The Oklahoma Senate

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

Monday, March 12

• The Senate met Monday and took up a full agenda of bills. Numerous measures were approved on Monday including the following:

-SB 139 by Sen. Jay Paul Gumm, would direct the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center to maintain a public umbilical cord blood bank for collecting and storing umbilical cord blood and placental tissue donated by maternity patients.

-SB 664 by Sen. Debbe Leftwich, would change from the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services to the Office of the Attorney General the responsibility to establish a 24-hour statewide telephone communication service for victims of sexual assault.

-SB 710 by Sen. Ron Justice would expand the authority of the Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry to inspect, take samples, issue certain notices or destroy nursery stock.

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

-SB 839 by Sen. Ron Justice, would modify what constitutes a Class D motor vehicle to include a vehicle towing a trailer used for agricultural purposes that does not exceed 20,000 pounds gross vehicle weight rating.

-SB 1049 by Sen. Patrick Anderson, would provide that willful or malicious cruelty to an animal will subject the owner to legal proceedings forcing the owner to release the animal to the custody of a humane organization.

-SB 510 by Sen. Jay Paul Gumm, would create the Oklahoma Bioenergy Center Act to create an Oklahoma Bioenergy Center within the Department of Commerce to focus research on issues facing the bioenergy and biofuels industry in Oklahoma.

-SB 780 by Sen. Jim Wilson, would expand duties for the Board of Investors for the Economic Development Generating Excellence (EDGE) Trust Fund.

-SB 811 by Sen. Charles Laster, would provide inmates in pretrial detention or custody of a county jail the opportunity to receive necessary medical care, at their own cost, for a preexisting condition.

-SB 893 by Sen. Susan Paddack, would state public policy relating to use and conservation of groundwater.

-SB 993 by Sen. Mike Morgan, would expand the space under the management and control of the Legislature to include the space on the first and second floors of the Capitol formerly occupied by the Appellate Courts.

-SB 593 by Sen. Todd Lamb, would provide for search warrants authorizing the installation or use of tracking devices.

-SB 605 by Sen. Brian Bingman, would create the Local Fire Protection District Act to allow municipalities to create local fire prevention districts.

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

-SB 113 by Sen. Debbe Leftwich, would provide civil action liability immunity to volunteers who, in the course of his or her duties for the charitable organization or not-for-profit corporation, operate a motor vehicle to provide transportation services.

-SB 117 by Sen. Jim Wilson, would modify the limit on the income tax credit in the Rural Venture Capital Formation Incentive Act.

-SB 119 by Sen. Brian Bingman, would modify the requirement for the sale of electricity to qualify for a sales tax exemption by not allowing the oil well production to exceed 10 barrels per well and the total content of oil recovered after enhanced recovery methods not to exceed 1 percent.

-SB 447 by Sen. Brian Bingman, would modify the number of Rural Economic Action Plan accounts and directing deposits.

-SB 470 by Sen. Jim Wilson, would create a Tourism Fund for the Future Revolving Fund, to be funded by the sale of Department of Tourism and Recreation property.

-SB 501 by Sen. David Myers, would modify the definition of electric-assisted and motorized bicycles.

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

-SB 538 by Sen. Patrick Anderson, would provide requirements for valuation of certain assets pursuant to the Family Wealth Preservation Trust Act.

-SB 622 by Sen. Patrick Anderson, would repeal language relating to aircraft and airport manufacturer and dealer agreements.

-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 State Bureau of Investigation.

-SB 746 by Sen. Brian Bingman, would expand the list of water user groups represented on the Oklahoma Water Resources Board to include thermal electric generation, oil and gas and manufacturing.

-SB 757 by Sen. Charlie 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 922 by Sen. Debbe Leftwich, would propose a constitutional amendment to authorize incentive levies made by technology center school districts or college technology center school districts to apply to overlap territory.

-SB 943 by Sen. James A. Williamson, would make lump-sum payments received from personal injury or wrongful death subject to attachment for satisfaction of liens for child support arrearages.

-SB 1043 by Sen. Brian Crain, would modify requirements for certificates of incorporations.

• No action was taken in Senate committees on Monday.


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

-HB 1299 by Rep. Randy Terrill, would permit students who obtain their education through means other than public or private schools to be eligible for OHLAP.

-HB 1008 by Rep. Marian Cooksey, would allow a member of the Legislature to not participate in certain benefit plans, but still be able to receive flexible benefits.

-HB 2101 by Rep. Lance Cargill, would create the Transformational Justice Act to identify methods of reducing recidivism.

-HB 1476 by Rep. Ann Coody, would create the Passport to Financial Literacy Act, to require financial literacy education to be taught in public schools.

-HB 2111 by Rep. Lance Cargill, would eliminate several committees, task forces, councils and other such entities.

-HB 1930 by Rep. Kris Steele, would modify language relating to the Governmental Tort Claims Act, by expanding the meaning of “political subdivision”.

-HB 1687 by Rep. Bill Nations, would require residency committees of the State Board of Education to provide resident teacher support and assistance in all matters concerning classroom management.

-HB 2106 by Rep. Lance Cargill, would direct the Oklahoma Supreme Court to create a business court division within the district court of judicial districts.

-HB 1411 by Rep. Shane Jett, would require a fiscal impact statement for each adopted rule submitted for legislative approval.


• House committees took no action on Monday.

Tuesday, March 13

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

-SB 714 by Sen. James A. Williamson, would make it unlawful to perform or assist in an abortion that is not necessary to save the life of the mother.

-SB 133 by Sen. Richard Lerblance, would require the installation of approved carbon monoxide detectors in any building or structure used as a hospital, church, theatre, hotel, motel, apartment house, rooming house, dormitory, rest home, nursing home, auditorium or child care institution.

-SB 633 by Sen. Todd Lamb, would authorize the Department of Corrections to design and install high-voltage electrified security fence systems at all existing and proposed medium security prisons.

-SB 697 by Sen. Jeff Rabon, would authorize investment of a maximum 15 percent of permanent school funds and other educational funds in foreign bonds or investments.

-SB 706 by Sen. Brian Bingman, would modify the duties of the Director of the Department of Mines.

-SB 872 by Sen. Kenneth Corn, would clarify persons included in the definition of “volunteer fire departments” for purposes of the Volunteer Firefighters Insurance Pool.

-SB 905 by Sen. Jonathan Nichols, would increase the penalty for shooting a firearm with intent to kill.

-SB 861 by Sen. Don Barrington, would provide a sales tax exemption for sales of clothing or footwear priced at less than $100 for sales that take place during the first weekend in August.

-SB 1016 by Sen. Randy Bass, would prohibit a mixed beverage or beer and wine licensee from allowing a person under 21 years of age to sit at the bar of the licensed premises.

-SB 1026 by Sen. Randy Bass, would modify the definition of “commanding officer,” for purposes of the Code of Military Justice, to include only commissioned officers of the state military forces.

-SB 469 by Sen. Mary Easley, would increase background check requirements for foster parents.

-SB 920 by Sen. Kenneth Corn, would change the composition of the Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training membership.

-SB 75 by Sen. Jay Paul Gumm, would remove the requirement of notice from the Oklahoma Water Resources Board for those who knowingly violate the state’s groundwater laws.

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

-SB 824 by Sen. Susan Paddack, would require the Oklahoma Uniform Jury Instructions applicable in a civil case to include an instruction notifying the jury that taxation cannot be used as a consideration of damages.

-SB 854 by Sen. Jim Wilson, would provide that for a taxpayer who qualifies for the five-year carry forward election pursuant to the Oklahoma College Savings Plan Act and who takes a rollover or non-qualified withdrawal before the end of the five-year period, the portion of the contribution allocable to the remaining calendar years would not be eligible for the income tax deduction that is otherwise available for contributions made to accounts.

-SB 1112 by Sen. Mike Mazzei, would specify the computation rate and factor for elected officials who are members of the Oklahoma Public Employees Retirement System.

-SB 1125 by Sen. Jonathan Nichols, would modify the normal retirement date for law enforcement officers who are members of the Oklahoma Public Employees Retirement System.

-SB 899 by Sen. Randy Bass, would authorize the Secretary of State to serve as the first point of contact for international inquiries of official state visits by foreign governments.

-SB 677 by Sen. Kenneth Corn, would create the offense of aggravated trafficking and set mandatory minimum penalties.

-SB 678 by Sen. Kenneth Corn, would add the Director or the Associate Director of the Department of Corrections to the membership of the Oklahoma Sentencing Commission.

-SR 14 by Sen. Jonathan Nichols, commended Colonel Jerry N. Cason on his retirement from the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.

-SB 32 by Sen. Mary Easley, would modifies requirements for applying for the $15 vehicle registration fee for members of the military.

-SB 102 by Sen. David Myers, would modify membership for the Storage Tank Advisory Council from nine members to 11 members.

-SB 164 by Sen. Jonathan Nichols, would modify the definition of “abuse” for purposes of the Protective Services for Vulnerable Adults Act.

-SB 410 by Sen. Kenneth Corn, would increase from $10 to $30 the annual oversize permit fee for special mobilized machinery.

-SB 411 by Sen. Kenneth Corn, would permit funds collected from levies on fire insurance gross premiums to be expanded only for costs associated with the administration and operation of regional response teams.

-SB 426 by Sen. Judy Eason McIntyre, would authorize certain territories with certain population to incorporate and requires that territory to be included in the survey and plat as a new municipality.

-SB 489 by Sen. Constance N. Johnson, would authorize the Office of Juvenile Affairs to enter into agreements pursuant to the Interlocal Cooperation Act.

-SB 517 by Sen. Jim Wilson, would modify language relating to the Oklahoma Forestry Code, adding definitions for lawful burning and limited liability burning and establishes guidelines for the practices.

-SB 661 by Sen. Judy Eason McIntryre, would remove technology center school districts as charter school sponsors and adds the State Board of Education.

-SB 672 by Sen. Kenneth Corn, would create a Task Force on Lincoln Boulevard Renaissance Project Properties.

-SB 673 by Sen. Kenneth Corn, would direct that any state employee who is required to work on a holiday for fire protection purposes be paid at a rate of two times the employee’s regular hourly rate for as many hours as the employee works until midnight on the day of the holiday.

-SB 814 by Sen. James A. Williamson, would authorize the Department of Human Services to file claims with the Oklahoma Tax Commission for payment of child or spousal support.

-SB 819 by Sen. Richard Lerblance, would authorize an agency of the state to access the Petroleum Storage Tank Indemnity Fund for reimbursement when it purchases property containing storage tanks from an owner or operator qualified to access the fund.

-SB 896 by Sen. Jonathan Nichols, would establish the per diem rate to be paid by the Department of Corrections to private prison contractors.

-SB 930 by Sen. Susan Paddack, would authorize the Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare to enter into agreements with charitable health care providers.

-SB 1012 by Sen. Jonathan Nichols, would require that any person required to register as a sex offender for an offense committed against a victim less than 14 years of age who fails to register will be guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment for five years to life.

-SB 1021 by Sen. Brian Bingman, would provide that all tracts of land with an area of width no greater than 326 feet at the narrowest point that are annexed to a municipality would not be subject to municipal taxes.

-SB 1038 by Sen. Jonathan Nichols, would require the State Regents for Higher Education to make independent third-party audits of its institutions to be made available to the public on a website maintained by the regents.

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

-SB 1066 by Sen. Tom Adelson, would prohibit any person under 21 who is an invitee at a residence, building, room or land from possessing or consuming any low-point beer.

-SB 1078 by Sen. Jonathan Nichols, would add grounds for revocation or suspension of retail alcoholic beverage licenses.

-SB 407 by Sen. Mike Mazzei, would permit the Grand River Dam Authority to enter into certain financial instruments designed to hedge interest rate risks.

-SB 483 by Sen. Kathleen Wilcoxson, would require parents, prior to enrolling a student in core curriculum instead of college preparatory curriculum, to meet with school officials and require a written statement for the reason of the enrollment.

-SB 507 by Sen. Cliff Branan, would exempt charitable volunteers who provide transportation services from tort liability.

-SB 1024 by Sen. Kathleen Wilcoxson, would create a “Liability Protection for Teachers Act”.

-SB 1092 by Sen. Mike Mazzei, would increase employer contribution rates for members of the Teachers’ Retirement System of Oklahoma.

• No action was taken in Senate committees on Tuesday.

• The following bills are among those approved by the House on Tuesday:

-HB 2103 by Rep. Lance Cargill, would direct the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, when determining the guaranteed tuition rates, to consider the anticipated revenue needs during the four-year period of the guarantee.

-HB 1864 by Rep. Anastasia Pittman, would authorize the Board of Juvenile Affairs within the Office of Juvenile Affairs to utilize new funding appropriated for the Delinquency and Youth Gang Intervention and Prevention Act for the expansion of current contracts that use the federal office of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Comprehensive Gang Model.

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

-HB 2102 by Rep. Lance Cargill, would authorize the Oklahoma Arts Council to establish an art teacher scholarship program to encourage the preparation and certification of visual art teachers to teach in public schools.

-HB 1329 by Rep. Steve Martin, would modify the punishment for identity theft to include no less than one year imprisonment.

-HB 1392 by Rep. Phil Richardson, would create a resource conservation management plan administered by the Department of Agriculture.

• House committees took no action on Tuesday.


Wednesday, March 14


• The Senate met Wednesday and approved the following bills:

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

-SB 902 by Sen. Jay Paul Gumm, would increase from one-half mill to one mill the limit on ad valorem proceeds that may be used in a county-wide economic development program.

-SB 945 by Sen. James A. Williamson, would modify enforcement for failure to make child support payments.

-SB 630 by Sen. Jay Paul Gumm, would modify the membership of the Joint Committee on Water Planning.

-SB 853 by Sen. Jim Wilson, would require that for property presumed abandoned and subject to custody as unclaimed property include items of value under $50 must be reported to the State Treasurer in the same manner as property with a value of $50 or more.

-SB 795 by Sen. Todd Lamb, would require junk dealers who purchase copper to maintain records concerning the source of their copper purchases.

-SB 841 by Sen. Charles Laster, would modify apportionment of gross production tax revenues.

-SB 855 by Sen. Mike Mazzei, would provide a sales tax exemption for the sale of advertising in travel brochures and other promotional materials produced at the direction of the Department of Tourism and Recreation.

-SB 985 by Sen. Kathleen Wilcoxson, would establish a high school graduation rate goal for public schools and would provide a method for determining the baseline rate.

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

-SB 831 by Sen. Charles Laster, would decrease from $2,500 to $500 the limit on purchases made by state purchase credit cards.

-SB 829 by Sen. Kathleen Wilcoxson, would modify requirements for setting student performance levels and specifies indicators for each level.

-SB 645 by Sen. Patrick Anderson, would create a misdemeanor crime for failure to comply with a rental agreement.

-SB 871 by Sen. Jay Paul Gumm, would modify the requirement in the Oklahoma Quality Jobs Program Act that employees reside in the state, to allow employees to reside in bordering states if their counties are contiguous to the state.

-SB 1069 by Sen. Jay Paul Gumm, would create the Fair Practices of Equipment Manufacturers, Distributors, Wholesalers and Dealers Act.

-SB 1076 by Sen. Mike Mazzei, would amend the Oklahoma Sales Tax Code to include a definition of “bundled transaction.”

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

-SB 636 by Sen. Todd Lamb, would increase from $10 to $250 the franchise tax liability exemption.

-SB 848 by Sen. Constance N. Johnson, would direct the Department of Corrections to select and implement one or more pilot faith-based programs.

-SB 980 by Sen. Todd Lamb, would create an “Oklahoma Discretionary and Special Needs Trust Act”.

-SB 1027 by Sen. Kenneth Corn, would clarify language relating to assessment of educational needs of inmates.

• No action was taken in Senate Committees on Wednesday.

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

-HB 1686 by Rep. Bill Nations, would require persons under age 18 to wear a crash helmet while operating or riding as a passenger on an all-terrain vehicle.

-HB 1485 by Rep. Dennis Adkins, would exempt from ad valorem taxation wellhead equipment, pumping units, tanks and other miscellaneous production equipment used in oil and gas production.

-HB 1595 by Rep. Tad Jones, would modify guidelines regarding the investment of permanent school and other educational funds.

-HB 1652 by Rep. Pam Peterson, would require the state Department of Health to prepare a physician reporting form available to be viewed on the internet for information related to implementation of the Unborn Child Pain Awareness/Prevention Act.

-HB 1884 by Rep. Lance Cargill, would create a Healthcare Consumer Transparency Task Force to study and make recommendations regarding a system for hospitals, ambulatory surgical centers and physicians to disclose to consumers the average charges for the treatment of common medical diagnosis and procedures.

-HB 1721 by Rep. Kenneth Miller, would modify language relating to Ethics Commission rules on campaign contributions.

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

• House committees took no action on Wednesday.

Thursday, March 15

• The Senate met Thursday and approved several appropriations shell bills along with the following substantive measures:

-SB 815 by Sen. Owen Laughlin, would provide for mandatory minimum sentencing for certain habitual criminals.

-SB 19 by Sen. Debbe Leftwich, would provide that, when an insurance plan that provides for reimbursement for any medical or chiropractic service that is within the lawful scope of practice of a licensed chiropractor, the person entitled to benefits or person performing services is entitled to reimbursement on an equal basis for such service, whether such service is performed by a physician or a chiropractor.

-SB 859 by Sen. Don Barrington, would modify eligibility requirements for participation in the Oklahoma Firefighters Deferred Option Plan.

-SJR 22 by Sen. Judy Eason McIntyre, would direct the Oklahoma Health Care Authority to increase coverage on breast and cervical cancer treatment and prevention.

-SCR 14 by Sen. Debbe Leftwich, commemorates the United Parcel Service’s 100th anniversary.

-SB 851 by Sen. Owen Laughlin, would allow for the operation of all-terrain vehicles on certain municipal streets and highways.

-SR 16 by Sen. Andrew Rice, welcomes filmmaker Ken Burns to the Oklahoma State Capitol.

Other News


• On Wednesday, the Senate honored the achievements of Col. Jerry N. Cason of Norman, an Army Veteran of the Vietnam War. Col. Cason retired from the Oklahoma Highway Patrol this week. Cason served nine years in the U.S. Army, during which time he rose from the rank of Private E-1 to Staff Sergeant E-6. While serving in combat in Vietnam, he received numerous medals and awards for valor and service. Cason was hired by the Norman Police Department in 1978, and worked as a member of the Department’s pistol team and Special Operations Unit. In 1982, Cason graduated from the Oklahoma Highway Patrol Academy and was assigned to Cleveland County. In 2006, he was promoted to Colonel.

• The Senate on Thursday welcomed acclaimed documentary filmmaker Ken Burns to the Senate Chamber. Burns was introduced to the Senate before visiting the Oklahoma History Center as a guest of the Oklahoma Educational Television Authority (OETA). Burns’ documentary “The Civil War” has been honored with 40 major film and television awards, including two Grammy Awards and two Emmy Awards.

• The Federal Bureau of Investigation this week alleged that former state Sen. Gene Stipe and a business partner violated federal law by paying themselves nearly $1.5 million each in management fees. A grand jury investigation also alleges that Stipe used “straw donors” to illegally contribute campaign contributions in excess of the amounts allowed by federal and state law.

Index