The Oklahoma Senate

Week In Review
Monday, May 17th through Thursday May 21st, 2004

Monday, May 17th

• The Senate met briefly to consider legislation, including the following:

-CCR for SB 1405 by Sen. Penny Williams and Rep. Al Lindley would create the 2-1-1 Helpline Act that would be coordinated by the Department of Human Services. The bill and emergency passed 32-8.

-CCR for HB 1695 by Sen. Debbe Leftwich and Rep. Michael Tyler would propose to clarify the language relating to the Oklahoma Turnpike designation and includes all sections and extensions. The conference committee report was adopted but the bill failed 19-22, with Sen. Leftwich reserving the right to reconsider.

-CCR for HB 2030 by Sen. Mike Morgan, Sen. Ben Robinson, Rep. Jack Bonny and Rep. Bill Mitchell would make an appropriation to the Oklahoma House of Representatives and includes funds for the anticipated impeachment process of Insurance Commissioner Carroll Fisher. The bill passed 30-11.

-CCR for HB 2038 by Sen. Mike Morgan, Sen. Ben Robinson, Rep. Jack Bonny and Rep. Bill Mitchell would make an appropriation to the Oklahoma State Senate and includes funds for the impeachment process of Carroll Fisher. The bill passed 43-0.

-CCR for HB 2330 by Sen. Richard Lerblance and Rep. Michael Tyler would provide for participation by certain circuit engineering district employees who are also members of the Oklahoma Public Employees Retirement System. The bill and emergency passed 37-0.

• The House was also working to consider legislation on the floor including several appropriations measures. The following appropriations measures by Rep. Jack Bonny, Rep. Bill Mitchell, Sen. Mike Morgan and Sen. Ben Robinson were approved:

-CCR for HB 2010;
-CCR for HB 2014;
-CCR for HB 2016;
-CCR for HB 2018;
-CCR for HB 2036;
-CCR for HB 2074;
-CCR for HB 2085;
-CCR for HB 2020 would make an appropriation to the Oklahoma Commission for Teacher Preparation but the bill failed 47-45.

• Other measures considered by the House are the following:

-CCR for HB 1891 by Rep. Chris Benge and Sen. Randy Brogdon would remove the ability of inactive members of the Oklahoma Public Employees Retirement System (OPERS) that are currently members of a county defined benefit system, to transfer service credit accumulated in OPERS to the county defined benefit system. The bill and emergency passed 96-0.

-CCR for HB 2472 by Rep. David Braddock and Sen. Sam Helton updates reference to certain studies and recommendations to be consistent with the recommendations of all military installations in Oklahoma. The bill passed 96-0.

-CCR for HB 2630 by Rep. David Braddock and Sen. Sam Helton would require the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education to review and change its polices on resident tuition for military dependents. The bill and emergency passed 97-0.

-CCR for HB 2680 by Rep. Joe Dorman and Sen. Robert Kerr would make capital gains on certain investments’ interest and income for purposes of calculating distributions and would allow the Commissioners of the Land Office to distribute certain capital gains. The bill and emergency passed 89-8.


• The General Conference Committee on Appropriations (GCCA) approved several measures Monday including the following:

-CCS HB 2108 by Rep. M.C. Leist and Sen. Ben Robinson would require approval of the Legislature to increase the Nursing Facilities Quality of Care Fee after July 15, 2004.

-CCS SB 921 by Sen. Mike Morgan, Sen. Ben Robinson, Rep. Jack Bonny and Rep. Bill Mitchell would make an appropriation to the State Board of Career and Technology Education.

-CCS SB 985 by Sen. Mike Morgan, Sen. Ben Robinson, Rep. Jack Bonny and Rep. Bill Mitchell would make an appropriation to the Office of Juvenile Affairs.

-CCS SB 1053 by Sen. Mike Morgan, Sen. Ben Robinson, Rep. Jack Bonny and Rep. Bill Mitchell would make an appropriation to the Office of the Attorney General.

-CCS SB 1057 by Sen. Mike Morgan, Sen. Ben Robinson, Rep. Jack Bonny and Rep. Bill Mitchell would make an appropriation to the Office of the Attorney General for the benefit of the District Attorneys Council.

-CCS SB 1066 by Sen. Mike Morgan, Sen. Ben Robinson, Rep. Jack Bonny and Rep. Bill Mitchell would make an appropriation to the Oklahoma Supreme Court.

-CCS for SB 865 by Sen. Jay Paul Gumm and Rep. Ray McCarter would create the Local Development Financing Act.

-CCS SB 1325 by Sen. Glenn Coffee and Rep. Stuart ERicson would modify certain assessments in criminal cases.

-CCS HB 2373 by Rep. Ray McCarter and Sen. Debbe Leftwich would enact the Oklahoma Quality Investment Act.

-CCS HB 2607 by Rep. Ron Peterson and Sen. Jerry Smith would modify language relating to transportation-related projects.

• Governor Brad Henry signed five measures Monday including the following:
-SB 1104 by Sen. Gilmer Capps and Rep. Joe Sweeden allows a news reporter or photographer covering an election to be inside the election enclosure for no longer than five minutes. The bill also allows an administrator of a nursing facility to notify the secretary of the county election board of the death of a nursing facility resident who is a registered voter.
-HB 1694 by Rep. Michael Tyler and Sen. Debbe Leftwich allows the Oklahoma Transportation Authority to contract or lease concessions for gas stations, garages, restaurants, parking facilities, and other services for all or any portion of any turnpike project.
-SB 649 by Sen. Mike Johnson and Rep. James Covey requires juvenile bureaus and citizens’ advisory committee to be created in counties with a population of more than 80,000.
-SB 884 by Sen. Owen Laughlin and Rep. Elmer Maddux authorizes all-terrain vehicles and golf carts to be used on city streets during daylight hours if municipality ordinances allow.
-SB 1580 by Sen. Ted Fisher and Rep. Jari Askins requires the Office of Personnel Management to implement direct deposit system for employees hired after December 31, 2004 and all employees must participate by June 30, 2007.


Tuesday, May 18th

• The Senate met briefly to continue hearing legislation on the floor then adjourned to GCCA. The measures considered by the full Senate were the following:

-CCR for SB 1233 by Sen. Johnnie Crutchfield and Rep. Clay Pope would rename the Oklahoma Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation Act as the Oklahoma Licensed Managed Feeding Operations Act and would modify runoff penalties and broaden the type of livestock included in the bill. The bill and emergency passed 33-11.

-CCR for HB 2102 by Sen. Nancy Riley, Rep. John Carey and Rep. Greg Piatt would encourage mothers to breastfeed in any location where the mother is authorized to be present. The bill and emergency passed 44-1.

-CCR for HB 1889 by Sen. Jeff Rabon and Rep. Jerry Ellis would exempt charity games equipment such as those needed to play bingo, from sales tax. The bill passed 42-0.

-CCR for HB 2134 by Sen. Nancy Riley and Rep. Ron Peters would delete blood testing requirements for health examinations related to marriage licenses and require the officiator to return the license. The bill passed 35-8.

-CCR for HB 2630 by Sen. Sam Helton and Rep. David Braddock would direct the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education to review and change their policies on residency for military dependents. The bill and emergency passed 46-0.

-CCR for SB 587 by Sen. Bernest Cain and Rep. Rebecca Hamilton would require any health benefit plan that is offered in Oklahoma that provides medical coverage and surgical benefits to provide coverage for routine annual obstetrical/gynecological examinations. The bill passed 33-13.

-CCR for SB 1146 by Sen. Johnnie Crutchfield and Rep. Gary Taylor would allow county commissioners to cancel an election if there is only one candidate for any of the commissioner’s districts and notice by publication would be required at least 10 days prior to the election date. The bill and emergency passed 45-0.

-CCR for SB 1164 by Sen. Mike Johnson and Rep. Susan Winchester would authorize expungement of certain records related to crimes stemming from identity theft. The bill and emergency passed 45-0.

-CCR for HB 1695 by Sen. Debbe Leftwich and Rep. Michael Tyler would propose to clarify language relating to the Oklahoma Turnpike designation and includes all sections and extensions. The motion to reconsider passed 44-0 and the bill passed 44-0.

• The House approved several appropriations measures as well as considered the following legislation:

-CCR for SB 1478 by Sen. Angela Monson and Rep. Clay Pope would delete the expiration date for tax credits for entities primarily providing child care services. The conference committee report was adopted 65-31 and the bill passed 86-8.

-CCR for HB 1853 by Rep. Dale Turner and Sen. Dick Wilkerson would create the Mary Rippy Violent Crime Offenders Registration Act and would require any person who has been convicted of a violent crime to register with the Department of Corrections and local law enforcement after conviction. The bill passed 98-0.

-CCR for HB 2101 by Rep. Bill Paulk and Sen. Sam Helton would make an insurer responsible for wrecker and storage fees if the insurer accepts liability for a claim for the total loss vehicle or a pro rata share of the wrecker and storage fees for the total loss of the vehicle if the loss limits of the insurance policy have been exceeded. The bill and emergency passed 69-30.

-HB 2110 by Rep. Kevin Cox and Sen. Dick Wilkerson would set procedures for those receiving a suspended sentence or other probationary term in relation to the Sex Offenders Registration Act. The bill was laid over until the conference committee report summary.

-CCR for HB 2335 by Rep. Barbara Staggs and Sen. Jeff Rabon would exclude construction and installation of cellular towers from definition of telecommunications services. The bill and emergency passed 95-0.

-CCR for SB 1105 by Sen. Jay Paul Gumm and Rep. John Carey would create the State Employee Advocacy Rights Act and would allow employee organizations to hold meetings before or after work hours or during lunch periods on state property and allows employee organizations to submit information to state agencies for new employee packets. The bill passed 73-22.

• GCCA passed six measures on Tuesday including the following:
-CCS SB 1280 by Sen. Ben Robinson and Rep. Danny Hilliard would establish criteria and duties of director of the State Department of Rehabilitation Services.
-SB 912 by Sen. Mike Morgan, Sen. Ben Robinson, Rep. Jack Bonny and Rep. Bill Mitchell would make an appropriation to the State Department of Education.
-CCS SB 1054 by Sen. Mike Morgan, Sen. Ben Robinson, Rep. Jack Bonny and Rep. Bill Mitchell would make an appropriation to the Office of the Attorney General.
-CCS SB 1065 by Sen. Mike Morgan, Sen. Ben Robinson, Rep. Jack Bonny and Rep. Bill Mitchell would make an appropriation to the Oklahoma Supreme Court.
-CCS SB 1565 by Sen. Angela Monson and Rep. Bill Nations relates to the Deferred Deposit Lending Act.
-CCS HB 2718 by Rep. Kevin Calvey and Sen. Jim Reynolds would require a child protective services worker to advise the person of the specific complaint or allegation made against them.

• Governor Brad Henry signed several measures on Tuesday including:
-SB 1207 by Sen. Johnnie Crutchfield and Rep. Barbara Staggs requires the State Department of Education to provide an annual salary bonus of $5,000 to any certified school psychologist and any certified speech-language pathologist.
-HB 1418 by Rep. Joe Hutchison and Sen. Frank Shurden allows expenditure from the state contingency and emergency fund for emergency response action by the United States Army Corps of Engineers.
-SB 1160 by Sen. Sam Helton and Rep. Jari Askins prohibits certain leasing, borrowing and use of certain provider panels and limiting the number of vision plans and rate schedules offered annually.
-SB 1385 by Sen. Gilmer Capps and Rep. David Braddock exempts information solicited by the Office of Personnel Management from public and private sector employers for analysis from the Oklahoma Open Records Act. The measure also requires a quality management function to be created within OPM to assist state agencies in integrating management models into business practices to improve efficiencies.


Wednesday, May 19th

• The Senate met briefly to approve appropriations and other measures and then adjourned to continue working on bills in GCCA. Legislation considered by the full Senate were the following:

-CCR for HB 2205 by Sen. Glenn Coffee and Rep. Mike Wilt relates to inmate litigation reform. The bill and emergency passed 44-0.

-CCR for HB 2020 by Sen. Mike Morgan, Sen. Ben Robinson, Rep. Jack Bonny and Rep. Bill Mitchell would set budget limits for teachers’ preparation. The bill passed 43-2.

-CCR for SB 1090 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 39-0.

-CCR for SB 1112 by Sen. Kenneth Corn and Rep. Ray Miller would limit the length of a technology center school district member’s term of office to five years. The bill and emergency passed 43-0.

-CCR for SB 1447 by Sen. Sam Helton and Rep. Jari Askins relates to criminal procedures and would delete certain language for mandatory DNA testing and submission of testing. The bill and emergency passed 43-0.

-SCR 73 by Sen. Kenneth Corn would create the Public Utility Purchased Power Study Commission. The resolution was adopted.

• The House approved the following measures:

-CCR for HB 1530 by Rep. Larry Roberts and Sen. Richard Lerblance would establish the Oklahoma Mine Subsidence Insurance Fund. The bill passed 79-18.

-CCR for SB 1299 by Sen. Frank Shurden and Rep. M.C. Leist would require certain training for the Oklahoma Capitol Patrol. The bill and emergency passed 97-2.

-CCR for SB 1400 by Sen. Maxine Horner and Rep. Darrell Gilbert would remove the jail term for juvenile curfew violations in Oklahoma and Tulsa counties. The bill and emergency passed 90-6.

-CCR for SB 1627 by Sen. Bernest Cain and Rep. Darrell Gilbert would create the Healthy and Fit Kids Act of 2004 and would require each public school to establish a Healthy and Fit School Advisory Committee to be made up of at least six members. The committee will then make recommendations to the school’s principal regarding health education, physical education and activity, and nutrition. The bill and emergency passed 80-17.

• GCCA passed several measures on Wednesday including:
-SB 917 by Sen. Mike Morgan, Sen. Ben Robinson, Rep. Jack Bonny and Rep. Bill Mitchell;
-SB 924 by Sen. Mike Morgan, Sen. Ben Robinson, Rep. Jack Bonny and Rep. Bill Mitchell;
-SB 933 by Sen. Mike Morgan, Sen. Ben Robinson, Rep. Jack Bonny and Rep. Bill Mitchell;
-SB 944 by Sen. Mike Morgan, Sen. Ben Robinson, Rep. Jack Bonny and Rep. Bill Mitchell;
-SB 967 by Sen. Mike Morgan, Sen. Ben Robinson, Rep. Jack Bonny and Rep. Bill Mitchell;
-SB 975 by Sen. Mike Morgan, Sen. Ben Robinson, Rep. Jack Bonny and Rep. Bill Mitchell;
-HB 2001 by Sen. Mike Morgan, Sen. Ben Robinson, Rep. Jack Bonny and Rep. Bill Mitchell;
-HB 2718 by Rep. Kevin Calvey and Sen. Jim Reynolds;
-HB 2213 by Rep. Greg Piate and Sen. Johnnie Crutchfield;
-HB 2250 by Rep. Bill Paulk and Sen. Ben Robinson;
-HB 2577 by Rep. Jim Newport and Sen. Frank Shurden;
-SB 1081 by Sen. Mike Morgan, Sen. Ben Robinson, Rep. Jack Bonny and Rep. Bill Mitchell;
-SB 1176 by Sen. Jerry Smith, Sen. Penny Williams and Rep. Larry Rice;
-SB 1406 by Sen. Ben Robinson and Rep. Barbara Staggs;
-SB 1542 by Sen. Jonathan Nichols and Rep. Thad Balkman;
-SB 1554 by Sen. Ben Robinson and Rep. Danny Hilliard.

Thursday, May 20th

• The Senate convened to hear the following legislation:

-CCR for SB 835 by Sen. Frank Shurden and Rep. Randall Erwin is a legislative referendum that would modify definitions of cockfighting and would delete prohibitions of certain equipment as well as the ownership of game fowl. The measure will go to a vote of the people to reduce current penalties under cockfighting statutes. The conference committee report was adopted 25-21 and the bill passed 25-22.

-CCR for HB 1891 by Sen. Randy Brogdon and Rep. Chris Benge would remove the ability of inactive members of the Oklahoma Public Employees Retirement System (OPERS) that are currently members of a county defined benefit system, to transfer service credit accumulated within OPERS to the county defined benefit system. The bill and emergency passed 43-1.

-CCR for HB 2335 by Sen. Jeff Rabon and Rep. Barbara Staggs would exclude construction and installation of cellular towers from definition of telecommunications services for the purpose of sales tax levy.

-CCR for HB 2341 by Sen. Frank Shurden and Rep. Dale Smith would create the Oklahoma Wildlife Land Fund for the purpose of acquiring land for public hunting, fishing and trapping. The bill failed 22-23.

-CCR for HB 2365 by Sen. Glenn Coffee and Rep. Lance Cargill would change the maximum amount for appeal bonds; modify the population requirement for municipal criminal courts and provides procedure for creating courts of record. The bill passed 39-0.

-CCR for SB 865 by Sen. Jay Paul Gumm and Rep. Ray McCarter would create the Local Development Financing Act and would augment and enhance Section 6C of Article X of the Oklahoma Constitution by assisting rural communities to undertake economic development activities, provide a needed financial resource to assist communities with economic endeavors and creates marketability for tax apportionment financing under the Act. The bill and emergency passed 41-2.

-CCR for SB 868 by Sen. Kenneth Corn and Rep. Bill Paulk would provide an exception for a non-classified and classified state employee to run for a partisan political office. The bill passed 27-18.

-CCR for SB 1210 by Sen. Ben Robinson and Rep. Opio Toure would modify requirements for assignment of certain child support benefits to attorneys. The bill and emergency passed 46-0.

-CCR for SB 1539 by Sen. Sam Helton and Rep. James Covey would revoke the driver’s license for six months of any person who is convicted of or who pleads guilty to a right-of-way violation that causes a fatality. The CCR was rejected and further conference was requested.

-HA for SB 1600 by Sen. Bernest Cain and Rep. Ray Vaugh would modify definitions related to the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act and would not provide the exclusive method of establishing or enforcing a support order under laws of this state or grant a tribunal of this state jurisdiction to render judgment or issue an order relating to child custody or visitation. The bill passed 46-0.

-SCR 74 by Sen. Cal Hobson and Rep. Larry Adair would create the Deregulation of the Oklahoma Telecommunications Service Provider Industry Task Force. The resolution was adopted.

• The House convened to consider the following legislation:

-CCR for HB 2660 by Rep. Larry Adair and Sen. Cal Hobson would provide for a levy of a 55 cent tax on the sale of tobacco products and would provide for apportionment of funds. The committee conference report was adopted 50-47 and the bill passed 66-33.

-CCR for SB 587 by Sen. Bernest Cain and Rep. Rebecca Hamilton would require any health benefit plan that is offered in Oklahoma that provides medical and surgical benefits to provide coverage for routine annual obstetrical and gynecological examinations. The bill passed 63-25.

-CCR for SB 1269 by Sen. Jerry Smith and Rep. Kevin Calvey would update the reference relating to loyalty oath or affirmation. The bill passed 89-3.

-CCR for HB 2108 by Rep. M.C. Leist and Sen. Ben Robinson would require approval of the Legislature to increase the Nursing Facilities Quality Care Fee after July 15, 2004. The bill and emergency passed 96-0.

-CCR for HB 2198 by Rep. M.C. Leist and Sen. Frank Shurden would add liability exemption for authorized environmental cleanup under the Governmental Tort Claims Act. The bill and emergency passed 96-0.

-CCR for HB 2306 by Rep. Rebecca Hamilton and Sen. Frank Shurden would create the Danielle Martinez Act authorizing the option for patients to donate blood extracted from the umbilical cord following the delivery of a newborn child. The bill and emergency passed 90-0.

-CCR for HB 2373 by Rep. Ray McCarter and Sen. Debbe Leftwich would enact the Oklahoma Quality Investment Act. The bill and emergency passed 94-2.

-CCR for HB 2440 by Rep. Jerry Ellis and Sen. Richard Lerblance would extend the water sale moratorium to a five year period or until the Water Resources Board completes a scientific hydrological study of water resources in the state which is approved by the Statewide Water Policy Planning Commission. The bill passed 87-9.

-CCR for HB 2527 by Rep. Ray Vaughn and Sen. Bernest Cain would remove priority and equal treatment for certain action relating to procedures for payment of child support. The bill and emergency passed 95-0.

• GCCA approved the following measures on Thursday:
-SB 923 by Sen. Mike Morgan, Sen. Ben Robinson, Rep. Jack Bonny and Rep. Bill Mitchell;
-SB 1017 by Sen. Mike Morgan, Sen. Ben Robinson, Rep. Jack Bonny and Rep. Bill Mitchell;
-SB 1019 by Sen. Mike Morgan, Sen. Ben Robinson, Rep. Jack Bonny and Rep. Bill Mitchell;
-SB 1021 by Sen. Mike Morgan, Sen. Ben Robinson, Rep. Jack Bonny and Rep. Bill Mitchell;
-SB 1031 by Sen. Mike Morgan, Sen. Ben Robinson, Rep. Jack Bonny and Rep. Bill Mitchell;
-SB 1059 by Sen. Mike Morgan, Sen. Ben Robinson, Rep. Jack Bonny and Rep. Bill Mitchell;
-SB1070 by Sen. Mike Morgan, Sen. Ben Robinson, Rep. Jack Bonny and Rep. Bill Mitchell;
-SB 1087 by Sen. Mike Morgan, Sen. Ben Robinson, Rep. Jack Bonny and Rep. Bill Mitchell;
-HB 2054 by Sen. Mike Morgan, Sen. Ben Robinson, Rep. Jack Bonny and Rep. Bill Mitchell;
-HB 2060 by Sen. Mike Morgan, Sen. Ben Robinson, Rep. Jack Bonny and Rep. Bill Mitchell;
-SB 1007 by Sen. Mike Morgan, Sen. Ben Robinson, Rep. Jack Bonny and Rep. Bill Mitchell;
-HB 2064 by Sen. Mike Morgan, Sen. Ben Robinson, Rep. Jack Bonny and Rep. Bill Mitchell;
-HB 2070 by Sen. Mike Morgan, Sen. Ben Robinson, Rep. Jack Bonny and Rep. Bill Mitchell;
-HB 2600 by Rep. Danny Hilliard and Sen. Angela Monson;
-SB 998 by Sen. Mike Morgan, Sen. Ben Robinson, Rep. Jack Bonny and Rep. Bill Mitchell;
-SB 1120 by Sen. Jeff Rabon and Rep. Clay Pope;
-HB 1571 by Rep. Terry Harrison and Sen. Jeff Rabon;
-HB 2274 by Rep. Bill Case and Sen. Herb Rozell;
-HB 2616 by Rep. Dale Wells and Sen. Sam Helton;
-HB 1803 by Rep. Jari Askins and Sen. Bruce Price;
-HB 2288 by Rep. Dale Turner and Sen. Jay Paul Gumm;
-SB 925 by Sen. Mike Morgan, Sen. Ben Robinson, Rep. Jack Bonny and Rep. Bill Mitchell;
-SB 1490 by Sen. Mike Morgan and Rep. Larry Roberts.

• Governor Brad Henry signed the following legislation on Thursday:
-SB 1252 by Sen. Cal Hobson and Rep. Larry Adair would repeal Enrolled SB 553 as signed by the Governor on March 8, 2004. SB 1252 would create the State-Tribal Gaming Act if approved by a vote of the people.
-HB 2464 by Rep. Darrell Gilbert and Sen. Ben Robinson;
-HB 2639 by Rep. Kris Steele and Sen. Cliff Aldridge;
-HB 2643 by Rep. Barbara Staggs and Sen. Johnnie Crutchfield;
-SB 1254 by Sen. Jay Paul Gumm and Rep. John Carey;
-SB 1483 by Sen. Ted Fisher and Rep. Jari Askins;
-SB 1855 by Rep. Ron Peterson and Sen. Nancy Riley;
-HB 2664 by Rep. Larry Adair and Sen. Cal Hobson;
-SB 1366 by Sen. Jonathan Nichols and Rep. Leonard Sullivan.

Friday, May 21st

• The Senate convened at 10:30 a.m. on Friday to continue hearing legislation in the final two weeks of the legislative session. The Senate will reconvene Monday May 24th at 10:00 a.m.
• The Senate considered many pieces of legislation Friday including a measure to raise the tobacco tax. CCR for HB 2660 by Rep. Larry Adair and Sen. Cal Hobson would provide for a levy of a 55 cent tax on the sale of tobacco products and would provide for apportionment of funds. The conference committee report passed 23-19 and the bill passed 39-8.

Other News

• Governor Brad Henry announced Tuesday the necessity for a concurrent special session so legislators may continue the work and investigation in Insurance Commissioner Carroll Fisher’s impeachment process. The special session convened at 1:30 on Wednesday May 19th.

• U.S. Representative Brad Carson stated Monday that he would introduce legislation to the U.S. Congress to curb methamphetamine use nationwide. The Congressman is basing his legislation upon a bill that was signed into law in April banning the sale of over-the-counter psuedoephedrine. The Ephedrine Alkaloids Regulation Act of 2004 would follow the example of HB 2176 authored by Rep. John Nance and Sen. Dick Wilkerson, also known as the Troopers Nikky Green, Rocky Eales and Scott Evans Act. Under Carson’s draft of the bill, psuedoephedrine and ephedrine in tablet form would be categorized as Schedule V drugs under the Controlled Substances Act.

• The Joint Conference Committee on Lawsuit Reform met Monday to begin drafting legislation that will be brought before the House of Representatives and the Senate for final approval. The starting point legislation was adopted that includes the Senate leadership’s language by a vote of Senate members 5-3 and House members 9-3.

• Governor Henry accepted a gift of $300,000 from American Electric Power’s Public Service Company of Oklahoma (AEP-PSO) to support early childhood education in Oklahoma on Monday.

• Senator Charles Ford, President of the Oklahoma State Senate Historical Preservation Fund, Inc. dedicated the last painting of the legislative session on Wednesday. The painting is entitled “Mahongo”, who was an Osage woman that was taken from the Chouteau Camp on the Neoshi River in Indian Territory in 1827 under false pretenses. The artist, Mike Wimmer, is a Norman resident and has painted several pieces commissioned by the Fund.

• The Joint Committee on Lawsuit Reform met again Thursday to continue approving new language for the final lawsuit reform measure.

• Chesapeake Energy Corporation presented in the Senate Lounge a $25,000 donation to the Southeastern Oklahoma State University in Durant.

Index