The Oklahoma Senate

Week In Review
Monday, February 26 to Thursday March 1, 2007

Monday, February 26

• Having passed the legislative deadline for passing bills out of committees in the House of origin, the Senate approved several measures on Monday:

-SB 145 by Sen. Brian Crain, would authorize associate district judges to carry or use weapons in a courthouse

-SB 734 by Sen. Mike Morgan, would create a Joint Electric Utility Restructuring Task Force.

-SB 70 by Sen. Roger Ballenger, would create the Feral Swine Control Act.

-SB 129 by Sen. Kenneth Corn, would authorize the Commissioner of Public Safety to establish a procedure for renewing driving records of residents who are existing policyholders of any insurance company and producing a report which identifies the policyholders with violations during a set time period.

-SB 609 by Sen. Joe Sweeden, would modify language relating to fuel rate adjustments to include reference to limited liability partnerships.

-SB 712 by Sen. James A. Williamson, would create the “Anti-Caller ID Spoofing Act”. The bill would make the use of technology to hide the origin of a call or alter the voice illegal.

• No action was taken in Senate committees on Monday.

• The House convened Monday and approved a number of measures including the following:

-HB 1518 by Rep. Dale DeWitt, would create a Common Sense Consumption Act intended to prevent frivolous lawsuits against manufacturers, distributors and advertisers of food products.

-HB 1390 by Rep. Sally Kern, would require kindergarten through third grade teachers to complete certain training in reading to be granted a renewal certificate.

-HB 1453 by Rep. Rob Johnson, would create a Preservation and Accessibility of County Records Act.

-HB 1646 by Rep. Pam Peterson, would make it unlawful for state employees to solicit any portion of the benefit or allowance as a gratuity, kickback or loan from a recipient who is otherwise entitled to the benefit or allowance.

• House committees on Monday approved the following measures:


-HB 1740 by Rep. Dale DeWitt, would create the “Protection for School Employees Act”.

-HB 2095 by Rep. Trebor Worthen, would move the date of the Presidential primary to the last Tuesday in January.

-HJR 1019 by Rep. Chris Benge, proposes a constitutional amendment to increase from 10 to 15 percent the revenue estimate that may be placed in the Constitutional Reserve Fund.

-HB 1451 by Rep. Rob Johnson, would prohibit legislators and statewide elected officers from appearing in public service announcements from Jan. 1 of an election year through the date of the general election.

-HB 1734 by Rep. Sue Tibbs, would require voters to provide proof of identity.

-HB 1994 by Rep. Anastasia Pittman, would create a nine-member Task Force on the Status of Statewide Minority HIV and AIDS.

-HCR 1011 by Rep. Kris Steele, would create a Task Force on the Mental Health and Substance Abuse Treatment System in Oklahoma.


Tuesday, February 27

• The Senate met Tuesday and approved numerous measures including the following:

-SB 390 by Sen. Don Barrington, would add the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and U.S. probation officers to the list of those allowed to view Department of Juvenile Justice records without a court order.

-SB 163 by Sen. Owen Laughlin, would amend the definition of “public body” for purposes of the Open Meeting Act and amends the definition of “meeting” to exclude informal gatherings of a majority of members of a public body when no business of that body is being discussed.

-SB 166 by Sen. Brian Crain, would create a misdemeanor offense for any person who drives a motor vehicle or cycle previously used as an official law enforcement vehicle without first removing the law enforcement equipment, insignia and badge markings.

-SB 17 by Sen. Don Barrington, would designate the week of Nov. 11 as “Celebrate Freedom Week” and require the State Board of Education to adopt rules requiring school districts to offer appropriate instruction.

-SB 37 by Sen. Jeff Rabon, would allow certain waste tire facilities to be compensated for transferring processed waste tires.

-SB 57 by Sen. Kenneth Corn, would allow the surviving spouse of a member of the Oklahoma Law Enforcement Retirement System who had served for at least 20 years and had not yet terminated employment to elect to receive certain benefits.

-SB 63 by Sen. Brian Crain, would increase county retirement system contribution percentages.

-SB 85 by Sen. Kenneth Corn, would increase the amount of payments made in support of surviving children of members of the Oklahoma Law Enforcement Retirement System.

-SB 127 by Sen. Richard Lerblance, would create a 13-member Task Force on Oklahoma Hydropower.

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

-SB 533 by Sen. Earl Garrison, would designate State Highway 69 from the Shawnee Bypass to Okmulgee Street in Muskogee as the “Colonel Albert Hill Highway”. It would also designate the Muskogee Turnpike from the Shawnee Bypass to Peak Boulevard to honor the 929th Troop Carrier Group of the U.S. Air Force Reserves and the Alton M. Ashworth U.S. Army Reserve Center

-SB 695 by Sen. Kenneth Corn, would modify procedures for payment of health insurance premiums for members of the Oklahoma Law Enforcement Retirement System.

-SB 700 by Sen. Roger Ballenger, would specify require that the Department of Wildlife Conservation supervise drives to remove wildlife from inside certain enclosures.

-SB 71 by Sen. Randy Brogdon, would modify the definition of a special event to exclude any event sponsored by a church organization exempt from federal income tax.

-SB 149 by Sen. Brian Crain, would allow monies donated from income tax refunds for the Oklahoma Silver Haired Legislature to also be used for the benefit of Oklahoma Silver Haired Legislature Alumni Association for advocacy activities.

-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 512 by Sen. David Myers, would authorize liens for medical claims to be placed on medical diagnostic imaging facilities not affiliated with a hospitals that provide diagnostic imaging including MRI, CT and PET equipment.

-SB 577 by Sen. Cliff Aldridge, would modify language relating to who sales at salvage pool or for whom salvage pool sales will be open.

-SB 685 by Sen. Mike Mazzei, would eliminate procedures in the Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Administration Act for the purchase of goods, software or services delivered electronically to multiple points of use.

-SB 825 by Sen. Brian Crain, would require a temporary certificate holder to sit for at least one Oklahoma certified shorthand reporter examination administered during the term of the temporary certificate.

-SB 903 by Sen. Brian Crain, would create a 22-member Twenty First Century Health Education and Research for Oklahoma Task Force.

-SCR 12 by Sen. Kenneth Corn, honors the heroism of Sgt. Buddy Hughie, a Poteau, Oklahoma soldier recently killed in Afghanistan.

• No action was taken in Senate committees on Tuesday.

• The House convened Tuesday and approved several bills before adjourning to resume committee work. The following bills are among those approved by the House on Tuesday:


-HB 1874 by Rep. Dennis Johnson, would designate the week of Nov. 11 as “Celebrate Freedom Week” and directs the State Board of Education to develop appropriate instruction.

-HB 1048 by Rep. Jerry Ellis, would exempt persons serving in the U.S. Armed Forces from the requirement to obtain a hunting or fishing license.

-HB 1006 by Rep. Glen Bud Smithson, would modify conditions under which a handgun license must be denied to remove the prohibition against inclusion of any false or misleading statement on the application.

-HB 1472 by Rep. Terry Hyman, would add the state treasurer as a custodian of the Oklahoma State Park Trust Fund and authorize him to invest the money.

• House committees on Tuesday approved numerous measures, including the following:


-HB 1388 by Rep. Randy Terrill, would lower the state’s top income tax rate to 5.5 percent in 2009 and 5.25 percent in 2010.

-HB 1360 by Rep. Marian Cooksey, would modify the fee levied on petroleum per barrel and natural gas per barrel to fund the activities of the Commission on Marginally Producing Oil and Gas Wells.

-HB 1926 by Rep. Jeannie McDaniel, would create an Advantage Waiver Developmental Disability Services Rate Review Committee.

-HB 2094 by Rep. Sue Tibbs, would create the Oklahoma Juvenile Act of 2007.

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

-HB 1372 by Rep. R.C. Pruett, would expand payment methods for property acquired by a county under the provisions of the resale tax laws to include payment of certified funds.



Wednesday, February 28


• The Senate met Wednesday and approved the following bills before adjourning to resume committee work:

-SB 55 by Sen. Patrick Anderson, would provide an income tax credit to primary care physicians in rural communities.

-SB 69 by Sen. Randy Bass, would allow any public body to hold public meetings by teleconference.

-SB 72 by Sen. Brian Crain, would provide for an ad valorem tax assessment of real residential property that is located in more than one county in which the majority of the improvements are located.

-SB 482 by Sen. Kathleen Wilcoxson, would change public education professional development program requirements to allow certain curricula.

-SB 551 by Sen. Susan Paddack, would create the “Forget Me Not Vehicle Safety Act”.

-SB 810 by Sen. Ron Justice, would expand the duties of the State Board of Agriculture to include promulgating rules regarding prescribed burning and smoke management.

-SB 907 by Sen. Brian Crain, would provide that if the driving privileges of an offender have been suspended, the judge may allow a written order for Class D driving privileges if no other means of transportation are available.

-SB 809 by Sen. Debbe Leftwich, would modify various provisions relating to unemployment compensation.

-SB 64 by Sen. Brian Crain, would modify the requirements for city employees to participate in the State and Education Employees Group Insurance Act.

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

-SB 161 by Sen. Ron Justice, would authorize landowners or occupants to kill certain animals found chasing livestock off the property.

SB 498 by Sen. Susan Paddack, would declare it the goal of the legislature to encourage the recycling of at least 10 percent of the entire solid waste stream of the state.

-SJR 14 by Sen. Bill Brown, would urge the U.S. Department of Transportation to include the Tulsa to Springfield, Mo., line in its existing Missouri Amtrak feasibility study.

-SCR 7 by Sen. Jim Wilson, mourns the loss of former U.S. Rep. Theodore “Ted” Risenhoover of Tahlequah.

-SCR 13 by Sen. Debbe Leftwich, supports the goal of eliminating the suffering and death due to cancer by 2015.


• No action was taken in Senate Committees on Wednesday.


• The House met Wednesday and approved a number of bills including the following:

-HB 1460 by Rep. Sally Kern, would make confidential any communication made by a participant or counselor in peer support counseling sessions conducted by a law enforcement agency or emergency services personnel.

-HB 1491 by Rep. Daniel Sullivan, would direct the Department of Environmental Quality to develop and implement a total maximum daily load standard to ensure attainment of site-specific phosphorous standards for the Spavinaw-Eucha Watershed.

-HB 2077 by Rep. Mike Jackson, would create the “Oklahoma State Employee Education Loan Assistance Act of 2007”.


• House committees approved numerous bills Wednesday, including the following:


-HB 1804 by Rep. Randy Terrill, would create the Oklahoma Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act of 2007.

-HB 1510 by Rep. Jerry Ellis, states legislative intent for the commissioner of health to authorize waivers for provisions of the Nursing Home Care Act and the Long-Term Care Certificate of Need Act.

-HB 2081 by Rep. Mike Jackson, would require that parents of children entering second or eighth grades provide their public school a copy of a current physical examination of the child.

-HB 2069 by Rep. Chris Benge, would increase employer contribution rates for public retirement systems.

-HB 1765 by Rep. Gus Blackwell, would provide a tax exemption for federally regulated investment companies.

-HB 2105 by Rep. Lance Cargill, would create a “2nd Century Entrepreneurship Center Act”.

-HB 1051 by Rep. Lance Cargill, would prohibit student-aged sex offenders, at the request of the victim, from attending any school attended by the victim or the victim’s siblings.

-HB 1589 by Rep. Tad Jones, would modify the Oklahoma Charter Schools Act to replace technology center districts with the State Board of Education as a sponsor.

-HB 1695 by Rep. John Enns, would create the Oklahoma AgrAbility Project Act.

-HB 1300 by Rep. Jerry Ellis, would prohibit the secretary of environment from engaging in litigation unless certain conditions are met.

-HB 2050 by Rep. Ben Sherrer, would create an Oklahoma District Court Improvement Act.


Thursday, March 1

• The Senate met Thursday and approved the following bills:

-SB 607 by Sen. Joe Sweeden, would require that an updated list of all state entities kept by the Department of Libraries be distribute to the Governor, the Senate President Pro Tempore, the Speaker of the House, and the chairs of appropriate committees by Nov. 1.

-SB 160 by Sen. Owen Laughlin, would prohibit a business, which is the only one of its kind in a municipality with a population less than 2,500 from engaging in business activities with a municipality exceeding $10,000 per year.

-SB 1051 by Sen. Susan Paddack, would modify provisions relating to the Oklahoma Security Guard and Private Investigator Act.

-SB 866 by Sen. Jonathan Nichols, would set sunset provisions for the Oklahoma Prison Industry Marketing Development Task Force.

-SB 806 by Sen. Mike Mazzei, would provide a sales tax exemption for sales of boxes of food by a church or a 501(c)(3) organization.

-SB 93 by Sen. Susan Paddack, would delete requirements for the Governor to appoint a licensed embalmer or funeral director.

-SCR 6 by Sen. Brian Crain, urges reauthorization of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program.

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

-SB 92 by Sen. Susan Paddack, states legislative intent for concurrent enrollment students who receive a tuition waiver to be charged only for fees that are directly related to the concurrent enrollment courses.

-SB 663 by Sen. Debbe Leftwich, would require children to stay in DHS custody under certain circumstances.

-SJR 28 by Sen. Jonathan Nichols, would rename the Oklahoma Correctional Industries Building as the Max R. Newberry Correctional Industrial Administrative Building.

-SCR 4 by Sen. Cliff Branan, honors the life of Max L. Frates and offers condolences.

-SB 1006 by Sen. Jeff Rabon, would amend various provisions related to the Oklahoma Real Estate License Code.

-SB 658 by Sen. Andrew Rice, would authorize county commissioners to transfer the deeds of lands that are owned by the counties and are no longer needed for county purposes to any nonprofit organization.

-SB 748 by Sen. Mike Mazzei, would clarify language relating to the amount motor license agents are required to deposit into the Oklahoma Tax Commission Motor License Agent Account.

-SB 519 by Sen. Kathleen Wilcoxson, would remove the exemption allowing children at least sixteen years old to drop out of school and would raise it to 18.

-SB 590 by Sen. Owen Laughlin, would provide for the destruction of certain records by counties.

Other News


• On Wednesday, former Oklahoma State Insurance Commissioner Carroll Fisher was placed in the Oklahoma County jail under allegations that he violated the terms of his bond. In 2006, Fisher was convicted for embezzlement and perjury and sentenced to three years in prison. Pending an appeal, Fisher had been allowed to return to his home in Tulsa and was being monitored with a GPS system.
• On Thursday, Senate Democrats announced that Senate Co-Floor Leader Charles Laster of Shawnee has been selected the designee of the Senate Democratic Caucus to become the next President Pro Tem of the Oklahoma State Senate, or Minority Leader of the Oklahoma State Senate. Current President Pro Tempore Mike Morgan is serving his final term as a state Senator due to term limits.

• On Wednesday, the Oklahoma House of Representatives dedicated a portrait of Green I. Currin, an African American who served in the state’s first territorial legislature. Green was the state’s first African-American legislator. The painting was commissioned by the Oklahoma State Senate Historical Preservation Fund, which has commissioned over 60 pieces of original art for the Oklahoma State Capitol and other locations at no cost to taxpayers.

• The Senate on Tuesday honored Oklahoma soldier Buddy Hughie, who was killed last week on a mission in Afghanistan. A 2000 graduate of Poteau High School, Hughie attended summer ROTC programs during high school and joined the military as soon as he was eligible. Hughie’s first overseas deployment was to Afghanistan in 2002 with the 1st Battalion, 180th Infantry. Upon his return, he was sent to New Orleans for 45 days to assist in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Along with his unit, Hughie saved the life of a woman who had been trapped in her house for nearly two weeks. Hughie was not required to redeploy to Afghanistan but he had requested to return last summer as part of a multinational task force supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. It was there that Hughie was killed in an attempt to aid fallen comrades.

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