The Oklahoma Senate

Week In Review
Monday, April 16 to Thursday April 19, 2007

Monday, April 16

• The Senate met Monday and approved the following bills:

-HB 1804 by Sen. James A. Williamson, would establish numerous provisions and penalties relating to illegal immigration in Oklahoma.

-HB 1695 by Sen. Patrick Anderson, would create an Oklahoma AgrAbility Project Act to create a joint program of the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension 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 and who have been affected by a disability.

-HB 1297 by Sen. Brian Crain, would add Oxycodone to Schedule II controlled substances and modifies the name of Dextropropoxyphene to Propoxyphene on the Schedule IV list.

-HB 1794 by Sen. Ron Justice, would create a Task Force on Adolescent Substance Abuse and Misuse of Household Items until 2011.

-HB 2064 by Sen. Don Barrington, would expand authorization to hunt nuisance, or damage-causing wildlife and feral swine at night by use of a headlight to protect marketable agricultural crops or livestock.

-HB 1477 by Sen. Earl Garrison, would direct the Commission for Teacher Preparation to enhance school principal certification requirements.

• Senate committees took no action on bills on Monday.


• The House convened Monday and approved or considered numerous bills including the following:


-SB 1069 by Sen. Jay Paul Gumm, would create a Fair Practices of Equipment Manufacturers, Distributors and Wholesale Managers Act.

-SB 678 by Sen. Kenneth Corn, would add the director or associate director of the Department of Corrections and a representative of the Oklahoma Partnership for Successful Reentry to the membership of the Oklahoma Sentencing Commission.

-SB 1130 by Sen. Todd Lamb, would require the Department of Corrections, in conjunction with the Pardon and Parole Board, to implement a method for tracking the recidivism of persons who are required to have a two stage parole consideration process for the first three years following their individual release from incarceration.

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

• House committees approved a number of bills on Monday, including the following:

-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 902 by Sen. Jay Paul Gumm, would increase from $500,000 to $1 million the limit on ad valorem proceeds that may be used in a countywide economic development program.

-SB 424 by Sen. Tom Adelson, would create the “All Kids Act” to require the Oklahoma Health Care Authority to establish a program to provide medical coverage assistance to children 18 years of age and younger whose family’s income is between 185 percent and 300 percent of the federal poverty level.

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

-SB 654 by Sen. Cliff Branan, would expand the definition of “real estate broker” to include limited liability companies.

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

-SB 809 by Sen. Debbe Leftwich, would modify various provisions relating to the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission.

-SB 984 by Sen. John Sparks, would enact the Interstate Compact on Licensure of Participants in Live Horse Racing with Pari-mutuel Wagering.

-SB 1104 by Sen. Mike Mazzei, would propose a constitutional amendment to prohibit any proceeds from oil and gas leases on lands granted by the United States to the state for the use and benefit of the common schools from being considered part of the permanent school fund and would require that they be deposited into the Oklahoma Teachers’ Retirement Fund.

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

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

-SB 820 by Sen. Mike Morgan, would establish a procedure for determining funding needs for the Oklahoma Higher Learning Access Program and would establish a procedure for funding the program.

-SB 488 by Sen. Constance N. Johnson, would authorize medical examiners to remove eyes and tissues for donation.

-SB 1019 by Sen. Anthony Sykes, would require county commissioners submitting a proposition to county voters to prepare and file one copy of the measure, along with a separate sheet of paper containing the proposed ballot title, with the district attorney of the county for a determination of legal correctness.

-SB 990 by Sen. Kenneth Corn, would create a 12-member Judicial and District Attorney Redistricting Task Force.


Tuesday, April 17

• The Senate met Tuesday and approved the following legislation:

-HB 1387 by Sen. Jim Wilson, would authorize tax credits for residents who have installed a wind and/or photovoltaic energy system.

-HB 2019 by Sen. Richard Lerblance, would authorize a tax exemption on the sales of tangible personal property consumed or incorporated in the construction of a hotel facility contiguous to or located not more than 150 feet from the closest point of improvements to the real property where gaming activities are conducted as authorized by the State-Tribal Gaming Act.

-HB 2085 by Sen. Mike Mazzei, would direct the Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission to focus available resources and funds to promote and support increased emphasis on growing, retaining and attracting an engineering workforce to support the aerospace sector.

-HB 1916 by Sen. Ron Justice, would provide an exemption from the motor fuel tax for biofuel and biodiesel produced by an individual with crops grown on their own property and used in a vehicle owned by the same individual on public roads and highways of the state.

-HB 1055 by Sen. Judy Eason McIntyre, would allow territory within five miles of the corporate limits of a municipality with a population of more than 200,000 to incorporate as a new municipality if the board of county commissioners can provide proper documentation.

-HB 1390 by Sen. Kathleen Wilcoxson, would require kindergarten through third grade teachers to complete training in the Reading First program administered by the state Department of Education before being granted certificate renewal.

-HB 1589 by Sen. Judy Eason McIntyre, would modify the Oklahoma Charter Schools Act, replacing technology center districts with the State Board of Education as a sponsor.

-HB 1650 by Sen. Susan Paddack, would require the Council of Law Enforcement Education and Training to include in its required courses of study for law enforcement certification a minimum of six hours of evidence-based sexual assault and sexual violence training.

-HB 1669 by Sen. Don Barrington, would designate the watermelon as the official vegetable of the state.

-HB 1753 by Sen. Jeff Rabon, states legislative intent with regard to the regulations governing the alcoholic beverage industry.

-HB 1764 by Sen. Owen Laughlin, would create an Oklahoma Electric Power Transmission Task Force.

-HB 1884 by Sen. Todd Lamb, would create a Healthcare Consumer Transparency Task Force.

-HB 1915 by Sen. Ron Justice, would add places on which hunters must get permission from a landowner to hunt.

-HB 2082 by Sen. David Myers, would authorize the Aeronautics Commission to award $40 million in grants to regional business airports as set forth in the Oklahoma Airport System Plan.

-HB 1895 by Sen. Roger Ballenger, would create an Oklahoma Anti-Gang Task Force.

• Senate committees took no action on bills on Tuesday.

• The House met Tuesday and approved numerous bills including the following:

-SB 507 by Sen. Cliff Branan, would establish provisions regarding tort liability exemptions, requirements for the filing of qualified expert affidavits and a noneconomic damages cap of $300,000.

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

-SB 42 by Sen. Clark Jolley, would authorize the Office of Administrative Hearings to allow electronic transmittal of documents and electronic signatures if safeguards are in place to protect against unauthorized use.

-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 ten barrels per well and the total content of oil recovered after enhanced recovery methods not to exceed one percent.

-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 for a preexisting condition, the cost of which is the responsibility of the inmate.

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


• House committees approved a number of bills on Tuesday, including the following:

-SB 1076 by Sen. Mike Mazzei, would extend from April 15 to April 20 the deadline by which individual returns can be filed electronically.

-SB 136 by Sen. Johnnie Crutchfield, would increase the fees for funding activities of the Commission on Marginally Producing Oil and Gas Wells from 0.002 cent to 0.0035 cent per barrel of petroleum liquid and from 0.001 cent per 1,000 cubic feet (Mcf) to 0.00015 cent per 1,000 Mcf of natural gas.

-SB 407 by Sen. Mike Mazzei, would permit the Grand River Dam Authority, with the approval of the State Bond Advisor and the Council of Bond Oversight, to enter into certain financial instruments designed to hedge interest rate risks or to manage interest rate costs.

-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 arrearage payments.

-SB 499 by Sen. Andrew Rice, would create an Oklahoma Task Force on Hunger.

-SB 551 by Sen. Susan Paddack, would create a “Forget-Me-Not Vehicle Safety Act” to make it illegal to leave a child aged six or younger or a vulnerable adult alone in a car.

-SB 145 by Sen. Brian Crain, would authorize district judges and associate or special district judges licensed to carry a concealed handgun whose name appears on a list maintained by the Administrative Director of the Courts to carry or use weapons in a courthouse.

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

-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 the victims of sexual assault.

-SB 510 by Sen. Jay Paul Gumm, would create an Oklahoma Bioenergy Center Act to establish an Oklahoma Bioenergy Center within the Department of Commerce to serve as a strategic partnership that will focus the collective resources of member institutions in the field of bioenergy research to strategically coordinate resources and research programs in Oklahoma to address and undertake research facing the biofuels and the bioenergy industry in Oklahoma.

-SB 447 by Sen. Brian Bingman, would increase from 10 to 11 the number of Rural Economic Action Plan accounts.

-SB 725 by Sen. Andrew Rice, would provide an income tax deduction for economic support of a close relative age 70 or older who resides in the taxpayer’s home for more than one-half of the tax year.



Wednesday, April 18


• The Senate met Wednesday and approved numerous appropriations and sunset bills and the following legislation:

-HB 1631 by Sen. Cliff Aldridge, would direct the Department of Health to aid the Professional Boxing Commission in payroll and employee benefit administration as well as processing, travel and expense reimbursement.

-HB 1702 by Sen. Brian Bingman, would require rubber-tire road construction vehicles to carry no load other than component parts safely secured to the machinery.

-HB 1716 by Sen. Todd Lamb, would apply provisions of the Uniform Tax Procedure Act to any return, claim, statement, written complaint, appeal, application for exemption or other document and payment under the Ad Valorem Tax Code.

-HB 1818 by Sen. Debbe Leftwich, would create a Task Force on Health Care Information Technology.

-HB 1513 by Sen. David Myers, would remove the expiration date on tax credits for ethanol production.

• Senate committees took no action on Wednesday.


• The House met Wednesday and approved the following bills:

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

-SB 86 by Sen. Harry Coates, would modify the definition of “all-terrain vehicle” to mean a motor vehicle powered by an internal combustion engine, that measures 50 inches or less in width and weighs 1,000 pounds or less and includes a seat meant to be straddled by the operator and is steered by handlebars.

-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 be waived for new direct jobs located in a county that has borders contiguous with another state if the waiver is requested by application to the Department of Commerce.

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

-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 376 by Sen. Cliff Aldridge, would establish new procedures for the Commissioners of the Land Office to appraise the value of land.


• House committees approved one bill Wednesday.

-SB 751 by Sen. Randy Bass, would create a Military Base Protection and Expansion Incentive Act.

Thursday, April 19

• The Senate met Thursday and approved two bills.

-SB 507 by Sen. Cliff Branan, would establish provisions regarding tort liability exemptions, requirements for the filing of qualified expert affidavits and a noneconomic damages cap of $300,000.

-HB 1581 by Sen. David Myers, would authorize certain contracts relating to the State Travel Reimbursement Act for certain agencies.

Other News

• On Monday, voting began to choose a design for Oklahoma’s commemorative state quarter. Voters can choose from five designs at www.gov.ok.gov/coin.php. Voting will continue through 5 p.m., April 27.

• Oklahoma universities this week announced heightened security protocols at campuses throughout the state, after a shooting at Virginia Tech University left over 30 students dead. Residence halls at the University of Oklahoma will be locked 24 hours a day for the remainder of the semester.

• Oklahoma’s Medicaid system was cited as one of the nation’s ten worst in a report issued this week by a national consumer advocacy group. The Public Citizen Health Research Group ranked Oklahoma 47th overall, based on criteria including physician reimbursement, quality of care and the scope of services offered.

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