by Rep. Wayne Pettigrew and Sen. Robert Milacek
would require people to drive in the right hand lane of any four-lane
divided highway system except when passing. The measure would also provide
a minimum fine of $50 to a maximum fine of $500 if found in violation.
The bill passed 96-2.
-HB 2271 by Rep. Carolyn Coleman and Sen. Jim Reynolds would modify the grounds for expungement of records. The bill and emergency passed 97-0.
-HB 2385 by Rep. Kevin Cox and Sen. Ben Robinson would
modify language relating to the Insurance Department and requires all
domestic insurers to keep biographical information current. The Senate
amendments were adopted and the bill and emergency passed 98-0.
-HB 2552 by Rep. Danny Hilliard and Sen. Debbe Leftwich would create the Belle Maxine Hilliard Breast and Cervical Cancer Treatment Revolving Fund, which would provide those already diagnosed with the illness the necessary treatment and would also cover uninsured women diagnosed with high grade cervical dysplasia with Medicaid funding. The bill passed 98-0.
• Governor Brad Henry made several appointments to state boards and commissions on Monday.
• The Senate met briefly to continue hearing legislation on the floor and then adjourned to GCCA. The measures considered by the full Senate were the following:
-HA for SB 1331 by Sen. Dick Wilkerson and Rep. John Nance would modify the definition of electronic communication and would provide procedures and circumstances for the interception of wire, oral or electronic communications during a specified time period. The bill passed 41-3.
-HA for SB 1184 by Sen. Dick Wilkerson and Rep. David
Braddock would increase the fee for criminal history background checks
from $10 to $15. The bill and emergency passed 42-0.
-HA for SB 1412 by Sen. Dick Wilkerson and Rep. Paul Roan
would raise the penalty assessment for certain offenses from $7 to $9.
The bill and emergency passed 33-10.
-HB for SB 1618 by Sen. Jerry Smith and Rep. Terry Harrison would update statutory references relating to court trials. The bill passed 41-2.
-HA for SB 1622 by Sen. Charlie Laster and Rep. Bill Nations would require development of a new method for calculating state Medicaid program payments. The House amended the measure to create an Oklahoma Nursing Facility Funding Advisory Committee to develop the new method of calculation. The House amendments were adopted and the bill and emergency passed 41-0.
-SJR 48 by Sen. Debbe Leftwich and Rep. Barbara Staggs would direct the Oklahoma Commission on Children and Youth to work with the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, Department of Human Services and the Department of Corrections to study the living conditions of children of incarcerated women and make recommendations that will help break destructive cycles and restore the opportunities for the children to live healthy and productive lives. The resolution passed 42-0.
-HA for SB 1363 by Sen. Scott Pruitt and Rep. Thad Balkman would require any state agency that denies an exemption from tax liability to provide a written response to the applicant at the time of denial. The bill passed 41-0.
• The House considered the following legislation:
-SA for HB 2494 by Rep. Dennis Adkins and Sen. Glenn Coffee would prohibit aircraft manufacturers from taking certain actions and terminating certain agreements. The bill passed 99-0.
-The conference committee report was rejected for HB 1874
by Rep. Ron Langmacher and Sen. Bruce Price. The bill states that the
Commissioner of Labor cannot develop rules for the abatement of friable
asbestos materials more stringent than federal standards and other requirements
of U.S.C., Section 2641 et. seq. for Asbestos Emergency Hazard Response.
• Governor Brad Henry signed several measures on
Tuesday including a bill to ban same sex adoption. HB 1821 by Rep. Susan
Winchester and Sen. Jerry Smith modifies procedures fro the adoption
of children of foreign countries. The Attorney General released an opinion
that Oklahoma is obligated to recognize out-of-state adoptive parent/child
relationships, regardless of whether those parents are eligible to adopt
in Oklahoma. The bill was amended to reverse the opinion. Other measures
signed by the governor are as follows:
Wednesday, May 5th
• The Senate met briefly and then adjourned to continue working on bills in GCCA. Legislation considered by the full Senate were the following:
-CCR for HB 2552 by Sen. Debbe Leftwich and Rep. Danny Hilliard creates the Breast and Cervical Cancer Treatment Revolving Fund and names the fund after Belle Maxine Hilliard. The conference committee report was adopted 44-0.
-HA for SB 1503 by Sen. Dick Wilkerson and Rep. Lucky Lamons prohibits false or fraudulent statements to financial institutions to obtain certain information and states penalty. The bill and emergency passed 42-0.
-HA for SB 1526 by Sen. Dick Wilkerson and Rep. Paul Roan
would include additional schedules of drugs to the Anti-Drug Conversion
Act. All schedule drugs with the exception of Schedule 1 would be included
in the program. The bill and emergency passed 44-0.
-SCR 67 by Sen. Mike Morgan would authorize the Board of Regents for the Oklahoma Agriculture and Mechanical Colleges to issue revenue bonds in the sum of $11.5 million for the purpose of expanding the capacity of the chilled water system on the campus of Oklahoma State University in Stillwater. The resolution was adopted.
-SA for HB 2129 by Rep. John Carey and Sen. Jay Paul Gumm relates to revenue and taxation by authorizing income tax checkoff for support of training of court appointed special advocates. The bill and emergency passed 95-2.
-SA for HB 2488 by Rep. Mark Liotta and Sen. Randy Brogdon would prohibit certain uses of social security numbers. The bill passed 98-0.
-HR 1043 by Rep. James Covey commends the profession career
of Rural Fire Defenses Director Larry Zerger. The bill passed.
-CCS for SB 954 by Sen. Mike Morgan, Sen. Ben Robinson,
Rep. Jack Bonny and Rep. Bill Mitchell would make an appropriation to
the Department of Central Services.
• The Senate convened at 9:30 a.m. to hear legislation. They will reconvene on Monday, May 10th at 1:30 p.m.
• Senate President Pro Tempore Cal Hobson and House Speaker Larry Adair announced Wednesday plans to put the State-Tribal Gaming Act under SB 553 that has been passed and signed by the Governor, on the ballot for November’s general election.
• The fourth hearing on tort reform met on Thursday in the House of Representatives Chamber.