The Oklahoma Senate

Week In Review
Monday, February 12 to Thursday February 15, 2007

Monday, February 12

• With attention focused on committee activity, the Senate approved one resolution on Monday

-SR 5 by Sen. Debbe Leftwich, D-Oklahoma City, congratulates 2006 Jim Thorpe Award Winner Aaron Ross of the University of Texas.

• Several measures were approved by Senate committees Monday.

-SB 70 by Sen. Roger Ballenger, would create the Feral Swine Control Act, specifying permit and license requirements for hunting feral swine.

-SB 99 by Sen. Tom Ivester, would allow for the collection of fines from any person or cotton gin found to be in violation of any provision of the Boll Weevil Eradication Act.

-SB 142 by Sen. Brian Crain, would authorize boards of county commissioners to employ a general counsel.

-SB 160 by Sen. Owen Laughlin, would establish certain exceptions for municipalities under 2,500 persons.

-SB 162 by Sen. Nancy Riley, would require state agencies to provide employees with copies of resolutions or public laws passed by the legislature after each session that pertain to that agency or would directly affect a state employee.

-SB 379 by Sen. Roger Ballenger, would permit newly elected county officials to be reimbursed for any approved training they receive prior to taking office.

-SB 607 by Sen. Cliff Aldridge, would require that an updated list of all state entities kept by the Department of Libraries be distributed to the governor, the Senate President Pro-Tempore, the Speaker of the House and the appropriate House and Senate sunset committees by Nov. 1 each year.

-SB 951 by Sen. Charles Laster, would make it unlawful for any person to dispense, sell or distribute any product containing a detectable quantity of dextromethorphan or any spray paint product to a person under 18 years of age.

-SB 514 by Sen. Kathleen Wilcoxson, would modify the components of the state Department of Education’s Academic Performance Index (API).

-SB 519 by Sen. Kathleen Wilcoxson, would remove the exemption that allows children at least 16 years old to drop out of school and increase it to 18.

-SB 103 by Sen. Susan Paddack, would require a minimum of one lockdown drill to be conducted at each public school each school year, and would allow additional drills to be conducted at the discretion of the district.

-SB 496 by Sen. Jim Reynolds, would prohibit colleges and universities from entering agreements to provide student data or access to any creditor for purposes of marketing consumer credit to students.

-SB 1028 by Sen. Charles Laster, would allow employers to state in written policy that substances tested for will be drugs and alcohol as defined by the Standards for Workplace Drug and Alcohol Testing Act.

-SB 460 by Sen. Debbe Leftwich, would permit the use of debit or credit cards by retail dealers of low-point beer.

-SB 995 by Sen. Harry Coates, would allow winemakers to receive orders for wine produced at the winery in both written and electronic form for delivery or shipping to customers, including holders of beer and wine licenses in the state.

-SB 1051 by Sen. Susan Paddack, would modify continuing education requirements for security guards and private investigators.

-SB 61 by Sen. Patrick Anderson, would allow a bank to transfer $20,000 or less from an account with no designated beneficiary to the known heirs of the deceased.

-SB 461 by Sen. Debbe Leftwich, would require that contractors have workers compensation insurance before municipalities may issue a residential building permit.

-SB 808 by Sen. Debbe Leftwich, would appropriate $15, 782,919.72 from funds made available to the state by the federal Reed Act on March 13, 2002, to the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission.

-SB 809 by Sen. Debbe Leftwich, would repeal sections relating to the Employment Security Act of 1980.

-SB 937 by Sen. Harry Coates, would modify activities subject to the Fair Pay for Construction Act to eliminate the exclusion for utilities, sanitary sewer construction and water line construction.

-SB 500 by Sen. David Myers, would permit the state Department of Education to extend the deadline for educational interpreters to meet certain requirements.

-SB 128 by Sen. David Myers, would authorize technology school district boards of education to convey surplus property to a technology center school district.

• The House convened Monday and approved 25 appropriations shell bills before resuming committee activity.

• House committees on Monday approved the following measures:

-HB 1580 by Rep. Ron Peters, would require employees of companion or sitter services to register with the Department of Health.

-HB 1395 by Rep. David Braddock, would modify the Oklahoma Higher Learning Access Act (OHLAP) to create an exception for any student in court-ordered custody of a licensed nonprofit child placing agency, or while in permanent custody of the Department of Human Services.

-HB 1453 by Rep. Rob Johnson, would create the Preservation and Accessibility of County Records Act to digitize county records.

-HB 1715 by Rep. Paul Wesselhoft, would limit the ability of children under the age of 12 to access the internet at public libraries.

-HB 1903 by Rep. Rebecca Hamilton, would direct nursing home personnel to notify clergy of the faith of a patient upon their impending death.

-HB 1991 by Rep. Al McAffrey, would modify the Unused Prescription Medications Act to provide for the transfer of unused drugs from state and private hospitals to correctional facilities for prisoners with mental health disorders.

-HB 1874 by Rep. Dennis Johnson, would designate the week of Nov. 11 as “Freedom Week” and directs the State Board of Education to develop appropriate instruction to educate students about the sacrifices made for freedom in the founding of the country.

-HB 1309 by Rep. Doug Cox, would establish requirements for schools to develop individualized health plans for students with diabetes.

-HB 1384 by Rep. Terry Ingmire, would authorize public education institutions to keep confidential information regarding donors.

-HB 2077 by Rep. Mike Jackson, would create the “Oklahoma State Employee Education Loan Assistance Act of 2007”. The act is intended to alleviate recruiting problems in state agencies.

-HB 1767 by Rep. Gus Blackwell, would prohibit the State Regents for Higher Education from raising tuition and fees more than 8 percent above the previous year’s level.

-HB 1495 by Rep. Daniel Sullivan, would authorize district judges and special district judges to carry weapons in the courthouse.


Tuesday, February 13

• With attention focused on getting measures assigned and heard by committees by the February 22 deadline, the Senate met briefly on Tuesday, with no measures being heard.


Numerous measures were approved by Senate committees on Tuesday including:

-SB 368 by Sen. Owen Laughlin, would direct the Oklahoma Tax Commission to use dynamic modeling in the preparation of revenue estimates for proposed tax changes.

-SB 824 by Sen. Susan Paddack, would amend language relating to torts.

-SB 889 by Sen. Brian Crain, would create the “Oklahoma Medicaid False Claims Act” to prohibit the filing of claims for fraudulent Medicaid services.

-SB 55 by Sen. Patrick Anderson, would provide an income tax credit to primary care physicians working in municipalities with a population less than 20,000.

-SB 118 by Sen. Mike Mazzei, would provide an income tax credit equal to 20 percent of eligible fees required for membership in a health or fitness club.

-SB 527 by Sen. Jim Wilson, would create the “Oklahoma Rural Housing Development Act of 2007”. The bill would provide tax credits for the development of rural housing.

-SB 551 by Sen. Susan Paddack, would make it a crime to leave a child under the age of six in a vehicle under certain conditions.

-SB 423 by Sen. Kenneth Corn, would require psychological evaluation tests administered to peace officers for certification by CLEET.

-SB 464 by Sen. Constance N. Johnson, would authorize the governor to delay compliance with the federal REAL ID Act of 2005.

-SB 1066 by Sen. Tom Adelson, would add low-point beer to the list of controlled substances that an adult cannot knowingly permit any individual under the age of 21 to possess and consume while on the adult’s property or residence.

-SB 756 by Sen. Jay Paul Gumm, would modify the Oklahoma Funeral Picketing Act to prohibit picketing from one to three hours before and after the time of the funeral.

-SB 513 by Sen. Kathleen Wilcoxson, would require winners of lottery prizes in excess of $600 to disclose their identities to the Lottery Commission.

-SB 1054 by Sen. James A. Williamson, would authorize the court to receive an investigation and report regarding the background and home of a perspective child guardian.

-SB 793 by Sen. Clark Jolley, would add actions relating to religious discrimination to actions by employers deemed to be discriminatory.

-SB 763 by Sen. Patrick Anderson, would authorize district attorneys and assistant district attorneys to carry firearms for protection.

-SB 757 by Sen. Charles Laster, would allow a drug court judge to require reinstatement of driving privileges upon the offender’s successful completion of the drug court program.

-SB 945 by Sen. James A. Williamson, would modify enforcement for failure to make child support arrangement payments and allows any court to enforce a child support order.


• The House convened Tuesday and approved 25 appropriations shell bills before adjourning to resume committee work.

• House committees on Tuesday approved the following measures:


-HB 1388 by Rep. Randy Terrill, would lower the income tax rate from 5.64 percent to 4.65 percent beginning in 2009.

-HB 2082 by Rep. Mike Jackson, would allow the Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission to award $40 million in grants to the 29 regional business airports.

-HB 2072 by Rep. Steve Martin, would allow a city, town or rural water district the choice to stop participating in the Oklahoma Public Employees Retirement System.

-HB 1622 by Rep. David Derby, would expand the crime of unlawful use of a credit or debit card to include purchases on the internet.

-HB 1283 by Rep. Dale Turner, would enact the “Helping Economies in Rural Oklahoma through Intrastate Cooperation (HEROIC)” Act.

-HB 2037 by Rep. Jerry McPeak, would direct the Department of Human Services to create an assistance program for Medicare Part D beneficiaries to assist them in paying between $2,000 and $5,000 of the amount not covered by federal funding for prescription drugs.

-HB 2044 by Rep. Mike Brown, would clarify language relating to termination of parental rights and the foster care system.

-HB 1386 by Rep. Randy Terrill, would modify the corporate income tax rate.

-HB 1752 by Rep. Trebor Worthen, would delete the education requirement for auditing from the Oklahoma Accountancy Act.



Wednesday, February 14

Attention remained focused on committee action on Wednesday, as the Senate adjourned without considering any bills.


• Senate committees passed a number of measures on Wednesday:

-SB 107 by Sen. Debbe Leftwich, would require the Department of Juvenile Justice to pay for the costs of transporting a child committed to their custody.

-SB 502 by Sen. Mike Johnson, would expand the duties of the Division of Juvenile and Treatment Services under the Office of Juvenile Affairs.

-SB 425 by Sen. Kenneth Corn, would require that requests for inmate transfer be made to the Department of Corrections in writing.

-SB 436 by Sen. Kenneth Corn, would require the Department of Corrections to hold funds on behalf of inmates.

-SB 567 by Sen. Randy Bass, would allow for victims of identity theft to have information made available to other agencies investigating similar identity theft crimes.

-SB 17 by Sen. Don Barrington, would designate “Celebrate Freedom Week” in Oklahoma on the week of Nov. 11, and would direct the State Board of Education to adopt rules requiring school districts to include appropriate instruction during the week.

-SB 997 by Sen. Charles Laster, would require the Department of Commerce to establish regional service centers.

-SB 392 by Sen. Susan Paddack, would create the Volunteer Firefighter Reimbursement Fund for reimbursing volunteer fire departments for training.

-SB 470 by Sen. Jim Wilson, would create the Tourism Fund for the Future Revolving Fund.

-SB 509 by Sen. Charles Wyrick, would permit the use of certain funds for landfill enclosures.

-SB 710 by Sen. Ron Justice, would allow the Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry to inspect or seize nursery stock.

-SB 550 by Sen. Susan Paddack, would create the Task Force to Improve Oklahomans’ Health.

-SB 108 by Sen. Debbe Leftwich, would specify the sheriff of each county to be the chief law enforcement officer of that county.

-SB 139 by Sen. Jay Paul Gumm, would direct the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center to establish a public umbilical cord blood bank.

-SB 151 by Sen. Brian Crain, would authorize the use of funds in the Community-based Substance Abuse Revolving Fund for contracting with statewide substance abuse organizations to provide training.

-SB 156 by Sen. Owen Laughlin, would create the Small Hospitals Self-Help Act.

-SB 905 by Sen. Jonathan Nichols, would increase penalties for incest and for shooting a firearm with intent to kill.

-SB 35 by Sen. Brian Crain, would direct the Department of Public Safety to issue distinctive licenses for registered sex offenders.

-SB 157 by Sen. Owen Laughlin, would require persons convicted of felony offenses with possession of a firearm to serve at least 85 percent of their sentence before being eligible for parole.

-SB 493 by Sen. Cliff Branan, would require reimbursement of costs of incarceration.

-SB 508 by Sen. David Myers, would require county sheriffs to submit reports to county commissioners on funds received from housing federal prisoners.

-SB 635 by Sen. Richard Lerblance, would direct the Department of Corrections to conduct a study of available resources for substance abuse treatment for persons in the custody of the Department.

-SB 659 by Sen. Jonathan Nichols, would require DNA sampling of felony offenders upon arrest.

-SB 664 by Sen. Debbe Leftwich, would make the Office of the Attorney General responsible for establishing a 24-hour statewide telephone communication service for victims of sexual assault.

-SB 736 by Sen. Jonathan Nichols, would expand the unclassified service to include a Child Abuse Response Team investigator and a Child Abuse Response Team forensic interviewer for the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation.

-SB 1130 by Sen. Todd Lamb, would require the Department of Corrections to implement a method for tracking recidivism.

-SB 455 by Sen. Tom Adelson, would create the Dental Health Service under the Department of Health to manage dental health efforts.

-SB 787 by Sen. Andrew Rice, would remove the authority of the Office of Child Abuse Prevention to designate child abuse guidelines for district task forces.

-SJR 22 by Sen. Judy Eason McIntyre, would extend a request to the legislature to increase coverage for breast and cervical cancer prevention and treatment.

-SB 481 by Sen. Kathleen Wilcoxson, would direct the State Board of Education to require training for reading programs for renewal of teaching certificates for kindergarten through the third grade.

-SB 580 by Sen. Ron Justice, would require school districts to provide alternative education programs.

-SB 993 by Sen. Mike Morgan, would expand the space under the management of the legislature to include space on the first and second floors of the Capitol formerly occupied by the appellate courts.

-SB 1 by Sen. Randy Brogdon, would create the Taxpayer Transparency Act.

-SB 22 by Sen. Randy Bass, would create the Military Department Emergency Response Revolving Fund.

-SB 828 by Sen. Clark Jolley, would modify high school graduation requirements to add one-half unit of personal economics.

-SB 925 by Sen. Clark Jolley, would create a nine-member School Funding Formula Task Force to review the formula for funding public schools and make recommendations to the legislature.

-SB 990 by Sen. Kenneth Corn, would create a Judicial and District Attorney Redistricting Task Force.

-SB 16 by Sen. Debbe Leftwich, would end straight-party voting in Oklahoma.

-SB 1019 by Sen. Anthony Sykes, would require county commissioners submitting a proposition to county voters to the district attorney of the county for determination of legal correctness.


• The House met Wednesday and approved a number of appropriations shell bills in addition to the following substantive legislation:

-HB 1303 by Rep. John Enns, would limit certain billing for Medicaid patients.

-HB 1399 by Rep. Guy Liebmann, would modify language relating to crimes relating to “junk dealers”.

-HB 1818 by Rep. Scott Martin, would create a 23-member task force on Health Care Information Technology.

-HB 1297 by Rep. David Derby, would place “Dextropropoxyphene” and “Propoxyphene” on the Schedule IV controlled substance list and oxycodone to the list of Schedule II controlled substances.

-HB 1374 by Rep. Colby Schwartz, would require the Corporation Commission to work with the Director of State Finance to fix the maximum amount of the petty cash fund.

-HB 1593 by Rep. Tad Jones, would expand the eligible recipients of the State Board of Education’s Academic Achievement Award Program.

-HB 1612 by Rep. Paul Roan, would allow peace officers to collect DNA samples from registered sex offenders.

-HB 1027 by Rep. Glen Bud Smithson, would prohibit convicted felons from possessing or using an altered toy pistol.


• House committees approved a number of measures Wednesday including the following:

-HB 1768 by Rep. Gus Blackwell, would remove the authority of the Department of Corrections to collect funds on behalf of inmates.

-HB 1390 by Rep. Sally Kern, would require teachers in kindergarten through the third grade to complete certain reading instruction training in order to receive certification renewal.

-HB 1747 by Rep. Chuck Hoskin, would modify language related to the Oklahoma Medicaid Program Reform Act of 2003.

-HB 1830 by Rep. Ryan Kiesel, would create an Oklahoma Geriatric Medical Loan Repayment Program.

-HB 1580 by Rep. Ron Peters, would require the Department of Health to establish license requirements for sitter services.

-HB 2100 by Rep. Lance Cargill, would create a sunset committee to identify waste and inefficiency in state agencies.

-HB 1637 by Rep. Gary Banz, would require joint candidates for party nomination to the office of governor and lieutenant governor to file one declaration of candidacy and to appear jointly on the ballot.


Thursday, February 15

• The Senate met briefly Thursday and approved the following bills:

-SB 539 by Sen. Randy Bass, would modify reason for refusing to issue or renew certain licenses; modifies provisions relating to establishing ownership of certain interest in a package store.

-SB 693 by Sen. Jay Paul Gumm, relates to the Deferred Deposit Lending Act by prohibiting the cashing of certain instruments under certain circumstances; provides certain deferred deposit loan transaction as complete and paid in full.

• The following measures were approved in Senate committees on Thursday:


-SB 997 by Sen. Charles Laster, would require the Department of Commerce to establish regional service centers

-SB 470 by Sen. Jim Wilson, Creates the "Tourism Fund for the Future Revolving Fund”.

-SB 873 by Sen. Kenneth Corn, relates to volunteer fire department insurance premiums.

-SB 392 by Sen. Susan Paddack, would create the Volunteer Firefighter Training Reimbursement Revolving Fund.

-SB 747 by Sen. Brian Bingman, would establish fees relating to waste tires.

-SB 710 by Sen. Ron Justice, would allow the Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry to inspect or seize nursery stock.

-SB 700 by Sen. Roger Ballenger, would require that the Department of Wildlife Conservation be compensated for certain wildlife remaining in certain enclosures.

-SB 558 by Sen. John Sparks, would modify costs and requirements for hunting licenses.

-SB 577 by Sen. Cliff Aldridge, would allow residents of Oklahoma to buy salvaged cars without a buyer’s identification card (BIC).

-SB 1059 by Sen. Charles Laster, would prevent insurance companies from denying claims from those in jail awaiting trial and before sentencing.

-SB 14 by Sen. Debbe Leftwich, would require health benefit plans to cover the cost of colorectal screenings in individuals over 50 years of age.

-SB 859 by Sen. Don Barrington, would modify various provisions relating to the Oklahoma Firefighters Pension and Retirement System.

-SB 560 by Sen. John Sparks, relates to insurance claims by requiring multiple notifications in certain circumstances.

-SB 858 by Sen. Sean Burrage, would create the State Medical Employee Task Force.

-SB 938 by Sen. Charles Laster, would authorize certain state entities to enter into certain agreements with Indian tribes.

-SB 833 by Sen. John Sparks, relates to public health and safety by requiring certain information pertaining to noncommunicable diseases to be confidential.

-SB 903 by Sen. Brian Crain, would create the Twenty First Century Health Education and Research for Oklahoma Task Force, to explore methods of financing to increase the number of health care workers and invest in research.

-SB 909 by Sen. Brian Crain, relates to mental health and substance abuse services; creates Forensic Review Board; authorizes release under specified circumstances; exempts board from Open Meetings Act.

-SB 494 by Sen. Andrew Rice, relates to the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services by deleting language prohibiting certain contracts; prohibits the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services to enter into certain contracts.

-SB 738 by Sen. Mike Morgan, prohibits the State Department of Health from removing certain assisted living center residents in specified circumstances.

 

Other News


• On Thursday, Senator Tom Ivester joined retired LTC Steve Russell in a press conference at the state Capitol to encourage participation in the Vets for Victory program. A national effort to show support for America’s troops, Vets for Victory will be holding its first Victory Rally on Saturday, February 17, on the south steps of the state Capitol. The rally will be the first of many throughout the nation.

• On Wednesday, it was announced that members of the Oklahoma State Senate will soon be making podcasts available on the Senate’s official website. The podcasts will include information on individual members’ legislation as well as other events occurring at the State Capitol or within their districts. The audio files will be posted in both mp3 and wav formats, and both will be CD quality.

• 2006 Jim Thorpe Award winner Aaron Ross, of the University of Texas, was honored on the floor of the state Senate on Monday. The Senate unanimously approved Senate Resolution 5, recognizing and commending the standout defensive back. As a senior, Ross was tabbed first-team All American by the Walter Camp Football Foundation and the Football Writers Association of America and was selected first-team all Big 12. Ross was also chosen as the University of Texas Defensive MVP.

• Governor Brad Henry joined the six other living former Oklahoma Governors at the Oklahoma History Center on Tuesday for the unveiling of an exhibit showcasing Oklahoma’s first families. The event marked former Governor David Hall’s first public appearance in Oklahoma since completing a federal prison term for conspiracy and extortion.

• Carrie Underwood of Checotah on Monday took home three Grammy awards. Vince Gill of Norman was also honored with a Grammy for best male country vocal performance. Oklahoma City band The Flaming Lips took home two Grammy awards, for best engineered album and best rock instrumental performance.

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