The Oklahoma Senate

Week In Review
Monday, April 3 to Thursday April 6, 2006

Monday, April 3

• Approaching the April 6 deadline for hearing bills from the opposite chamber, the Senate continued to focus on committee work. Measures approved on the Senate floor Monday include the following:

HB 2396 by Sen. Clark Jolley, would prohibit public utilities from distributing the social security numbers of their customers. Current law requires public utilities to release the information upon request.

HB 2159 by Sen. Kenneth Corn, would remove the exemption date for tax credits imposed by the Oklahoma Coal Protection Incentive Act.

HB 2360 by Sen. Debbe Leftwich, would exempt federal retirees from taxable income retirement benefits, including survivor annuities, in the amount of 30 percent of the benefit amount for the 2007 income tax year, 65 percent for the 2008 tax year and 100 percent beginning in tax year 2009.

• The following measures were approved by Senate committees Monday:

HJR 1066 by Sen. Frank Shurden, would propose a constitutional amendment to allow for the sale of alcoholic beverages on the day of any national, state, county or city election.

HB 1672 by Sen. Cal Hobson, would require veterinarians to report suspected cases of animal abuse to local law enforcement agencies within 24 hours of any examination or treatment and specifies requirements for removal of such animals from the owner.

HB 2889 by Sen. Constance N. Johnson, would prohibit detention officers and deputy sheriffs from being discharged except with just cause after a five-year probationary period.

HB 2807 by Sen. Earl Garrison, would allow a municipal governing body to establish a semipublic community, and sets the minimum criteria that semipublic communities must follow.

HB 2367 by Sen. Cliff Branan, would allow absent students participating in academic excellence programs to be counted as being in attendance if the reason for the absence is a result of an award earned for academic achievement.

HB 2756 by Sen. Owen Laughlin, would allow dismissal and prohibit the reemployment of any teacher found to have abandoned their duties.

HB 2577 by Sen. Clark Jolley, would increase the minimum salary schedule for teachers with a master’s degree or doctorate.

HB 2608 by Sen. Susan Paddack, would require all students graduating from high school prior to the 2011-12 school year to complete an end-of-instruction test for English II, United States History, Biology I, and Algebra I courses to demonstrate mastery of those courses on the tests. The measure would require school districts, beginning in the 2007-08 school year, to provide remediation and intervention to at-risk students entering the sixth grade. Students who graduate at the end of the 2011-12 school year and every year thereafter must demonstrate mastery on the English II and Algebra I end-of-instruction tests. In addition, those students must choose two additional end-of-instruction tests, including Biology I, United States History, English III with a writing component, Algebra II, and Geometry.

HB 2712 by Sen. Kathleen Wilcoxson, would require school districts to ensure the majority of instructional time each day of the school year kindergarten through third grade is focused on scientifically based reading and mathematics.

HB 2068 by Sen. John Ford, would remove the power of deciding whether or not to participate in a technology district from the school boards and places it with the electors of the school district.

HB 2487 by Sen. Don Barrington, would give the director of the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation authority to investigate, detect, institute and maintain actions involving vehicle theft.

HB 2594 by Sen. Cliff Aldridge, would prohibit wrecker license numbers from being displayed on a wrecker vehicle that is not owned or leased by a licensed wrecker service and adds language related to the rates and charges of wrecker services.

HB 2696 by Sen. Jay Paul Gumm, would eliminate the Governor’s ability to prohibit possession of a firearm or other deadly weapon by a person in a place other than his or her place of business or residence.

HB 2926 by Sen. Jim Reynolds, would modify the definition of a bicycle, delete path restrictions and require a motor vehicle to use due care when passing a bicycle by leaving at least three feet until the vehicle has safely passed. The measure also provides penalties for violations.

HB 2643 by Sen. Jim Wilson, would prohibit the use of a soldier’s name, portrait or picture without consent for advertising purposes and establishes a fine.

• The House also continued to focus on committee work this week. Bills approved on the House Floor Monday include the following measures:

SB 1665 by Sen. Jay Paul Gumm, would establish a sales tax holiday on the first Friday of each August, waiving sales tax on the purchase of clothing, footwear and accessories.

SB1046 by Sen. Jay Paul Gumm, would provide a sales tax exemption for sales to an individual acting for and on behalf of a disabled veteran or national guardsman when such person is not present at the sale. The measure also provides penalties for vendors that do not follow the law.

SB 1503 by Sen. Glenn Coffee, would modify language relating to victim impact statements in criminal proceedings to prohibit opposing counsel from cross-examining a victim or any member of the immediate family or person designated by the victim or by family members of a victim who appears personally at the formal sentence proceeding.

SB 1716 by Sen. Jonathan Nichols, would modify the Oklahoma Computer Crimes Act to expand jurisdiction of the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, the State Office of the Attorney General and any district in the state who is authorized to investigate and prosecute computer crimes.

• House committees approved a number of bills Monday, including the following:

SJR 58 by Sen. Kenneth Corn, proposes a vote on a constitutional amendment to create an Oklahoma Safe Roads Trust Fund and prohibit the use of motor fuel tax revenue except for construction and maintenance of state roads, bridges and highways.

SB 806 by Sen. Frank Shurden, would legalize the practice of tattooing individuals age 18 or over.

SB 1597 by Sen. Charlie Laster, would increase fines for a parent, legal guardian or other person having custody of a child who neglects or refuses to cause or compel the child to attend public, private or other school.

SB 1925 by Sen. Debbe Leftwich, would require sellers of motor vehicles to retain license plates from vehicles sold and to transfer the plate or return it to the Tax Commission within 30 days.

SB 1521 by Sen. Debbe Leftwich, would allow wrecker operations to collect all lawful fees from the owner, lienholder or insurer for a vehicle for performance of any services.

SB 1824 by Sen. Kenneth Corn, would increase fees for driver license examinations and imposes new fees for re-tests, with revenue to be used by the Department of Public Safety to hire more driver license examiners and clerks to assist in the agency’s examining division.

SB 806 by Sen. Frank Shurden, would legalize the practice of tattooing individuals 18 years or older.

SB 1830 by Sen. Bernest Cain, would establish a misdemeanor for parents, legal guardians or persons having responsibility for children under age 18 found riding an all-terrain vehicle without a helmet, and establishes penalties. The measure provides an exemption for all-terrain vehicles used for agricultural purposes.

Tuesday, April 4

• On Tuesday, the Senate continued to focus primarily on committee work. The Senate met briefly, approving one resolution before adjourning to continue committee meetings:

SCR 47 by Sen. Kenneth Corn, directs Oklahoma Correctional Industries to design housing components to be used by community action agencies and the councils of governments.

• Senate committees approved a number of measures on Tuesday, including the following:

HB 2749 by Sen. Glenn Coffee, would prohibit lenders of loans less than $200 from charging any more than 10 percent of the principal as an acquisition charge, and also establishes an 18-month maximum term for such loans.

HB 2147 by Sen. Jay Paul Gumm, would create a task force to study the effects of allowing state-chartered banks to conduct any activity or to provide any product or service authorized for any federally insured bank or savings association so long as the activity, product or service is subject to the same types of limitations and restrictions applicable to a bank or savings association under Oklahoma law.

HB 2157 by Sen. Richard Lerblance, would direct that 10 percent of all assessments collected from state-chartered banks existing as of Dec. 31 of the previous year be deposited to the General Revenue Fund, beginning Jan. 1, 2007.

HB 2376 by Sen. Earl Garrison, creates the Oklahoma Livestock Development Act of 2006. The measure would authorize a host community to use a portion of the sales tax revenue generated by a special livestock event to assist in paying expenses incurred in connection with the event.

HB 2453 by Sen. Judy Eason McIntyre, would grant a sales tax exemption to federally tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organizations for purchases of materials or services used to construct single-family residences that are provided to owners of the residence based on income or need criteria established by the organization.

HB 2649 by Sen. Owen Laughlin, would modify provisions on eligible expenditures and modifies provisions governing treatment of interest for purposes of the Oklahoma Tax Code relating to income tax exemptions and maximum deposits in health savings account.

HB 2940 by Sen. Frank Shurden, would direct that 15 percent of fees collected by the Tax Commission be apportioned to the County Transportation Inprovement Fund, to be used for priority bridge replacement.

HB 2072 by Sen. Charlie Laster, would allow a person with an undergraduate or graduate degree to receive a tax credit equal to the amount paid in the repayment of the student loan.

HB 2121 by Sen. Susan Paddack, would create a refundable tax credit, beginning in tax year 2007, for owners of real property damaged or destroyed by wildfires.

HB 2362 by Sen. Cliff Aldridge, would modify the motor fuel tax exemption for school districts.

HB 2373 by Sen. David Myers, would create an Oklahoma Leukemia and Lymphoma Revolving Fund.

HB 2461 by Sen. Jay Paul Gumm, would provide a sales tax exemption for the sale of tangible personal property or services to the surviving spouse of a person who has been honorably discharged from active service in any branch of the U.S. Armed Forces or National Guard.

HB 2469 by Sen. Randy Bass, would modify the definition of “electricity generated by zero-emission facilities” for the purpose of establishing income tax credits.

HB 2810 by Sen. Mike Morgan, would create an Oklahoma Refinery Revitalization Act.

HB 2958 by Sen. Glenn Coffee, provides a $100 tax credit for families in which one parent stays at home with a child.

HJR 1058 by Sen. Debbe Leftwich, proposes a constitutional amendment to grant a partial homestead exemption for disable veterans.

HB 2603 by Sen. Ron Justice, would enact a Rural Economic Development Initiative Act relating to the Oklahoma Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations Act.

HB 2480 by Sen. Mary Easley, would establish the statute of limitations for solicitation of murder in the first degree to require that prosecution commence within seven years after discovery.

HB 3115 by Sen. James A. Williamson, would require the suspension of the drivers’ license and vehicle registration of uninsured motorists.

HB 2762 by Sen. Scott Pruitt, would prohibit any person from knowingly allowing anyone under age 21 from consuming alcoholic beverages or controlled dangerous substances on the person’s property or residence. The measure does not prohibit parents or legal guardians from allowing their children to consume alcoholic beverages.

HB 2356 by Sen. Gilmer Capps, would authorize the Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology to develop and implement a nanotechnology pilot project, the “Oklahoma Nanotechnology Applications Project”.

HB 2604 by Sen. Frank Shurden, clarifies language relating to the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System.

HB 2984 by Sen. Frank Shurden, would expand instances of lawful burning to include cedar tree eradication. State Foresters have noted the state has become infested with the trees which draw out groundwater at an excessive level.

HB 3120 by Sen. Glenn Coffee, the “Common Sense in the Courtroom Act of 2006”, would have modified rules relating to attorney fees. The measure failed to receive committee approval.

• The House continued to focus on committee work Tuesday, as the following measures were approved on the floor:

SB 1308 by Sen. Debbe Leftwich, would increase the membership of the Oklahoma Breast and Cervical Cancer Prevention and Treatment Advisory Board from 18 to 20 members, adding two representatives from the Oklahoma Health Care Authority.

SB 1577 by Sen. Ted Fisher, modifies requirements for the Quality Jobs Programs.

SB 1792 by Sen. Susan Paddack, creates an Achieving Classroom Excellence Steering Committee and directs the State Board of Education to give criterion-referenced tests in specific courses in grades three through eight and to develop and field-test end-of-instruction tests in certain courses.

• Other measures approved by House committees Tuesday include the following:

SB 1919 by Sen. Constance N. Johnson, would call for the creation of an African-American Centennial Plaza on the grounds of the State Capitol to educate Oklahomans on the contributions of African Americans to the state.

SB 1296 by Sen. Frank Shurden, would authorize the Department of Wildlife Conservation to declare an open season for hunting bears, mountain lions and otters.

SB 1956 by Sen. Johnnie Crutchfield, would allow the Board of Regents of Oklahoma Colleges to be known as the Regional University System of Oklahoma.

SB 1807 by Sen. Todd Lamb, would prohibit a defendant who is mentally retarded from being sentenced to death.

SB 1765 by Sen. Nancy Riley, specifies the procedure for treatment of youthful offenders during arrest and court proceedings. The measure would require juvenile arrests to be reported to the Department of Juvenile Justice, would call for a preliminary hearing to be held if a preliminary hearing has not begun within 90 days of the date charges were filed, and would permit arresting authorities to inquire as to the whereabouts of a parent, guardian or friend.

SB 1894 by Sen. Mike Mazzei, would create an Oklahoma Pension Legislation Actuarial Analysis Act that would affect the Oklahoma Public Employees Retirement System, the Teachers Retirement System or the Uniform Retirement System for Justices and Judges. The bill would require retirement legislation to be reviewed by an actuary to ensure they have no fiscal impact.

Wednesday, April 5

• The Senate again met briefly Wednesday, as committee work continued. Measures approved on the Senate floor Monday include the following:

HB 2073 by Sen. Jim Wilson, would establish a $500 income tax deduction to volunteer firefighters, reserve police officers and reserve sheriff’s deputies.

HB 2507 by Sen. Richard Lerblance, would modify the Oklahoma Storage Tank Regulation Act to add the fuel additive Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether to the definition of “petroleum”.

HB 2506 by Sen. Richard Lerblance, would extend the date of the petroleum excise tax-funded Corporation Commission Plugging Fund to July 1, 2011.

HB 2792 by Sen. Randy Bass, would amend the Compete with Canada Film Act to modify requirements for calculating rebates on projects in excess of $30 million.

HB 2966 by Sen. Randy Bass, would prohibit inmates of the Department of Corrections from filing lawsuits against the Department or another governmental entity unless all other administrative avenues have been exhausted.

HB 2062 by Sen. Mike Morgan, establishes a sales tax exemption for sales of tickets for admission to a professional sporting event involving ice hockey, baseball, basketball, football or arena football or soccer.

SR 79 by Sen. Daisy Lawler, designates April 5, 2006, as “4-H Day” at the State Capitol.

HCR 1050 by Sen. J. Berry Harrison, designates a portion of SH-77 as Jared “Jed” Douglas Hartley Memorial Highway.

• Measures approved by Senate committees Wednesday include the following:

HB 2615 by Sen. Harry Coates, creates the Stand Your Ground Law, expanding the ability to use physical or deadly force against intruders entering a home.

HB 2813 by Sen. Frank Shurden, imposes a fine of up to $1,000 for an owner of a dangerous dog that allows the dog to run free.

HB 1231 by Sen. Mike Johnson, sets the penalty for child neglect, abuse, sexual abuse and sexual exploitation to one year to life in a state penitentiary.

HB 1268 by Sen. Tom Adelson, creates the Unclaimed Gas and Electric Utility Deposit Fund.

HB 2357 by Sen. Jonathan Nichols, would require government entities to inform persons of a breach of security systems that results in unauthorized release of personal information.

HB 2470 by Sen. Clark Jolley, would modify limitations and definitions relating to the Public Competitive Bidding Act of 1974.

HB 2516 by Sen. Debbe Leftwich, would authorize the Oklahoma Capital Improvement Authority to provide equipment and improvements to the Edmond Forensic Science Center.

HB 1518 by Sen. Susan Paddack, would allow the Department of Corrections to employ certified medication aides.

HB 2527 by Sen. Constance N. Johnson, requires an addition to renewal fees by the State Board of Cosmetology.

HB 2609 by Sen. Charlie Laster, would allow courts to order that defendants in domestic abuse cases involving a protective order be monitored with an electronic device.

HB 2618 by Sen. Johnnie Crutchfield, removes the limits on apportionment of state gross production tax revenue to the County Bridge and Road Improvement Fund and the Rural Economic Action Plan Water Projects Fund.

HB 2634 by Sen. Todd Lamb, creates the Paperwork Reduction Act of 2006, calling for state agencies to reduce or consolidate paperwork required of agencies.

HB 2655 by Sen. Daisy Lawler, creates the Oklahoma Farm-to-School Program. The program would establish grants for schools that incorporate foods produced by Oklahoma manufacturers.

HB 2809 by Sen. Kenneth Corn, modifies salary schedules for the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, Lake Patrol and Capitol Patrol.

HB 2882 by Sen. Charlie Laster, would authorize individuals that have undergone at least 8 hours of nationally recognized marriage counseling to perform marriage counseling in the capacity of counselor.

HB 2937 by Sen. Frank Shurden, expands requirements of the Department of Central Services for providing fleet management for state agencies.

HB 2955 by Sen. Owen Laughlin, would require the Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry to develop an independent agri-tourism organization.

HB 2982 by Sen. Kenneth Corn, would authorize the Tourism Department to employ inmates of the Department of Corrections to rebuild forts for use as tourism attractions.

HB 3037 by Sen. Ted Fisher, would create the Restorative Justice Act of 2006, creating a Restorative Justice Interagency Task Force for oversight of reentry policies of the Department of Corrections.

HB 2895 by Sen. Daisy Lawler, creates the Harvest Regulation Reform Act of 2006.

HB 2906 by Sen. Mary Easley, provides for separate accounts within the Rural Economic Action Plan.

HB 2867 by Sen. Jay Paul Gumm, adds information personnel hired by CompSource Oklahoma to the unclassified service.

HJR 1010 by Sen. Nancy Riley, creates a 20-member Oklahoma Task Force to Stop Sexual Violence.

HB 2842 by Sen. Brian Crain, creates a Medicaid Reform Act, allowing the Oklahoma Health Care Authority to seek waivers to create a statewide program providing for more efficient service and delivery.

• The House continued to focus on committee work Wednesday, but passed the following measures before adjourning:

SB 1792 by Sen. Susan Paddack, would create the Achieving Classroom Excellence Steering Committee. The measure would also direct the State Board of Education to give criterion-referenced tests in specific courses in grades three through eight and to develop and field end-of-instruction tests in several courses.

SB 1095 by Sen. Harry Coates, would expand unfair or deceptive acts or practices to include the deceptive use of a financial institution’s name in solicitation of an unrelated financial institution, mentions lack of insurance and does not mention the actual name or trade of the soliciting institution.

SB 1941 by Sen. Cliff Aldridge, provides a fuel tax exemption for school-owned vehicles used in maintanence.

SB 1406 by Sen. Johnnie Crutchfield, extends the expiration date of certain exemptions from gross production taxes from July 1, 2006, to July 1, 2009.

• Other measures approved by House committees on Wednesday included:

SB 1717 by Sen. Ted Fisher, prohibits licensed tobacco retailers from selling cigarettes to other licensed retailers within the state unless the sale is for the purpose of moving inventory between two stores of the same company.

SB 1644 by Sen. Susan Paddack, would increase the maximum mentor teacher stipend from $500 to $1,000 and would increase the bonus for teachers with master’s degrees from $1,200 to $4,200.

SB 1634 by Sen. David Myers, would waive the requirements for accepting work for recipients summoned to appear for jury duty.

SB 756 by Sen. Debbe Leftwich, would add two members to the Construction Industries Board.

SB 1789 by Sen. Harry Coates, requires progress payments to contractors for work performed on contracts exceeding $40,000 and specifies the procedure for when progress payments should be made.

SB 1400 by Sen. Jay Paul Gumm, creates the Oklahoma Retired Police Officer Revolving Fund for the Oklahoma Police Pension and Retirement System. The measure calls for the fund to be used to pay retired police officers for any increases in health insurance costs.

SB 1090 by Sen. Tom Adelson, provides a sales tax exemption for agricultural products sold by producers directly to the consumer from a farm.

SB 1409 by Sen. Frank Shurden, provides a tax exemption for sales of tickets, sold by a federally tax-exempt entity, organized for the support of state parks.

SB 1917 by Sen. Don Barrington, would exclude veterans’ disability compensation from the calculation of gross household income relating to homestead exemptions

SJR 48 by Sen. Patrick Anderson, requests authorization for the Oklahoma Legislature to officially meet at Convention Hall in Guthrie on Nov. 16, 2007, as part of Oklahoma’s Official Centennial Celebration.

SB 1772 by Sen. Charlie Laster, would provide relocation assistance to people, families and businesses forced to relocate due to eminent domain.

SB 1680 by Sen. Ted Fisher, creates the Oklahoma Industrial Loan Act of 2006.

Thursday, April 6

• The Senate met briefly and approved the following measures before adjourning to resume committee work:

HB 2462 by Sen. Randy Bass, would modify the calculation of tax exemptions on retirement benefits received by any individual from any component of the Armed Forces.

HB 2685 by Sen. Cliff Aldridge, would establish the Interstate Product Regulation Compact.

HB 2793 by Sen. Randy Bass, would establish rules and regulations regarding credit for investment in film or music projects.

HCR 1056 by Sen. Debbe Leftwich, recognizes the contributions of Women of the South, a community service organization in south Oklahoma City.

• The Senate will reconvene Monday, April 10, 2006, at 1:30 p.m.

Other News

• The Governor on Monday signed into law a measure providing $9 million in emergency funding to restore funding to rural fire departments. SB 1190 by Sen. Johnnie Crutchfield, will provide funds to restore damaged equipment.

• Oklahoma teachers visited the State Capitol Monday to express their support for a measure that would provide for a salary increase. SB 1644 by Senators Susan Paddack and Stratton Taylor, provides for an immediate teacher pay raise. The measure was advanced by a House committee Wednesday, and awaits final floor approval.

• A handful of students from Nichols Hills Elementary school visited the State Capitol Wednesday, towing red wagons loaded with small brown bags filled with candy and anti-tobacco sentiments as a part of national Kick Butts Day. The children’s message was that tobacco ads marketed toward youth are unacceptable.