The Oklahoma Senate

Week In Review
Monday, April 10 through Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Monday, April 10

• The Senate returned this week for the first of three consecutive weeks focusing on floor activity. The deadline for third reading of bills in the opposite house is April 27. Measures approved on the Senate floor Monday include the following:

HB 2473 by Sen. Glenn Coffee, would target internet “phishing” make it illegal to send e-mails that falsely represent that they are being sent from a legitimate business with the intent of engaging in fraudulent information gathering.

HB 2086 by Sen. John Ford, would modify the date by which local education boards must file with the State Education Board an itemized expenditure budget and request for state-appropriated funds. The bill would change the date from Sept. 1 to Oct. 1 each year.

HB 2517 by Sen. Ted Fisher, would require state bodies charged with oversight of occupational licenses to establish procedures for individuals to have licenses reinstated if they are convicted of a felony or misdemeanor associated with mental illness or substance abuse.

HB 2635 by Sen. Randy Bass, would create the Gift Certificate and Gift Card Disclosure Act. The measure makes it illegal to attach a dormancy fee to a gift certificate or gift card without providing certain notification.

HB 3122 by Sen. Harry Coates, would create a tax credit for contributions to qualifying charitable organizations that spend at least half their budget on services for the poor.

SR 88 by Sen. Jonathan Nichols, commends Col. Gary D. Adams for 38 years of service to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, and wishes him well upon his retirement.

HB 2099 by Sen. Bernest Cain, would increase the possible fine for a violation resulting in a jury trial in a municipal court from $200 to $500.
HB 2469 by Sen. Randy Bass, would modify the definition of “electricity generated by zero-emission facilities” to establish a tax credit, changing the required capacity for facilities from 50 megawatts to one megawatt.

HB 2833 by Sen. Johnnie Crutchfield, would establish tax exemptions for the sale of hearing aids.

• The Senate held no committee meetings Monday, as the deadline for committee consideration of bills originating in the opposite house passed on April 6.

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

SB 2022 by Sen. Scott Pruitt, would establish an income tax cut for Oklahomans. The bill would lower the top income tax rate from 6.25 percent to 4.9 percent for married couples filing jointly and for Method 1 individual filers.

SB 1734 by Sen Mike Morgan, would require the state’s Workforce Investment Board to develop a comprehensive workforce development system.

SB 682 by Sen. Kenneth Corn, would expand forcible sodomy to include sodomy committed against a student from the age of 16 to 20 enrolled in a public secondary, vocational or technical school with a person age 18 or older that is employed by the school.

SB 266 by Sen. Cal Hobson, would encourage special maintenance projects with a cost of less than $300,000 to be performed by state maintenance crews.

SB 1707 by Sen. David Myers, would authorize the State Department of Health to distribute information relating to the sex offender registry to nursing home facilities or long-term care facilities.

SB 1687 by Sen. Kenneth Corn, would authorize private prisons to house maximum-security level inmates.

SB 1974 by Sen. Kenneth Corn, would require the Director of the Department of Corrections to determine the fiscal impact of new policies and file fiscal impact statements with the Senate President Pro Tempore.

SB 1793 by Sen. Ron Justice, would make it a felony to exploit elderly or disabled adults.

• Measures approved by House committees on Monday include the following:

SB 1632 by Sen. Constance N. Johnson, would extend the life of the Oklahoma Task Force to Eliminate Health Disparities to July 1, 2008.

SB 1481 by Sen. Jim Wilson, would call for the State Board of Agriculture, Food and Forestry to monitor forest resources.

HB 2897 by Sen. Daisy Lawler, would modify existing requirements by the Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry that require fire departments to use vehicles and equipment distributed by the Department within a 12-month period.

SB 1444 by Sen. Charles Wyrick, would require the Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry to be the official animal identification agency and the official premises identification agency.

SB 990 by Sen. Bernest Cain, would create the Genetic Counseling Licensure Act.

SB 1624 by Sen. Todd Lamb, would include municipalities contiguous to those with populations exceeding 300,000 people to requirements for stretcher aid van services.

SB 1870 by Sen. Constance N. Johnson, would establish billing procedures for physicians and laboratories that provide anatomic pathology services.

SB 1769 by Sen. Kenneth Corn, would authorize the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation to arrest and detain undocumented aliens who cannot produce proof of citizenship.

SB 1422 by Sen. Charles Wyrick, would establish the National Incident Management System as the standard for incident response in Oklahoma.

SB 1709 by Sen. Kenneth Corn, would require each incorporated jurisdiction to establish emergency evacuation plans for community-wide disasters.

Tuesday, April 11

• On Tuesday, the Senate continued to focus on floor work. Measures approved on the Senate floor Tuesday included the following:

HB 3056 by Sen. Jeff Rabon, would create the Prevention of Youth to Access to Alcohol (3.2 beer) Act. The measure increases fines for providing alcohol to minors, and increases fines and penalties for minors arrested for alcohol related offenses.

HB 2538 by Sen. Mike Mazzei, would amend language relating to who permanent relinquishments are made for purposes of adoption. The measure also contains provisions to establish penalties for human trafficking.

HB 2472 by Sen. Jay Paul Gumm, would provide property tax exemptions of up to $400 for persons 65 or older or for any totally disabled person that is the head of a household.

HB 2487 by Sen. Don Barrington, would give the director of the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation the authority to investigate crimes involving vehicle theft.

HB 2594 by Sen. Cliff Aldridge, would prohibit wrecker license numbers from being displayed on vehicles not owned by licensed wrecker services.

SB 1747 by Sen. Jay Paul Gumm, would mandate that any individual convicted of sexually abusing a child after having been previously convicted of the same offense be punished by death or life imprisonment.

• Senate committees did not meet Tuesday.

• Before considering a number of appropriations bills, the House approved the following measure Tuesday:

HR 1098 by Sen. Richard Lerblance, recognizes the accomplishments of Italians in the McAlester and Krebs communities.

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

SB 1686 by Sen. Richard Lerblance, would allow exempt state employees who are not entitled to overtime pay to receive overtime pay at the discretion of their approval authority.

SB 752 by Sen. Judy Eason McIntyre, would create the Oklahoma Firefighters Retirees Health Care Fund.

SB 1037 by Sen. Susan Paddack, would establish the Caitlin Wooten Act to require individuals charged with kidnapping to prove they are not a threat to society before becoming eligible for bail.

SB 1708 by Sen. Jonathan Nichols, would impose the death penalty for individuals convicted of sexually abusing a child, following a previous conviction for the same crime.

SB 1742 by Sen. Don Barrington, would amend language related to fines for sex offenders that violate zones of safety. The measure was amended to include language from various abortion-related bills that died in Senate committees.

SB 1760 by Sen. Nancy Riley, would mandate that anyone aged 15, 16 or 17 who is charged with first degree murder be prosecuted as an adult.

SB 1799 by Sen. Nancy Riley, would allow the Department of Juvenile Justice to maintain custody of a youthful offender until they reach the age of 25.

SB 1858 by Sen. Mike Morgan, would expand the crime of felony murder to include causing the death of an officer in pursuit while the offender is eluding.

SB 1782 by Sen. Richard Lerblance, would appropriate to the Department of Corrections to pay for the cost of incarcerating people who have had suspended sentences revoked.

Wednesday, April 12

• The Senate met Wednesday to approve a number of appropriations bills. Among other measures approved were the following:

HB 2177 by Sen. Mike Morgan would provide a $87 million funding increase for higher education, including $10 million in additional lottery funds for the Oklahoma Higher Learning Access Program. The bill provides a total appropriation of $976.4 million for higher education.

HB 2643 by Sen. Jim Wilson, would make the unauthorized use of an armed service member’s name, portrait or picture a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in prison or a fine of up to $1,000.

HB 2483 by Sen. Jay Paul Gumm, would establish the Oklahoma Financial Transaction Reporting Act. The bill is designed to allow law enforcement to track money used to finance criminal activity.

• The Senate will reconvene Monday, April 17, 2006, at 1:30 p.m.

Other News

• Sen. Cal Hobson was honored by his fellow members Wednesday, as his legislative career spanning nearly four decades winds to a close due to term limits. Fellow members thanked Hobson for his work on behalf of the state, including the Oklahoma Higher Learning Access (OHLAP) scholarship program, as well as his efforts to develop a world class cancer treatment and research facility in the state.

• On Monday, the Senate honored Colonel Gary D. Adams of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol as he nears retirement. Adams, a recipient of the Distinguished Medal of Valor for his service in Vietnam, will retire as a 38-year veteran of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.

• The Senate joined the House in special session Tuesday to honor Jim Beaubien, a Ponca City native, who was awarded the Silver Star for gallantry in action during the Legislature’s joint session on Oklahoma National Guard and 45th Infantry Division Appreciation Day at the State Capitol.