The Oklahoma Senate

Week In Review
Monday, May 2 to Thursday May 5, 2005

Monday, May 2nd

• President Pro Tempore Mike Morgan convened the session and recognized Majority Floor Leader, Ted Fisher, for a motion to adjourn. The motion carried and the brief session recessed until Tuesday at 1:30pm.

• The House of Representatives convened briefly to adopt Senate amendments to several bills. Attention on legislative matters is primarily focused on naming conferees and assigning legislation to a conference committee during the last weeks of session.

-SAs to HB 1116 by Reps. Chris Benge, Jim Newport, and Sens. Johnnie Crutchfield and Mike Morgan increases from $150,000 to $250,000 the total of all assessments the Horse Racing Commission may levy to support the regulation of gaming. The bill and emergency passed 95-0.

-SAs to HB 1811 by Rep. Don Armes and Sen. Kenneth Corn would prohibit registered lobbyists and officers, board members or employees of statewide or national organizations established for the purpose of advocating the interest of chiropractors from being members of the Board of Chiropractic Examiners. The bill passed 95-0.

-SA to HB 1845 by Rep. Trebor Worthen and Sen. Scott Pruitt clarifies language relating to the Mental Health Law, the Unified Community Mental Health Services Act, the Oklahoma Alcohol and Drug Abuse Services Act, narcotic treatment programs, inmates of correctional facilities, care and treatment of consumers, expenses of care and treatment, admission to facilities, rights of detained or confined persons, emergency detentions and protective custody, etc. The bill and emergency passed 98-0.

-HR 1010 by Rep. Bill Nations requests that the Oklahoma Health Care Authority, the State Medicaid agency, review the feasibility of a federal Medicaid waiver application to provide assisted living benefits to Medicaid beneficiaries. The resolution was adopted.

• Governor Brad Henry signed the following bills on Monday:

- HB 1507 by Rep. Paul D. Roan and Sen. Jay Paul Gumm raises the standard of proof from a preponderance of the evidence to clear and convincing evidence for the rebuttable presumption that no conditions of release of a defendant released on bond would assure public safety. The measure expands information to be obtained for retail purchase of a substance containing pseudoephedrine to include the driver license or state-issued identification number and state of residence of the purchaser, the name and initials of the pharmacist or pharmacy technician conducting the transaction, the product being sold and the total quantity of pseudoephedrine purchased.
-HB 1545 by Rep. Kevin Calvey and Sen. Jim Reynoldsadopts as state law the federal Servicemembers Civil Relief Act of 2003 (SCRA), which updates, renames and replaces the Soldiers' and Sailors' Civil Relief Act of 1940 and applies it to members of the Oklahoma National Guard when ordered to state active duty or full-time National Guard duty. The measure gives the adjutant general charge of military reservations of the state and makes the adjutant general responsible for the protection and safety of those military reservations.
-HB 1457 by Rep. Odilia Dankand Sen. James Williamson modifies the teacher selection process for local professional development committees and requires that a program be offered at least once a year that includes a component of teacher training on recognition and reporting of child abuse and neglect that all teachers would be required to complete.
-HB 1535 by Rep. Ron Peterson and Sen. Charlie Laster authorizes the insurance commissioner to impose fees as well as the State Insurance Board. The measure requires health maintenance organizations to keep biographical information current and to provide biographical affidavits within 30 days of any change in officers, directors, key management or any person acquiring at least 10 percent controlling interest in a domestic insurer. The bill also delays from April 1 to April 15 the deadline for making the first quarterly estimate of premium tax remittances.
-HB 1581 by Rep. Greg Piatt and Sen. Brian Crain expands exemptions from the Mortgage Broker LicensureAct to include mortgage bankers.
-HB 1622 by Rep. Sally Kern and Sen. Randy Brogdon allows school employees to request in writing, at any time, for the school district to immediately terminate payroll deductions to a professional organization.
-HB 1725 by Rep. Sue Tibbs and Sen. James Williamson creates an 18-member Task Force on Reactive Attachment Disorder for Children until Dec. 31, 2006, to examine the issue as it relates to children in the custody of the Department of Human Services and the Office of Juvenile Affairs and children served by the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services.
-SB 374 by Sen. Randy Bass and Rep. Joe Dorman modifies the definition of "testing facility," for purposes of the Standards for Workplace Drug and Alcohol Testing, to remove language that provides that the administration of on-site drug screening tests to applicants or employees to screen out negative test results are not laboratory services, provided the on-site tests used are cleared by the federal Food and Drug Administration for commercial marketing, and all positive results of such tests are confirmed by a testing facility in accordance with the act.

Tuesday, May 3rd

• The Senate met briefly to consider House amendments to various Senate bills. The session was adjourned until 1:30 on Wednesday.

• The House convened to consider the following pieces of legislation:

- SAs to HB 1623 by Rep. Mike Wilt and Sen. Glenn Coffee would modify procedures in actions in which a prisoner is a witness or a complaining or defending party. The measure was sent to the Governor.

-SAs to HB 1524 by Rep. Al Lindley and Sen. Judy Eason McIntyre would expand the crime of harming, mistreating or killing a service dog to include all service animals. The bill was approved 99-0.

-SAs to HB 1627 by Rep. Mike Wilt and Sen. Nancy Riley would modify the requirement for publication of legal notice for regular and special election of local school board members to require publication in one issue of a legal newspaper only in the county in which the school district is located and issuance of a news release of the upcoming filing period and lection to a newspaper of general circulation in that county. The bill passed 98-0.

-HB 1037 by Rep. Susan Winchester recognizes Lt. Gov. Mary Fallin’s support of the aerospace industry in the state and recognizes the work of the Governor’s Aerospace Task Force and supports the recommendations of the task force. The resolution was adopted.

-SCR 26 by Sen. Jim Reynolds and Rep. John Nance recognizes Oklahoma as the first state in the nation to limit access to medication that could be utilized to manufacture illegal drugs and commends Target Corp. for being the first national retailer to voluntarily limit access to medication that could be utilized to manufacture illegal drugs. The resolution was adopted.

Wednesday, May 4th

• The Lt. Governor presided in the chair and received a quorum. Sen. Glenn Coffee moved to suspend Senate rule 16-1 to allow a hearing on HB 2046. The motion to suspend the rules failed 22-26. Lt. Governor Fallin handed the gavel over to President Pro Tempore Mike Morgan. The Senate then approved several executive nominations. The Senate accepted House amendments to the following pieces of legislation:

-SB 329,
-SB 909,
-SB 703,
-SB 901,
-SB 345,
-SB 453.

-SR 30 by Sen. David Myers commends the Ponca City High School Wildcats Wrestling team. The resolution was adopted.

-SR 29 by Sen. Randy Brogdon commends the Bama Companies, Inc. The resolution was adopted.

• The House briefly convened to consider the following legislation:

-SAs to HB 1910 by Rep. Ron Peters and Sen. Johnnie Crutchfield requires that transmission related costs incurred by an electric utility subject to rate regulation by the Corporation Commission that result directly or indirectly from an action of a regulatory authority having legal jurisdiction over transmission matters, be conclusively presumed used and useful and authorizes the utility to adjust its rates whenever there is a change in transmission-related costs. The bill and emergency as amended was approved 96-0.

-HR 1023 by Rep. Bill Nations recognizes the contributions and leadership of Dr. Ronald Gilcher as president, CEO and medical director of the Oklahoma Blood Institute. The resolution was adopted.

• Governor Henry signed the following bills on Wednesday:

-HB 1294 by Rep. Lucky Lamons and Sen. Jay Paul Gumm prohibits false reports of missing children that activate an AMBER early alert warning system and provides for a misdemeanor punishment of a maximum one-year imprisonment in the county jail and/or a fine of at least $1,000.
-SB 36 by Sen. Earl Garrison and Rep. Wade Rousselot prohibits deputy sheriffs' salaries from exceeding the salary of the principal officer. The measure deletes reference to safety directors and coordinators.
-SB 321 by Sen. Richard Lerblance and Rep. Mike Mass creates an Oklahoma Subsidence Insurance Act to make mine subsidence insurance coverage available for residences, living units and commercial buildings located in the state.
-SB 460 by Sen. Mike Morgan and Rep. Terry Ingmire adds an exception from certain building and fire code requirements for municipalities that have enacted certain building and fire codes.
-HB 1253 by Rep. John Wright and Sen. Mary Easley abolishes the Electric Restructuring Advisory Committee, the Strategic Planning Committee on the Olmstead Decision, the Task Force for the Study of Public Retirement Systems Benefit Design and Equity, the Advisory Council on Pain Management, the Advisory Council on Cord Blood Donations, the Task Force on Oklahoma's Communications Infrastructure, the Oklahoma Barge Traffic Safety Advisory Task Force, the School State Aid Funding Study Group, the Task Force on School District Administrative Reorganization or Consolidation, the Fuel Cell Initiative Task Force, the Oklahoma Methamphetamine Education Task Force, the Task Force on School District General Fund Carryover Standards and the Joint Legislative Task Force on Patient Safety.
-HB 1434 by Rep. Mike Wilt and Sen. Frank Shurden removes authority for municipal and district attorneys to seek reimbursement of incarceration costs from inmates. The measure directs the court to order reimbursement of incarceration costs.
-HB 1452 by Rep. Greg Piatt and Sen. Jeff Rabon expands the definition of "mortgage loan originator" to include a person employed, either directly or indirectly, or retained as an independent contractor by a person required to be licensed as a mortgage broker.
-HB 1465 by Rep. Ben Sherrer and Sen. Richard C. Lerblance provides for expungement of certain victim protective orders pursuant to the Protection from Domestic Abuse Act and specifies procedures for expungement.
-HB 1598 by Rep. Jerry McPeak and Sen. Earl Garrison prohibits driving a vehicle on a turnpike at a speed greater than the reduced-speed limit in a properly marked tollbooth zone.
-HB 1607 by Rep. Doug Miller and Sen. Cliff Branan provides for licensure of professional engineers and land surveyors.
-HB 1728 by Rep. Terry Harrison and Sen. Richard Lerblance expands requirements to be included with filings related to vacating a plat to include a metes and bounds legal description of the area being vacated and a separate metes and bounds legal description of the area, if any, remaining platted.
-HB 1425 by Rep. Tad Jones and Sen. Nancy Riley allows admission of a minor for inpatient mental health or substance abuse treatment only pursuant to the provision of the Inpatient Mental Health and Substance Abuse Treatment of Minors Act.

Thursday, May 5th

• The Senate convened to consider legislation and then adjourned. The full Senate will reconvene Monday, May 9th at 1:30pm.