The Oklahoma Senate
• The Senate met Monday and approved the following bills:
-SB 810 by Sen. Ron Justice, would expand the duties of the State Board of Agriculture to include setting rules regarding prescribed burning and smoke management.
-HCR 1027 by Sen. Ron Justice, would designate May 9, 2007, as Meningitis Awareness Day and encourages education concerning the disease.
• The House convened Monday and approved one substantive bill.
• House committees took no action on Monday.
• The Senate met Tuesday and approved one bill.
-SJR 32 by Sen. Glenn Coffee, is a shell bill relating to Ethics Commission rules.
• The Senate General Conference Committee on Appropriations approved the following bills on Tuesday:
-SB 447 by Sen. Brian Bingman, would increase from 10 to 11 the number of Rural Economic Action Plan (REAP) Accounts.
-HB 1327 by Sen. John Ford, would modify the definition of “nonviolent offense,” for purposes of the Oklahoma Prison Overcrowding Emergency Powers Act.
-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 1383 by Sen. Jim Reynolds, would exempt the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation from the oversight of the Fleet Management Division.
-HB 1581 by Sen. David Myers, would authorize state agencies to enter into contracts and agreements for the payment of food and lodging expenses for employees attending official instruction or training courses.
-HB 1695 by Sen. Patrick Anderson, would create the Oklahoma AgrAbility Project Act to provide assistance to those who are engaged in farming or an agriculture-related activity who have been affected by a disability.
-HB 1762 by Sen. Owen Laughlin, would require that students eligible to participate in the Oklahoma Higher Learning Access Act (OHLAP) must be residents or be enrolled in a school district located in the state that serves both Oklahoma residents and those in an adjacent state.
-SB 98 by Sen. Don Barrington, would create a Fire Extinguisher Licensing Act.
-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 or to manage interest rate costs.
• The House met Tuesday and approved several resolutions including the following:
-SCR 10 by Sen. Randy Brogdon, would urge the United States to withdraw from the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America.
• House committees took no action on Tuesday.
-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 or to manage interest rate risks.
-SB 447 by Sen. Brian Bingman, would increase from 10 to 11 the number of Rural Economic Action Plan (REAP) accounts.
-SB 464 by Sen. Constance Johnson, would direct that the state not participate in the REAL ID Act of 2005.
-SB 139 by Sens. Cliff Branan and James A. Williamson, would modify the definition of abortion and language relating to documentation a parent must provide to issue consent.
-HB 1027 by Sen. Kenneth Corn, would prohibit convicted felons from possessing or using an altered air or toy pistol.
-HB 1343 by Sen. Earl Garrison, would entitle state-employed veterans to Veterans’ Day off work without loss of pay.
-HB 1476 by Sen. Clark Jolley, would create the Passport to Financial Literacy Act.
-HB 1579 by Sen. Don Barrington, would modify guidelines governing juvenile court proceedings.
-HB 1631 by Sen. Cliff Aldridge, would direct the Department of Health to aid the Professional Boxing Commission in payroll and employee benefit administration.
-HB 1674 by Sen. Todd Lamb, would modify language relating to the application of flexible benefit allowances for school district employees.
-HB 1762 by Sen. Owen Laughlin, would require that students eligible to participate in OHLAP must be residents or be enrolled in a school district located in the state that serves both Oklahoma residents and those in an adjacent state.
-HB 1808 by Sen. Mike Mazzei, would propose a constitutional amendment to provide a full tax exemption for the full amount of all household personal property subject to ad valorem tax for heads of households who have been honorably discharged from active service in any branch of the U.S. Armed Forces or Oklahoma National Guard.
-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 and whose families meet certain income requirements.
-SB 710 by Sen. Ron Justice, would expand the authority of the Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry to inspect nursery stock.
-SB 905 by Sen. Jonathan Nichols, would increase the penalty for shooting a firearm with intent to kill.
• The House met Wednesday and approved one bill.
-HB 1816 by Sen. Todd Lamb, would establish penalties for parents or others who willfully or maliciously engage in sexual abuse or sexual exploitation with a child under the age of 12.
• House committees took no action on Wednesday.
Thursday, May 17
• The Senate met Thursday and approved the following bills:
-SB 426 by Sen. Judy Eason McIntyre, would allow territories that have a certain population to incorporate with certain documentation.
-SB 517 by Sen. Jim Wilson, would update references to forest fires and would add definitions for “lawful burning” and “limited liability burning”.
-SB 809 by Sen. Debbe Leftwich, would modify various provisions relating to the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission.
-SB 371 by Sen. Cliff Aldridge, would make it a felony to issue a false report that results in an Amber Alert.
-SB 658 by Sen. Andrew Rice, would allow county commissioners to transfer land deeds to nonprofit organizations if the land is no longer needed for county purposes.
-SB 622 by Sen. Patrick Anderson, would repeal language relating to airport and aircraft manufacturer and dealer agreements.
-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 the legal correctness.
-SB 859 by Sen. Don Barrington, would modify eligibility requirements for participation in the Oklahoma Firefighters Deferred Option Plan.
-SB 560 by Sen. John Sparks, would modify processing procedures for accident and health insurance claims.
• In honor of Oklahoma's coal and railroad industry, a painting depicting the relationship between McAlester's first coal production and the KATY railroad was unveiled Wednesday in the Senate. The painting by world-renown artist Wayne Cooper was sponsored by the Puterbaugh Foundation and commissioned by the Oklahoma State Senate Historical Preservation Fund.
• FEMA officials this week began the process of examining damage in 19 counties across Oklahoma from storms and flooding. Governor Brad Henry last week declared a disaster in all 77 Oklahoma counties. FEMA will soon make a recommendation as to whether the state receives federal aid.
• Officials from the Oklahoma Department of Corrections
this week released figures illustrating a growing problem of overcrowding
in Oklahoma prisons. More than 6,000 prisoners are currently being held
in contract beds in county jails, halfway houses and private prisons,
where the state pays to house the inmates.