The Oklahoma Senate

Week In Review
Monday, May 9 to Thursday May 12, 2005

Monday, May 9th

• The Senate convened to consider the following pieces of legislation in the final three weeks of session:

-HAs to SB 518 by Sen. Kathleen Wilcoxson and Rep. Thad Balkman would prohibit any owner, operator, partner, manager, agent or employee of an establishment licensed to sell low-point beer for consumption on the property to sell or offer to sell low-point beer at a price less than regularly charged for low-point beer during the same calendar week. House amendments were accepted and the bill has been sent to the Governor.

-HAs to SB 473 by Sen. Gilmer Capps and Rep. David Braddock requires state agencies to be in compliance with the federal Fair Labor Standards Act. The bill and emergency passed 45-0 with the enacting clause and title stricken.

-HAs to SB 291 by Sen. Cliff Aldridge and Rep. Bill Case requires that engineering plans and specifications be prepared by the county engineer to ensure sound engineering practices when a culvert or bridge is to be constructed at an estimated cost of $75,000 or more. The title was restored and the bill and emergency passed 45-0.

-HAs to SB 758 by Sen. Clark Jolley and Rep. Fred Morgan expands property subject to homestead exemption to include household items held primarily for educational uses, including a personal computer and related equipment, and wedding and anniversary rings with a maximum aggregate value of $3,000. The bill sets a cap of $10,000 on the aggregate value of tools and books used in a trade or profession and a $2,000 cap on the value of guns held primarily for personal, family or household use and increases from $3,000 to $7,500 the maximum allowed value of a motor vehicle. The enacting clause was stricken and the bill passed 45-0.

-HAs to SB 763 by Sen. Debbe Leftwich and Rep. Mike Wilt allows the Employment Security Commission to combine rating accounts, annual payrolls, and contribution rates into one account for two or more employers who share common ownership. The bill passed 35-10 with the title restored.

-HAs to SB 440 by Sen. David Myers and Rep. Dale DeWitt directs that a copy of the sex offender registry be provided to the State Superintendent of Public Instruction and authorizes the superintendent to copy and distribute certain information to schools. The title was restored and the bill and emergency passed 45-0.

-HAs to SB 14 by Sen. Charles Wyrick and Rep. John Nance adds a Council of Governments representative to the membership of Regional Planning and Coordination Advisory Councils for Homeland Security. The title was restored and the bill passed 31-14.

-HAs to SB 725 by Sen. Cliff Aldridge and Rep. Paul Roan requires a county or municipality that operates a jail facility housing more than 20 and less than 75 prisoners at all times and provides 24-hour supervision that is either conducted by observation or electronically closed circuit television and provides an intercommunication system that terminates in a location that is staffed 24 hours a day and is capable of providing an emergency response, to have more than one jailer or one jailer and at least one other basic CLEET-certified person on the same premises as the jail facility to provide for the security, custody and supervision of prisoners. The title and enacting clause were stricken. The bill and emergency passed 45-0.

-HAs to SB 830 by Sen. Debbe Leftwich and Rep. Richard Morrissette increases the amount of the fee imposed by a court to be placed in a victims impact panel program to no less than $15 and no more than $50. The title was restored and the bill and emergency passed 45-0.

-HAs to SB 484 by Sen. Daisy Lawler and Rep. Dale DeWitt prohibits political subdivisions from regulating the registration, packaging, labeling, sale, storage, distribution, agricultural use or application of fertilizer. The bill passed 28-17 and the emergency was approved by a vote of 33-12.

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

-SAs to HB 1334 by Rep. Phil Richardson and Sen. Charles Wyrick expands exemptions to actions prohibited by the Oklahoma Veterinary Practice Act to include acts of vocational-agriculture instructors or students while engaged in regular vocational-agriculture instruction in programs approved by the Department of CareerTech, if such acts are performed under the supervision of instructors and carried out in the usual course of instruction. The bill was approved 52-28.

-SAs to HB 1273 by Rep. Neil Brannon and Sen. Kenneth Corn would allow teachers who have certification or endorsement to teach mathematics at the secondary level to teach math in grade five if that grade is configured by the school district as part of the middle school level. The bill and emergency passed 96-0.

-SAs to HB 1656 by Rep. Danny Morgan and Sen. Harry Coates removes language authorizing package stores to purchase alcohol, spirits and beer in retail containers with a capacity of more than one-twentieth gall or in retail containers with a capacity of less than one-twentieth of a gallon if the containers are packaged with other containers and the total capacity is greater than one-twentieth gallon. The bill passed 86-10.

-The House Health and Social Services budget subcommittee decided on final appropriation for six state agencies.

Tuesday, May 10th

• The Senate met to consider House amendments to various Senate bills.

-HAs to SB 631 by Sen. Charles Wyrick and Rep. Terry Ingmire creates the law to require inmates assigned to electronic monitoring to pay the Department of Correction for all or part of all cost of electronic monitoring. The bill is named “Jessica Lunsford’s Law” and requires habitual and aggravated sex offenders to be assigned to a GPS monitoring device for the duration of the registration period that does not rely on cellular phone technology as well as pay for the costs incurred while assigned the electronic monitoring. The bill was approved 43-0 and has been sent to the Governor.

-HAs to SB 304 by Sen. Richard Lerblance and Rep. Terry Harrison allows state employees registered under the Oklahoma Sanitarian and Environmental Specialist Registration Act to perform soil tests to design sewage disposal systems for compensation during hours when they are not officially on work status for the state. The bill and emergency passed 46-0.

-HAs to SB 823 by Sen. Jim Wilson and Rep. Doug Miller creates an Oklahoma Tourism, Parks and Recreation Enhancement Act for the purpose of creating a new Tourism and Recreation Commission and a new Department as well. The Senate adopted House amendments but the bill failed 14-29.

-HCR 1026 by Rep. Jari Askins, Rep. Todd Hiett, Sen. Glenn Coffee, Sen. Ted Fisher, Sen. Cal Hobson, Sen. Mike Morgan and Sen. Clark Jolley celebrates the life of Jim Barker, expresses sorrow for his untimely death and extends sympathy to his family. The resolution was adopted.

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

-SAs to HB 1837 by Rep. Shane Jett and Sen. Charlie Laster authorizes local boards of education to enter into written contracts with individuals who are not certified or licensed to teach by the State Board of Education as long as the person is enrolled in an education degree program at an institution of higher education and is actively in the process of securing certification or licensure. The Senate amendments were adopted 63-34 and the bill and emergency passed 74-24.

-SAs to HB 1611 by Rep. Curt Roggow and Sen. Jay Paul Gumm grants civil immunity for child advocacy centers accredited by the National Children’s Alliance and their employees who are acting in good faith while participating in an investigation process. The bill and emergency passed 99-0.

-SAs to HB 1926 by Rep. Joe Dorman and Sen. Ron Justice requires that proceeds of emergency medical districts be expended only for providing funds for the support, organization, operation and maintenance of district ambulance services, know as EMS districts. The EMS districts could either own the ambulance services or contract through one or more ambulance service providers. The bill was approved 99-0.

• Governor Henry signed the following bills on Tuesday:

-HB 1116 by Reps. Chris Benge and 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.

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 detention and protective custody, the Mental Hospital Voluntary Admission Procedures Act, involuntary commitment procedure, the Inpatient Mental Health and Substance Abuse Treatment of Minors Act, the transfer and release of consumers, the Interstate Compact on Mental Health, discharge and release of patients, private hospitals and institutions, the commitment of alcohol- or drug-dependent persons and the Advance Directives for Mental Health Treatment Act.

HB 1811 by Rep. Don Armes and Sen. Kenneth Corn prohibits registered lobbyists and officers, board members or employees of statewide or national organizations established for the purpose of advocating the interests of chiropractors from being members of the Board of Chiropractic Examiners.

SJR 4 by Sen. Jay Paul Gumm and Rep. John Carey designates Bryan County as a foreign trade zone.

SB 348 by Sen. Kenneth Corn and Rep. Ray Miller designates State Highway 31 beginning at the western municipal limits of Bokoshe and extending to the junction with State Highway 59 as the "Scott Vincent Memorial Highway."

SB 890 by Sen. Bernest Cain and Rep. Joe Eddins provides an exemption from provisions of the Central Purchasing Act for contracts entered into by the Department of Human Services for provision of supported living services to members of the plaintiff class in Homeward Bound Inc. v. The Hissom Memorial Center.

SB 371 by Sen. Ted V. Fisher and Rep. Brian Bingman permits the Oklahoma Transportation Authority to construct and operate an exit ramp from the eastbound lane of the Turner Turnpike at 91st Street in Tulsa.

SB 564 by Sen. Jay Paul Gumm and Rep. Thad Balkman allows for court-appointed special advocates to inspect juvenile court records without a court order.

SB 715 by Sen. Todd Lamb and Rep. Terry Ingmire raises the amount of money for victims of crime for counseling from $500 to $3,000 and burial expenses from $5,000 to $6,000.

SB 757 by Sen. Frank Shurden and Rep. Paul Roan exempts retired peace officers who have been certified by the Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training from the provisions of the Oklahoma Security Guard and Private Investigator Act.

Wednesday, May 11th

• The Senate continued the process of rejecting and accepting House amendments and considered the following bills:

-HAs to SB 314 by Sen. Randy Bass and Rep. Don Armes requires police chiefs and county sheriffs to keep rotation logs on all requested tows, except where there are insufficient licensed wrecker or towing services available to rotate or if services are contracted after a competitive bid process, and to make them available for public inspection upon request. The House amendments were adopted and the bill passed 44-0.

-HAs to SB 296 by Sen. Jay Paul Gumm and Rep. John Carey directs court clerks of record to charge and collect fines, assessments and payments imposed by the Oklahoma Statutes. The bill passed 45-0.

-HAs to SB 823 by Sen. Jim Wilson and Rep. Doug Miller creates the Oklahoma Tourism, Parks and Recreation Enhancement Act for the purpose of creating a new Tourism and Recreation Commission and a new Tourism and Recreation Department. The bill was defeated on Tuesday but a reconsideration motion passed by a vote of 46-0, allowing the bill to go to conference. House amendments were rejected.

-HAs to SJR 5 by Sen. Jay Paul Gumm and Rep. Trebor Worthen proposes a constitutional amendment to prohibit a legislator incarcerated for any period of time during his or her term of office from receiving compensation from the state or being eligible to participate in any compensation program funded in whole or in part with state revenues during the period of incarceration. If the legislator is acquitted, any compensation withheld would be paid. House amendments require any legislator who is locked up on a misdemeanor conviction to pay back the salary for the time they were in jail. The House amendments were adopted and the resolution was adopted 46-0.

-HAs to SB 659 by Sen. Judy Eason McIntyre creates a Buffalo Soldiers Heritage Corridor within the Oklahoma Historical Society to encourage development and appreciation of historic sites, museums and heritage programs associated with the story of the Buffalo Soldiers and to encourage heritage tourism that will attract visitors to Oklahoma. The House amendments were adopted and the bill passed 46-0.

-HAs to SB 651 by Sen. Frank Shurden and Rep. Guy Liebman removes New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, and Veterans Day from the dates retail package stores must remain closed. The House amendment removed Veterans Day from the list of holidays that a liquor store may remain open. The bill passed 34-11.

-HAs to SB 553 by Sen. Randy Bass and Rep. Jari Askins creates an eight-member Deferred Maintenance and Construction Needs Task Force until February 1, 2006. The bill was adopted 46-0.

-HAs to SB 852 by Sen. Judy Eason McIntyre and Rep. John Wright modifies requirements for retirement benefit plans for members of the state retirement systems. The bill and emergency passed 45-0.

• The House briefly convened to consider the following legislation:

-SAs to HB 1503 by Rep. Paul Roan and Sen. Jay Paul Gumm allows a ground ambulance service based and licensed outside the state to respond to an emergency request for care and transportation of a patient within the state, provided no local licensed ambulance service is readily available. The bill also exempts such services from licensing requirements pursuant to rules promulgated by the State Board of Health. The bill was approved 98-0.

-SAs to HB 1395 by Rep. Jerry Ellis and Sen. Kenneth Corn requires law enforcement officers, when it is determined that the blood alcohol content of an individual is to be tested for the presence and concentration of alcohol and/or other intoxicating substance, to inform the individual to be tested that the withdrawal of blood will be performed only by certain medical personnel. The bill was approved by a vote of 96-0.

-SAs to HB 1502 by Rep. Paul Roan and Sen. Kenneth Corn modifies the fine for transporting an intoxicating beverage for low-point beer. The measure also prohibits any dangerous or deadly firearm at a residence or vehicle of a convicted felon. The bill was adopted by a vote of 95-0.

• Governor Henry signed the following bills on Wednesday:

-HB 1524 by Rep. Al Lindley and Sen. Judy Eason McIntyre expands the crime of harming, mistreating or killing a service dog to include other service animals. The measure also prohibits municipalities or political subdivisions of the state from enacting or enforcing ordinances or rules that require a registration or licensing fee for service animals used for guiding or assisting a disabled person who has a sensory, mental or physical impairment. Any official violating the prohibition would be guilty of a misdemeanor subject to a minimum fine of $50.

-HB 1310 by Rep. Glen Bud Smithson and Sen. Kenneth Corn designates the bridge crossing Little Lee Creek on State Highway 101 as the "Rider Daugherty Memorial Bridge," SH 54 from the municipal limits of Optima to the Kansas state line as the "Luke Jame Memorial Highway," SH 54 from the Texas state line near Texoma to the municipal limits of Optima as the "Jack Begley Memorial Highway," SH 64 between Pawpaw Road and Cottonwood Road in Roland the "Lyle Rymer Highway," the Duncan Bypass on SH 81 as the "Bobby Green Memorial Expressway," SH 81 between Duncan and Comanche as the "Veterans Memorial Highway" and the bypass over US 59 on US 59 Business as the "Navy Petty Officer Third Class Doyle W. Bollinger Jr. Overpass."

-HB 1623 by Rep. Mike Wilt and Sen. Glenn Coffee modifies procedures in actions in which a prisoner is a witness or a complaining or defending party.

-HB 1627 by Rep. Mike Wilt and Sen. Nancy Riley modifies 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 election to a newspaper of general circulation only in that county.

-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 resulting from such an action.

-SB 345 by Sen. Frank Shurden and Rep. Bill Case increases the fee for used motor vehicle dealer license applicants who also apply for rebuild certificates from $50 to $200 and the fee for renewal from $25 to $100.

-SB 329 by Sen. Charlie Laster and Rep. Rex Duncan provides that, in a death penalty case in which an attorney other than a county indigent defender is assigned, total compensation for attorneys who serve as lead counsel and co-counsel may not exceed statutory limits unless counsel establishes that the case is an exceptional one that requires an extraordinary amount of time to litigate and that the request for extraordinary attorney fees is reasonable.

-SB 703 by Sen. Richard Lerblance and Rep. Mike Mass modifies the offense of negligent homicide to remove the requirement that the offender be 16 years of age or older.

-SB 901 by Sen. Susan Paddack and Rep. Wes Hilliard clarifies parking violations and expands consequences of violation. The measure expands who can call for towing of a car that is parked illegally in a handicapped parking spot.

-SB 909 by Sen. Ted Fisher and Rep. Brian Bingman relates to the State Bond Advisor and provides restrictions to the use of contract proceeds between a state government entity and a local government entity.

Thursday, May 5th

• The Senate convened to consider House amendments and resolutions. The full Senate will reconvene Monday, May 16th at 9:30am.