The Oklahoma Senate
• The Senate met Monday and approved one resolution.
-HCR 1022 by Sen. John Sparks, declares March 26, as Diabetes Awareness Day, and states that diabetes is a global crisis and it is now estimated that one in ten Oklahomans suffers from diabetes.
• Senate committees passed a number of sunset bills and several other measures on Monday, including the following:
-HB 1914 by Sen. Roger Ballenger, would create the Feral Swine Control Act and provide license and permit requirements for hunting.
-HB 1527 by Sen. Earl Garrison, would direct the Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry to operate an “Oklahoma Agritourism” program to stimulate economic growth in rural communities.
-HB 1796 by Sen. Charles Wyrick, would rename the Oklahoma Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations Act as the Oklahoma Swine Feeding Operations Act.
-HB 1774 by Sen. Cliff Branan, would provide that if Oklahoma Department Of Transportation project progressive payments are based on a public agency’s estimated quantities of materials provided and work performed, certifications are not required.
-HB 1432 by Sen. Owen Laughlin, would require that the original tracing of each plat and two prints and a reduced copy be presented for recording.
-HCR 1022 by Sen. John Sparks, declared March 26, as Diabetes Awareness Day, and stated that diabetes is a global crisis and it is now estimated that one in ten Oklahomans suffers from diabetes.
-SCR 14 by Sen. Debbe Leftwich, recognizes the contributions of the United Parcel Service of America, Inc. and designates Aug. 2, 2007, as UPS Day in the state.
-SCR 4 by Sen. Cliff Branan, praises the life of Max L. Frates who died Aug. 30, 2006, at the age of 98 and offers condolences.
-HCR 1023 by Sen. James A. Williamson, praises Col. James E. Swett for his leadership and service and expresses appreciation.
• House committees approved a number of bills on Monday, including the following:
-SB 47 by Sen. Brian Crain, would prohibit the forced implantation of a microchip in humans and authorizes the Department of Health to impose a maximum fine of $10,000 against violators.
-SB 833 by Sen. John Sparks, would provide for confidentiality of records that identify any person who has participated in a public health investigation or who may have a communicable or noncommunicable disease which is required to be reported.
-SB 509 by Sen. Charles Wyrick, would allow reimbursement of owners and operators of solid waste landfill disposal sites for capital investment costs that have been or will be expended for the purchase of a wheel wash system for use at the landfill site.
-SB 434 by Sen. Jeff Rabon, would modify the authority of game wardens to allow them to make a complaint and cause proceedings to be commenced against any person for violation of any state law with the sanction of the prosecuting or district attorney in which the proceedings are brought.
-SB 721 by Sens. Don Barrington and Johnnie Crutchfield, would require a permit to hunt wildlife or feral swine at night to protect marketable agricultural crops, livestock or processed feed, seed or other materials used in the protection of an agricultural commodity.
-SB 558 by Sen. John Sparks, would decrease from $19 to $9 the fee for deer archery hunting licenses and primitive firearms licenses for Oklahoma residents under age 18.
-SB 709 by Sen. Ron Justice, would prohibit manure from being defined or considered as hazardous waste.
-SB 70 by Sens. Roger Ballenger and Johnnie Crutchfield, would create the Feral Swine Control Act and specify hunting license and permit requirements.
-SB 161 by Sen. Ron Justice, would authorize landowners or occupants of the premises and persons authorized by the owner or occupant to kill any animal of the dog or cat genus chasing livestock off the premises.
-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 establishing guidelines for such practice.
-SB 704 by Sen. Mike Schulz, would authorize the Conservation Commission to cooperate with county commissioners to obtain their assistance for roadside erosion control or for the construction of upstream flood control structures and invasive species control.
-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 and seize or destroy nursery stock.
-SB 93 by Sen. Susan Paddack, would delete the requirement for the Governor to appoint a licensed embalmer and funeral director from a list of qualified persons submitted by the Oklahoma Funeral Directors Association.
-SB 607 by Sens. Cliff Aldridge and Joe Sweeden, would require that the 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 chairs of the appropriate House and Senate Sunset committees by Nov. 1 of each year.
-SB 639 by Sen. Randy Bass, would allow the Department of Health to enter into contracts for professional services with health-related professionals who have retired from state service.
-SB 698 by Sen. Charles Laster, would limit to 30 the number of items the court clerk may be requested to produce or permit inspection or copying of in civil cases.
-SB 32 by Sen. Mary Easley, would modify requirements for applying for the $15 automobile registration fee for members of the military.
-SB 81 by Sen. Kenneth Corn, would change the time for which the county jail can charge the Department of Corrections for housing an inmate to begin on the date the sentence was ordered by the court.
-SB 158 by Sen. Randy Bass, would order the court to delay final determination or modification in child custody cases until after a parent engaged in active duty in the Oklahoma National Guard or other branch of the armed services completes his or her term of active duty.
-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 of children without a court order.
-SB 539 by Sen. Randy Bass, would provide that the spouse of a package store license holder or partner is not deemed to be a partner or have a beneficial interest in a package store unless his or her name appears on the license.
-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 required to establish a 24-hour statewide telephone communication service for victims of sexual assault.
-SB 907 by Sen. Brian Crain, would provide that, if the driving privileges of an offender have been suspended, revoked, cancelled or denied by the Department of Public Safety and the drug court judge determines that no other means of transportation for the offender is available, the judge may enter a written order to stay the actions against the Class D driving privileges of the offender. The judge may only grant driving privileges necessary to allow an offender to adequately comply with the drug court program.
-SB 140 by Sen. Randy Bass, would authorize the Highway Construction Materials Technician Certification Board to promulgate rules governing the training of construction inspectors.
-SB 378 by Sen. Roger Ballenger, would permit county commissioners to create a circuit engineering district with any county or counties, eliminating the requirement that the counties be located within their Association of County Commissioners of Oklahoma districts.
-SB 410 Sen. Kenneth Corn, would increase from $10 to $30 the special annual oversize permit fee for special mobilized machinery.
-SB 563 by Sen. Cliff Aldridge, would require that 5 percent of the Public Transit Revolving Fund go towards funding new mass transportation programs.
• The Senate met Tuesday and approved the following resolution:
-SCR 22 by Sen. Jim Wilson, praises the patriotism of Sgt. William J. Beardsley and mourns his loss.
-HB 1038 by Sen. Sean Burrage, would exempt the Department of Commerce from being required to provide utility supply and utility equipment supply contracts for any industrial customer with a connected electric load exceeding 2,500 kilowatts if public access to the contracts would give an unfair advantage to the customer’s competitors.
-HB 1340 by Sen. Johnnie Crutchfield, would establish guidelines by which a manufactured homeowner may apply to the Oklahoma Tax Commission for a new original certificate of title.
-HB 1006 by Sen. Charles Wyrick, 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 1742 by Sen. Todd Lamb, would allow applicants for concealed handgun licenses to request the license be valid for 10 years.
-HB 1306 by Sen. Cliff Branan, would require “Merge Now” traffic control devices to be placed a certain distance from highway construction and maintenance areas.
-HB 1618 by Sen. Kenneth Corn, would require employing agencies of certified police or peace officers to administer the psychological instrument approved by the Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training.
-HB 1702 by Sen. Brian Bingman, would require rubber-tired road construction vehicles to carry no load other than component parts safely secured to the machinery.
-HB 1707 by Sen. Kenneth Corn, would exempt probation and parole vehicles of the Department of Corrections from being required to place the name of the department owning or leasing the vehicle in conspicuous letters.
-HB 1711 by Sen. Jim Wilson, would permit unemancipated persons under 18 who are in the permanent custody of the Department of Human services to be excluded from submitting an application for restricted license signed by another person if the applicant can provide proof of financial responsibility.
-HB 1868 by Sen. Susan Paddack, would modify language regarding automobile or motorcycle accident prevention courses, stating that such courses shall be approved by the insurance company of the policy holder.
-HB 1090, by Sen. Sean Burrage, would create a misdemeanor offense for individuals who affix on his or her vehicle any insignia typically used by law enforcement agency for the purpose of causing any other vehicle operator to yield the right of way and stop.
-HCR 1023 by Sen. James A. Williamson, praises Col. James E. Swett for his leadership and service and expresses appreciation.
-SCR 4 by Sen. Cliff Branan, commends the life of Max L. Frates, and offers condolences to his family.
• House committees approved a number of bills on Tuesday, including the following:
-SB 861 by Sen. Don Barrington, includes a $67.3 million income tax cut, a $13.6 million new child credit, a $2.2 million franchise tax exemption and a back-to-school sales tax holiday agreement.
-SB 551 by Sen. Susan Paddack, would make it illegal to leave a child aged six or younger or a vulnerable adult alone in a car.
-SB 938 by Sen. Charles Laster, would authorize the Department of Human Services, the Department of Health and the State Fire Marshal to enter into contracts with Indian tribes to allow the state to conduct any inspections of child care facilities.
-SB 614 by Sen. Tom Ivester, would provide that, in investigating Medicaid fraud or patient abuse, death certificates would be provided at no cost to the Attorney General or his or her designee.
-SB 109 by Sen. Jonathan Nichols, would remove the exemption for a parent or legal guardian who is a registered sex offender to be within the safety zone of a school when their child is participating in a school sanctioned activity and accompanied by a person who is 21 years of age or older who is not a registered sex offender.
-SB 678 by Sen. Kenneth Corn, would add the Director or Associate Director of the Department of Corrections to the membership of the Oklahoma Sentencing Commission.
-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 the applicable humane organization.
-SB 98 by Sen. Don Barrington, would create a Fire Extinguisher Licensing Act to regulate the sale, installation and servicing of portable fire extinguishers.
-SB 809 by Sen. Debbe Leftwich, would modify various provisions relating to the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission requiring a surety bond of $150,000 for OESC employees and officers.
-SB 984 by Sen. John Sparks, would enact the Interstate Compact on Licensure of Participants in Live Horse Racing with Pari-mutuel Wagering to establish uniform requirements among the party states for the licensing of participants in live horse racing with pari-mutuel racing.
-SB 793 by Sen. Clark Jolley, would expand employer practices deemed to be discriminatory to include any prohibition against employees displaying, exhibiting or wearing symbols of his or her religion on religious holidays.
-SB 1028 by Sen. Charles Laster, would provide that, for purposes of the Standards for Workplace Drug and Alcohol Testing Act, the written statement shall include the drugs and alcohol that will be tested for.
-SB 45 by Sen. Harry Coates, would allow the Construction Industries Board to establish a schedule of fees for licenses or registrations paid for with a dishonored check.
-SB 60 by Sen. John Ford, would change the code for residential apartments and dormitories, removing the limitation of only 32 units per building.
-SB 654 by Sen. Cliff Branan, would expand the definition of “real estate broker” to include limited liability companies.
-SB 808 by Sen. Debbe Leftwich, would appropriate $15,782,919.72 from funds made available to this state by the federal Reed Act distribution made on March 13, 2002, to the Oklahoma Employment Security Administration Fund.
-SB 1006 by Sen. Jeff Rabon, would increase the terms of members of the Real Estate Commission from three years to four.
-SB 1092 by Sen. Mike Mazzei, would increase employer contribution rates to 8.75 percent beginning July 1, 2009, for members of the Teachers’ Retirement System of Oklahoma.
-SB 674 by Sen. Jonathan Nichols, would modify language related to the Oklahoma Firefighters Pension and Retirement System.
-SB 63 by Sen. Brian Crain, would increase county retirement system contribution percentages.
-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 560 by Sen. John Sparks, would modify the administration, servicing and processing procedures for accident and health insurance claims.
-SB 565 by Sen. John Sparks, would authorize self-audits for insurance compliance.
-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 to include contracting, monitoring and evaluation of residential and treatment programs other than institutions and community-based youth services agencies.
-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 72 by Sen. Brian Crain, would require that when improvements to residential real property are divided by a taxing jurisdiction line, the improvements be valued and assessed in the taxing jurisdiction in which the physical majority of the improvements are located.
-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 the Oklahoma Silver Haired Legislature Alumni Association.
-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 572 by Sen. Judy Eason McIntyre, would provide an income tax check off for donations to regional and community food bank programs.
-SB 798 by Sen. Jay Paul Gumm, would exempt from ad valorem taxation distribution facilities that meet the following qualifications: construction with an initial capital investment of at least $5 million to be completed within three years, employment of at least 100 full-time equivalent employees and payment of wages that equals or exceeds 175 percent of the federally mandated minimum wage.
-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 854 by Sen. Jim Wilson, would provide that a taxpayer who qualifies for the five-year carry forward election pursuant to the Oklahoma College Savings Plan Act and who takes a rollover of non-qualified withdrawal before the end of the five-year period, the portion of the contribution allocable to the remaining calendar years, beginning with the calendar year following the rollover or non-qualified withdrawal, would not be eligible for the income tax deduction that is otherwise available for contributions made to accounts.
-HB 1017 by Sen. Clark Jolley, would require the actual name and address of the manufacturer to be displayed on sound recordings or visual works that are offered for rental, sell, resale, distribution or circulation.
-SCR 22 by Sen. Jim Wilson, praises the patriotism of Sergeant William J. Beardsley and mourns his loss.
-SR 21 by Sen. Mike Morgan, commends the Boys and Girls Clubs Appreciation Day at the Oklahoma State Capitol.
-SR 22 by Sen. Kenneth Corn, praises the law enforcement career of the late Danny Martinez, a Fort Smith police officer killed in the line of duty.
-HCR 1020 by Sen. Tom Adelson, recognizes the importance of finding the cause and cure for multiple sclerosis, expresses appreciation to the Oklahoma Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society for its work and proclaims March, 2007 as Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month.
-HB 1601 by Sen. Clark Jolley, modifies language that requires at least 60 minutes per week of physical education for students to clarify that the physical education requirement is in addition to recess.
-HB 1390 by Sen. Kathleen Wilcoxson, would require kindergarten through third grade teachers, before being granted a certificate renewal, to complete training in the Reading First program administered by the state Department of Education.
-HB 1674 by Sen. Todd Lamb, would modify language relating to the application of flexible benefit allowances for school district employees under the Larry Dickerson Education Flexible Benefits Allowance Act.
-HB 1698 by Sen. Judy Eason McIntyre, would require the Oklahoma Commission for Teacher Preparation to develop, offer and administer professional development institutes to train middle school teachers in reading education, as well as elementary school teachers.
-HB 1717 by Sen. Clark Jolley, would authorize the State Board of Education to provide test fee reimbursement to public school students who take part in the Oklahoma Advanced Placement Incentive Program and score a three or better on the test or a four or better on the International Baccalaureate test.
-HB 1695 by Sen. Patrick Anderson, would create an Oklahoma AgrAbility Project Act that provides for a joint program of the Oklahoma Cooperative Extensive Service, ABLE Tech, Langston University and the Oklahoma Assistive Technology Foundation to provide assistance to individuals who are engaged in farming or an agriculture-related activity who have been affected by a disability.
-HB 1379 by Sen. Tom Adelson, would create an Unclaimed Gas and Electric Utility Deposit Fund to be managed by the Department of Human Services for use in the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program.
-HB 1926 by Sen. Nancy Riley, would create an Advantage Waiver Developmental Disability Services Rate Review Committee.
-HB 1760 by Sen. Todd Lamb, requires that jurors be notified about a mandatory minimum sentencing for sex offenders.
-HB 1329 by Sen. John Ford, would modify the punishment for identity theft to include imprisonment of not less than one year nor more than five years.
-HB 1649 by Sen. Judy Eason McIntyre, would enact a State Plan for Coordination of Efforts for Prevention of Sexual Violence to provide a comprehensive, coordinated, multidisciplinary and interagency effort to reduce the rate of sexual violence in the state.
-HB 1927 by Sen. Debbe Leftwich, would modify requirements for background checks conducted by the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation on court-appointed special advocates and other required background checks.
-HB 2082 by Sen. David Myers, would authorize the Aeronautics Commission to award $40 million in grants to regional business airports.
-HR 1017 by Rep. Tad Jones, commends the Boys and Girls Clubs of Oklahoma for the valuable contribution they make to the young people of the state.
-HCR 1020 by Sen. Tom Adelson, recognizes the importance of finding the cause and cure for multiple sclerosis.
-SCR 4 by Sen. Cliff Branan, commends the life of Max L. Frates and offers condolences to his family.
• House committees approved a number of measures Wednesday, including the following:
-SB 139 by Sens. Cliff Branan and Jay Paul Gumm, would direct the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center to establish and maintain a public umbilical cord blood bank for collecting and storing umbilical cord blood and placental tissue donated by maternity patients.
-SB 473 by Sen. Cliff Branan, would prohibit smoking in all parts of a zoo to which the public may be admitted.
-SB 494 by Sen. Andrew Rice, would prohibit the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services from entering into contracts with uncertified community mental health centers, residential care homes, programs of assertive community treatment, eating disorder treatment programs, gambling addiction treatment programs, programs providing alcohol or drug abuse treatment and mental health facilities.
-SB 1091 by Sen. Tom Adelson, would remove the requirement that direct care staff at residential care homes who are responsible for administration of medication obtain a residential care certificate of training.
-SB 1 by Sen. Randy Brogdon, would create a Taxpayer Transparency Act to require the Office of State Finance to develop and operate a searchable website by which the public can monitor any expenditure of state tax dollars.
-SB 51 by Sen. Susan Paddack, would increase the fine for failing to wear a seatbelt on Oklahoma roads from $20 to $40.
-SB 1051 by Sen. Susan Paddack, would modify continuing education requirements for security guards and private investigators.
-SB 448 by Sen. Charles Laster, would modify minimum off-duty hours between shifts for property-carrying commercial drivers.
-SB 986 by Sen. Don Barrington, would require the Department of Public Safety to contract for the evaluation, analysis and planning of a statewide interoperable communication system.
-SB 610 by Sen. Don Barrington, would allow right turns to be made from a highway shoulder that exists beyond the right-hand edge of the roadway.
Thursday, March 29
• The Senate met Thursday and approved one resolution.
-SCR 23 by Sen. Judy Eason McIntyre, declares April 3,
2007, as Prenatal Care Awareness Day in the state of Oklahoma.
• On Wednesday, the Senate honored U.S. Army Sergeant William J. "B.J." Beardsley who was killed in Iraq on Monday, February 26. Beardsley was a member of the 260th Quartermaster Battalion, 3rd Sustainment Troop Brigade of the 3rd Infantry Division based in Fort Stewart, Georgia. The 25-year-old was killed by an improvised explosive device while on patrol in an unarmored Humvee. At the time, he was traveling in a military convoy near Diwaniyah, Iraq, south of Baghdad. Beardsley was eight months into his first tour of duty in Iraq and was due back home on leave in April. He would have celebrated his 26th birthday in May. Senate Resolution 22, authored by Sen. Jim Wilson, memorializes the life and military contributions of Sgt. Beardsley.
• Danny Martinez, a Fort Smith police officer who
was shot to death on Saturday, March 24, 2007, was honored by the Senate
on Wednesday. Martinez served for several years with the Poteau and
Panama, Oklahoma police departments. He later went on to serve as Chief
of Police for police departments in Shady Point and Wister. Martinez
was a resident of Summerfield in LeFlore County where he lived with
his wife and five children.