The Oklahoma Senate

Week In Review
Monday, April 11th to Thursday April 14th, 2005

Monday, April 11th

• The Senate convened to consider legislation. The following bills were heard by the full Senate:

- HB 1993 by Sen. Charles Wyrick and Rep. Mike Jackson would require that commercial driver license applicants seeking a hazardous material endorsement submit a national criminal history records search. The bill passed 29-17.

- HB 1278 by Sen. David Myers and Rep. Ron Peters would require any residential occupancy built or retrofitted after Nov. 1, that have installed bars, grills, covers, screens or similar devices that are placed over emergency escape and rescue openings, bulkhead enclosures, windows or window wells, to have such openings that are releasable or removable from the inside without the use of a key, tool or force greater than that which is required for normal operation of the escape and rescue openings. The bill passed 44-0.

- HB 1762 - by Sen. Jim Wilson and Rep. Joe Sweeden names the strawberry the official state fruit. The bill passed 39-0.

-HB 1402 by Sen. Todd Lamb and Rep. Mike Thompson would authorize police departments to dispose of personal property, money or legal tender by the Internet or other appropriate means. The bill was approved 44-0.

-HB 1346 by Sen. Brian Crain and Rep. Daniel Sullivan increases from $4,500 to $6,000 the maximum amount of a claim that may be heard pursuant to the Small Claims Procedure Act. The measure passed 44-0.

-HB 1378 by Sen. Clark Jolley and Rep. Guy Liebman would remove the second Tuesday in March to dates on which special elections may be held by a county, school district, technology center school district, municipality or other entity authorized to call elections. The measure provides that the second Tuesday in April will be the date for such special elections in 2006, 2007, and 2013. The bill and emergency passed 45-0.

-HB 1476 by Sen. Randy Bass and Rep. Ann Coody provides an income tax exemption for retirement benefits received by a member of the US Armed Forces. The measure sets the exemption at 50 percent of the benefits or $10,000. The bill passed 44-0.

-HB 1969 by Rep. Fred Perry returns the name of the Oklahoma Transportation Authority to the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority. The bill was approved 42-4.

-HB 1318 by Sen. Randy Bass and Rep. Terry Ingmire would allow the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation to specify identifying information required before release of criminal history records. The title was stricken and the bill passed 46-0.

-HB 1889 by Sen. Charlie Laster and Rep. Fred Morgan makes attorneys responsible for the expense of taking depositions. The measure passed 36-8.

-HB 1416 by Sen. Mike Mazzei and Rep. Pam Peterson allows certain persons to execute extra-judicial consent in certain adoption proceedings. The bill passed 46-0.

-HB 1294 by Sen. Jay Paul Gumm and Rep. Lucky Lamons would prohibit false reports of missing children that activate an AMBER early alert warning system and provides for misdemeanor punishment of a maximum of one-year imprisonment in the county jail and/or a fine of at least $1,000. The title was restored and the bill passed 44-0.

-HB 1510 by Sen. Susan Paddack and Rep. Trebor Worthen would increase education requirements for real estate brokers, broker associates, and provisional sales associates. The bill passed 38-6.

-HB 1297 by Sen. Ted Fisher and Rep. Lucky Lamons would require registration of all-terrain vehicles and motorcycles used exclusively off roads or on highways. The measure also provides a sales tax exemption for veterans membership organizations chartered by Congress and whose membership consists of at least 2.5 millions persons. The enacting clause and the title were both restored. The bill passed 36-10 and the emergency passed 41-5.

- HJR 1001 - by Rep. Balkman and Sen. Laughlin, designates Feb. 6th of each year as "President Ronald Reagan Day" to commemorate the anniversary of the birth of the 40th President of the US. The resolution was adopted.

• The House of Representatives convened to consider legislation and then adjourned to committee meetings.

- SB 328 by Sen. Charlie Laster and Rep. Fred Morgan would give jurisdiction over cases involving deprived children to a District Court with juvenile or domestic docket responsibility. The bill passed 97-0.

- SB 260 by Sen. Harry Coates and Rep. Mike Thompson states the department of Labor has jurisdiction over the investigation or inquiry into accidents and incidents regarding amusement and ride safety. The measure passed 96-1.

- SB 367 by Sen. Angela Monson and Rep. Abe Deutschendorf requires that local professional development programs include components on special education and racial and ethnic education. The bill passed 99-1.

- SB 772 by Sen. Brian Crain and Rep. Randy Terrill would modify that surrender procedures relating to bail bondsmen and provides procedures for a bondsman or surety to recommit a defendant. The bill passed 101-0.

- SB 905 by Sen. Jay Paul Gumm and Rep. Kevin Calvey would make the $25 license on a vehicle form which cigarettes are sold expire on the same date as the the license on the place of business expires.

- SB 922 by Sen. Angela Monson and Rep. Lance Cargill sets the additional fee for firefighter special license plates at $20, with $15 of the fee to be deposited to the Oklahoma State Firemen's Museum Building and Memorial Fund for support of the Oklahoma Firefighter Fallen and Living Memorial and $5 to be deposited in the Oklahoma Tax Commission Reimbursement Fund for administration of the Oklahoma Vehicle License and Registration Act. The bill passed 98-2.

- HCR 1014 - by Rep. Lamons and Sen. Adelson, recognizes the importance of finding the cause and cure for multiple sclerosis and expresses appreciation to the Oklahoma Chapter for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society for its work and proclaims April 2005 "Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month." The resolution was adopted.

-HR 1021 - by Rep. Sweeden commemorates the life and contributions of Pope John Paul II. The resolution was adopted.

-SB 974 by Sen. Jim Wilson and Rep. Ben Sherrer, requires school districts to provide a five percent wage increase, contingent on availability of funds, to every support employee who is employed by the same school district for the 2005-2006 school year. The measure would have a $26 million fiscal impact on the state. The bill received a do pass recommendation.

Tuesday, April 12th

• The Senate met on Tuesday to consider legislation. The following measures were approved:

-HB 1016 by Sen. Bernest Cain and Rep. Darrell Gilbert would modify requirements for the Board of Pharmacy’s emergency rules for implementation of the Utilization of Unused Prescription Medication Act to exclude language providing for a maximum handling fee of $10 per visit that pharmacies and charitable clinics may charge to drug recipients to cover restocking and dispensing costs. The bill and emergency passed 46-0.

-HB 1566 by Sen. Susan Paddack and Rep. Daniel Sullivan extends the moratorium on the applicability of state laws that require maintenance of adequate reserves for insurers who reside in the state that are issuing policies of medical professional liability insurance to physicians, allied health care professionals, and health care institutions to December 31, 2008. The bill passed 45-0.

-HB 1493 by Sen. Glenn Coffee and Rep. Fred Morgan would create a Family Home Transfer Act to provide for transfer of certain real property in probate. The bill provides that legal ownership of real property will transfer within a certain time to the party who filed notification of an interest in title if there is no probate petition. The bill passed 41-5.

-HB 1832 by Sen. Charlie Laster and Rep. Shane Jett would create an Oklahoma Higher Education Research and Development Opportunities Program. The bill expands membership of the board of directors for the Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology to include the chancellor for higher education, three additional members among those appointed by the governor and modify eligibility requirements for five of the gubernatorial appointees representing certain industries. The bill and emergency passed 46-0.

-HB 1242 by Sen. James Williamson and Rep. Chris Hastings would provide that an inmate wearing an electronic monitoring device will be considered to have escaped if the inmate cannot be located within a 24-hour period or if the inmate fails to report to a correctional facility or institution as directed. The title was restored and the bill passed 46-0.

-HB 1434 by Sen. Frank Shurden and Rep. Mike Wilt removes authority for municipal and district attorneys to seek reimbursement of incarceration costs from inmates. The bill directs the court to order reimbursement of incarceration costs. The measure was amended and passed by a vote of 44-0.

-HB 1298 by Sen. Cliff Aldridge and Rep. Gary Banz would increase the amount county commissioners may give employees as safety-related incentive awards from $100 to $250. The bill passed 44-0.

-HB 1834 by Sen. Charlie Laster and Rep. Shane Jett creates a 16-member Statewide Nine-One-One Advisory Board to secure resources for the creation, operation, expansion and cooperative undertaking of local public safety answering points; secure and direct the distribution of public funds and grants as needed; facilitate information sharing among public safety answering points; and various other duties. The bill and emergency passed 47-0.

• The House convened to consider legislation and then adjourned to continue committee work.

-SB 966 by Sen. Kathleen Wilcoxson and Rep. Ann Coody would modify the reading goal for Oklahoma public schools to require that, by July 1, 2008 and each year thereafter, all third grade students will read at or above grade level by the end of their third-grade year, excluding up to 15 percent of those with an individualized education program. The bill passed 54-45 but the emergency failed 56-42.

-SB 54 by Sen. Richard Lerblance and Rep. Purcy Walker states public policy to encourage water providers to use local contracts or joint cooperative agreements to allocate customers, territory, revenue or other aspects when providing water, sewer, gas, or solid waste services. The bill and emergency passed 98-1.

-SB 569 by Sen. Kathleen Wilcoxson and Rep. Odilia Dank would require children entering any program funded with government money from birth through entry into kindergarten to be given an identification number by the State Department of Education’s statewide student record system program for the purpose of conducting program-related and academic research with the specific goal of determining the impact of these programs on school readiness. The bill and emergency passed 81-17.

-SB 690 by Sen. Susan Paddack and Rep. Chris Steele would require the Department of Human Services to encourage public or private nonprofit agencies to provide services that improve information about and access to prescription drug assistance programs available through pharmaceutical manufacturers and the federal government. The bill was laid over.

-HCR 1017 by Rep. Paul Roan, Rep. Glen Bud Smithson and Sen. Kenneth Corn recognized telecommunications personnel in Oklahoma and designates “National Public Safety Telecommunicator’s Week.” The resolution was adopted.

Wednesday, April 13th

• The Senate focused on floor action to ensure they beat the April 28th deadline for bills to receive floor action.

-FS for HB 1001 by Sen. Bernest Cain and Rep. Susan Winchester stated legislative intent to support the Oklahoma City National Memorial and take all necessary actions to ensure the continued operation of the Oklahoma City National Memorial. The measure was approved by a vote of 46-0.

-HB 1453 by Sen. Bernest Cain and Rep. Lee Denney would require home nursing administrators to devote at least one-half of their working time to on-the-job supervision of the facility, with certain exceptions. The bill also modifies qualifications for the members of the State Board of Examiners for Nursing Home Administrators to require that five of the 13 appointed members be nursing home owners who have obtained a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university with at least five years experience as an owner and administrator of a nursing home and two members be representatives of the general public. No other members could have a direct or indirect financial interest in nursing homes. The bill passed 29-17 and the emergency passed 33-13.

-HB 1347 by Sen. Susan Paddack and Rep. Randy Terrill would expand the program for transferring unused prescription drugs from nursing home facilities to pharmacies operated by a city-county health department or county pharmacies for distribution to the medically indigent. The bill passed 46-0.

-HB 1312 by Sen. Randy Bass and Rep. Ray McCarter would provide a sales tax exemption for sales of tangible personal property or services to honorably discharged veterans of any branch of the Armed Forces or Oklahoma National Guard and who have been certified by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to have 100 percent permanent disability sustained through military action or accident or resulting from a disease contracted while in active service. The bill and emergency passed 47-0.

-HB 1295 by Sen. Johnnie Crutchfield and Rep. Ron Peters would require the Department of Juvenile Justice to implement and provide appropriate reintegration and transitional services for juveniles transitioning from out-of-home placements to home. The bill and emergency passed 47-0.

-HB 1516 by Sen. Randy Bass and Rep. Richard Morrissette would prohibit individuals employed by state or local entities from being held personally liable in garnishment actions unless failure, neglect or refusal to answer a garnishment summons is willful. The bill passed 44-1.

-HB 1390 by Sen. Early Garrison and Rep. Neil Brannon would allow alternative certification for school superintendents and principals who declare their intention to earn alternative certification through completion of an approved administrative preparation program in no more than three years. Relevant work experience and course work could be considered and applied to reduce the number of hours needed to earn standard certification. The bill passed 30-17.

-HB 1720 by Sen. Owen Laughlin and Rep. Chris Benge would modify language providing for destruction of fingerprints of minors upon reaching the age of 16 to require a written request of a parent. The bill also requires consent of a legal parent or guardian before issuance of a driver license to an unemancipated minor under age 18. The measure modifies language relating to learner permits and offenses that require revocation of driving privileges and financial responsibility. The bill passed 46-1.

-HB 1575 by Sen. Johnnie Crutchfield and Rep. Ray McCarter expands eligibility to purchase hunting or fishing licenses for $10 for five years to include individuals who are 100 percent disabled and receiving disability payments from the multiple injury trust fund. The bill and emergency passed 45-0.

-HB 1379 by Sen. Johnnie Crutchfield and Rep. Greg Piatt would modify penalties for injury to cemeteries or tombs to provide for a misdemeanor penalty with a maximum $1,000 fine and/or a maximum 90 days’ imprisonment in the county jail if the amount of the damage is less than $5,000 and a felony with a maximum $2,500 fine and/or a maximum six-month imprisonment in the county jail if the amount of damage exceeds $5,000. The bill passed 47-0.

• The House convened to consider legislation and then adjourned to focus on committee action. The following measures were approved:

-SB 620 by Sen. Charles Wyrick and Rep. Doug Cox exempts the GRDA from certain requirements for disposal of real and surplus property. Contracts entered into by GRDA prior to November 1, 2006 for construction, labor equipment, materials, or repairs necessary for electric generation, administration and transmission would not be considered public construction contracts for certain purposes. The bill was amended and the bill and emergency passed 94-0.

-SB 238 by Sen. Jim Wilson and Rep. Kris Steele decreases from 20 percent to 10 percent the amount the administrator of the Liquefied Petroleum Gas Fund must deposit from the fund into the state general revenue fund. The enacting clause was stricken and the bill and emergency passed 97-0.

-SB 720 by Sen. Tom Adelson and Rep. Ron Peters creates the Helping Oklahoma Pay for Energy (HOPE) Task Force. The bill was amended by inserting a new Section 2, which is an emergency clause. The bill as amended, passed 91-6 and the emergency passed 90-1.

-SB 944 by Sen. Charlie Laster and Rep. Shane Jett creates a statewide Nine-One-One Advisory Board to oversee development and operation of emergency 911 systems in the state. The bill was amended by Rep. Joe Dorman inserting new paragraphs 13-15. The measure as amended and the emergency passed 97-0.

Thursday, April 14th

• The Senate convened briefly to approve various House measures. The full Senate will reconvene Monday, April 18th at 10:00 a.m.

Other News

• Charles R. Ford, President of the Oklahoma State Senate Historical Preservation Fund, Inc., dedicated a painting of the Santa Fe Trail on Tuesday in the Senate Chamber. This portrait by Depew artist Wayne Cooper is a gift of Tulsa Philanthropist and business woman Mrs. Mollie Williford. The Cimarron Route was the road to Santa Fe for wagon traffic beginning in 1822 and was shorter and easier to travel with mule and ox drawn freight wagons. The trail was used into the 1870’s when the railroad was built in Colorado.

• The State Auditor and Inspector's Office questioned the Oklahoma Office of Juvenile Affairs on Tuesday for their use of $20 million in funding and states OJA's lack of monitoring and oversight is depriving Oklahoma's at-risk young people of vital services.

• Governor Henry signed the following bills into law this week: SB 653 and SB 685, SB 13, SB 24, SB 45, SB 259, SB 424, SB 546, SB 708.