The Oklahoma Senate

Week In Review
Monday, February 25 to Thursday, February 28, 2008

Monday, February 25

• The Senate met Monday and approved the following measures:

-SB 1468 by Sen. Mike Schulz, reduces the minimum age for correctional officers and guards from 21 to 20.

-SB 1550 by Sen. Charles Laster, modifies and adds requirements for certain reports to the Employment Security Commission and the New Hire registry relating to certain performance of labor or services.

-SB 1178 by Sen. Bill Brown, modifies language relating to the Oklahoma Vessel and Motor Registration Act.

-SB 1405 by Sen. Bill Brown, modifies language relating to the Advantage Waiver and Developmental Disability Services Rate Review Committee.

-SB 1609 by Sen. Jim Wilson, expands the definition of “dependent” within the State Education Employees Group Insurance Act to include dependents under age 25.

-SB 1645 by Sen. Patrick Anderson, requires the State Board of Health to establish rules for the testing of every infant born in the state for severe neonatal hyperbilirubinemia prior to discharge from the facility where the infant was born.

-SB 1674 by Sen. Jim Wilson, states that students who are determined to graduate on time may be allowed to participate in a work-study program and receive elective credit upon approval by a school administrator.

-SB 1685 by Sen. Jim Wilson, modifies language related to funds paid toward a mutual investment certificate or funds paid toward any other interest in a banking or financial institution.

-SB 1793 by Sen. Bill Brown, establishes circumstances where utility vehicles may be operated on streets and highways.

-SB 1794 by Sen. Charles Laster, requires those purchasing or obtaining any mixture containing dextromethorphan or any spray paint product to show a valid drivers license or state-issued identification showing the birth date of the individual, and prohibits the sale of such products to individuals under the age of 18.

-SCR 54 by Sen. Judy Eason-McIntyre, honors the career achievements of Marcus Haynes.

• Senate committees approved the following legislation on Monday:

-SB 2100 by Sen. John Ford, would create a charter school district pilot program allowing 10 Oklahoma school districts to become charter districts.


• The House convened Monday and approved the following bills:

-HB 3124 by Rep. Tad Jones, directs the State Board of Education to issue a two-year nonrenewable license to teach to any person who has been accepted into the Teach for America Program and has on file a current Oklahoma and national criminal history record.

-HB 2241 by Rep. Terry Ingmire, authorizes the Crime Victims Compensation Board to grant an additional $20,000 in compensation for loss of wages for the victim or loss of support for dependents of a deceased victim.

-HB 2694 by Rep. Paul Roan, authorizes a court to require the Department of Public Safety to stay any suspension, revocation or cancellation of driving privileges if the offender has no other means of transportation.

-HB 2974 by Rep. Chuck Hoskin, modifies language related to child custody, requiring notice of relocation be provided in writing.

• House committees on Monday approved the following measures:


-HB 2217 by Rep. John Wright, adds home invasion to the list of crimes for which violators must serve at least 85 percent of their sentence.

-HB 2663 by Rep. Randy McDaniel, exempts the acquisition of pharmaceuticals not covered by Medicaid for juveniles in the custody of Juvenile Affairs from the Oklahoma Central Purchasing Act.

-HB 3024 by Rep. Jason Murphey, prohibits elections otherwise authorized by the Oklahoma Rural Road Improvement District Act from being conducted if the assessment imposed is in excess of 3 mills.

-HB 3193 by Rep. Lee Denney, requires drivers approaching a stationary wrecker or tow vehicle displaying flashing lights to move to a lane not adjacent to the stationary vehicle or reduce speed while passing.

-HB 2483 by Rep. Eric Proctor, prohibits persons convicted of a felony involving moral turpitude from being eligible for appointment and commission as a notary public.

-HB 3312 by Rep. Mark McCullough, creates a 13-member Task Force on Defined Contribution Retirement Plan for Uniform Retirement System for Justices and Judges.

-HB 3070 by Rep. T.W. Shannon, modifies reference to the Oklahoma Professional Boxing License Act, making it the Oklahoma Sports Commission Act.

-HJR 1056 by Rep. Steve Martin, proposes a constitutional amendment directing the Oklahoma Tax Commission to transfer a portion of municipal sales taxes to the Municipal Sales Tax Redistribution Fund.

-HJR 1055 by Rep. Guy Liebmann, proposes a constitutional amendment prohibiting the value of certain homesteads owned by individuals over 65 from increasing for property tax purposes.

-HB 2534 by Rep. Mark McCullough, requires personal representatives to file notice to any individual or entity that may have a tort claim against the decedent.

-HB 2513 by Rep. Jason Murphey, allows any person, except a convicted felon, to transport in a motor vehicle a rifle, shotgun or pistol open and loaded at any time.


Tuesday, February 26

• The Senate met Tuesday and approved the following bills:

-SB 1138 by Sen. Todd Lamb, creates a special license plate for veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

-SB 1134 by Sen. Earl Garrison, designates the first Monday of each month as a day of remembrance for those serving in the war on terror.

-SB 1168 by Sen. Owen Laughlin, clarifies liability for costs of medical care for defendants in the custody of a county jail.

-SB 1384 by Sen. Don Barrington, declares the operation of vehicles by certain state departments to be a public government function, and requires buses to comply with certain railroad crossing provisions.

-SB 1506 by Sen. Sean Burrage, prohibits the opening of public highways on certain section lines.

-SB 1546 by Sen. Roger Ballenger, adds the adoption of certain cooperation and payments in lieu of tax agreements as a requirement for the Creek Nation Housing Authority.

-SB 1675 by Sen. Don Barrington, authorizes the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation to disclose certain information to employees of the Department of Human Services.

-SB 1853 by Sen. Cliff Aldridge, clarifies definitions relating to the Psychiatric and Chemical Dependency Facility Certificate of Need Act.

-SB 1859 by Sen. Charles Wyrick, creates the Oklahoma Dairy Promotion Act and the Dairy Promotion Commission.

-SB 2297 by Sen. Tom Adelson, Sen. Mike Johnson, Sen. Mike Morgan and Sen. David Myers, authorizes an institution of higher education to employ a former member of the board of regents after six months have passed since the term of office of the former member resigned from the board.

Senate committees took no action on Tuesday.

• The House approved the following bills on Tuesday:

-HB 3122 by Rep. Tad Jones, requires a school year to consist of at least 1,080 hours.

-HB 3098 by Rep. Gary Banz, creates the Aerospace Institute Act.

-HB 2695 by Rep. Paul Roan authorizes the Commissioner of Public Safety to own, train and use canines to assist in detection of explosives and controlled substances.

-SB 45 by Sen. Harry Coates, allows the Construction Industries Board to establish a schedule of fees for licenses or registrations paid for with a dishonored check.

• House committees met Tuesday approved the following measures:


-HB 2222 by Rep. Mike Reynolds, relates to the Ethics Commission Fund by providing funding based on contributions reported to the Ethics Commission.

-HB 2263 by Rep. Ken Miller, relates to public finance and budget work programs and requires submitting approved plans by agencies to certain legislative entities.

-HB 2553 by Rep. Guy Liebmann, relates to public finance & gross production taxes and deletes apportionment restrictions for certain fiscal years.

-HB 2702 by Rep. Kris Steele, creates the Oklahoma Water Conservation Grant Program Act, and directs the Oklahoma Water Resources Board to solicit and make water conservation project grants.

-HB 2833 by Rep. Kris Steele, creates the Oklahoma Food Security Commission.

-HB 3110 by Rep. Ron Peterson, increases the license fees for manufacturers and wholesalers of cigarettes to $250 and requires the applicant to agree to abide by the Cigarette and Tobacco Products Code and only sell cigarettes or tobacco products to licensed retailers or tribally owned or licensed stores.

-HB 2502 by Rep. Dennis Adkins, removes language relating to the E911 Emergency Service Fund and states that the fund is to be used to fund the provisions of enhanced 911 emergency service to every citizen in Oklahoma.

-HB 3266 by Rep. Terry Harrison, provides for courts immediately to suspend visitation with an alleged child abuser in certain situations.

-HB 2568 by Ron Peterson, allows the Child Death Review Board and the Domestic Violence Fatality Review Board to enter into agreements with other entities to conduct joint reviews of child abuse deaths and near deaths.

-HB 2535 by Rep. Mark McCullough, grants an income tax credit to taxpayers who make voluntary cash contributions to a qualifying charitable organization.

-HB 2702 by Rep. Kris Steele, creates the Oklahoma Water Conservation Grant Program Act.

-HB 2833 by Rep. Kris Steele, creates the Oklahoma Food Security Act.

-HB 3353 by Rep. Randy Terrill, creates the In God We Trust, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom and Veterans motorcycle specialty license plates.


Wednesday, February 27

The Senate met Wednesday and approved numerous appropriations shell bills in addition to the following substantive legislation:

-SB 1761 by Sen. James A. Williamson, modifies the definition of "related professional services" as it relates to the Professional Entity Act.

-SB 1644 by Sen. Jeff Rabon, adds design and realignment to the purposes for which money in the County Improvements for Road and Bridges Fund may be used by the Transportation Commission.

-SB 1648 by Sen. Richard Lerblance, expands the list of persons authorized to file a motion for expungement to include those released from prison at the time innocence was established.

-SB 1851 by Sen. Clark Jolley, modifies language related to minor service contracts for public buildings or public works.

-SB 1694 by Sen. Sean Burrage, directs the State Department of Education to encourage school boards and districts to develop mentorship programs aimed at reducing drop-out rates.

-SB 1760 by Sen. James A. Williamson, allows the appointment of juvenile court case managers in any county subject to the approval of the Chief Justice of the Oklahoma Supreme Court, to serve at the pleasure of the Chief of the Juvenile Division.

-SB 1725 by Sen. Mike Schulz, exempts from forfeiture during imprisonment any trade, occupational or professional license and directs all state entities with oversight of occupational and professional licenses to establish procedures where a person convicted of a criminal offense may appeal to have their license reinstated.

-SB 1647 by Sen. Richard Lerblance, decreases the maximum fee from $300 per month to $15 per day for electronic monitoring of defendants convicted of a crime.

-SB 1192 by Sen. Tom Adelson, modifies the process by which the Department of Human Services investigates community services workers or Medicaid personal care assistants, calling on DHS to determine a finding of maltreatement.

-SB 686 by Sen. Randy Bass, relates to the Oklahoma Alcoholic Beverage Control Act by providing for product tastings of wine by a package store licensee.

-SB 1585 by Sen. Clark Jolley, removes language related to the issuance of audited financial statements of the Oklahoma Higher Education Promise of Excellence Act of 2005.

-SB 1880 by Sen. Clark Jolley, extends the lifespan of the Achieving Classroom Excellence II Task Force and extends the terms of appointed members.

-SB 1148 by Sen. Patrick Anderson, authorizes the use of a simplified return or affidavit in lieu of an estate tax return when the net estate of a decedent passes to a father, mother, child or other lineal descendent, subject to applicable exemptions.

• Senate committees met Wednesday but took no action.

• The House met Wednesday and approved the following bills:

-HB 2229 by Rep. Ed Cannaday, requires the State Board of Education rules regarding Celebrate Freedom Week to establish different levels of content and rigor that are appropriate for the different grade levels and meet state and national standards.

-HB 2446 by Rep. David Braddock, makes the financial need provisions for participation in the Oklahoma Higher Learning Access Program not applicable to any student adopted while in the permanent custody of the Department of Human Services, in court-ordered custody of a licensed private nonprofit child-placing agency or federally recognized Indian tribe.

-HB 2634 by Rep. Sally Kern, exempts people who have valid out-of-state teaching certificates and who have 10 or more years of out-of-state teaching experience from having to complete the subject area portions of the competency examination and be issued a certificate to teach in Oklahoma or be considered a highly qualified teacher.

-HB 2641 by Rep. Ron Peters, directs the State Board of Health to consult with the Home Health Advisory Board to establish rules for the Home Care Act.

-HB 2958 by Rep. Sue Tibbs, prohibits age from being a reason for denying an individual who meets the minimum required age the placement or custody of a child.

-HB 3340 by Rep. Mike Thompson, authorizes the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority to advertise surface-treatment-only projects of more than 20 miles by sections no longer than 20 miles, as well as bids on the project as a whole.

-SCR 44 by Sen. Anthony Sykes, praises the Beautification Committee of Dream Duncan's Destiny and designates Duncan, OK, the Crapemyrtle Capital of Oklahoma.

-SCR 54 by Sen. Judy Eason-McIntyre, honors the career accomplishments of Tulsa native Marques Haynes.

-SB 924 by Sen. Kathleen Wilcoxson, modifies language related to vacancies on boards of education for school districts.

• House committees approved a number of measures Wednesday including the following:

-HB 3390 by Rep. Lance Cargill, creates the Higher Outcomes and Performance in Education (HOPE) Rewards Act of 2008, which sets standards and procedures for awarding grants to public school districts, including charter schools.

-HB 2729 by Rep. Don Armes, authorizes the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry to take possession of farming equipment and livestock that was killed, shipped, taken or possessed in violation of the Agricultural Code.

-HB 2732 by Rep. Brian Renegar, creates a felony offense for the practice of veterinary medicine by persons not certified or licensed by the Oklahoma Veterinary Practice Act.

-HB 3208 by Rep. Shane Jett, creates the Oil Derrick Monument Design Committee to recommend the design of and provide oversight for the Oklahoma Historical Society’s construction and funding of the Oil Derrick Monument at the intersection of Interstate 35 and Interstate 40.

-HB 2486 by Rep. Marian Cooksey, modifies the membership of the Council on Judicial Complaints, increasing membership from three to seven.

-HB 3276 by Rep. Rex Duncan, modifies language related to death sentences and the manner in which death is inflicted.

-HB 2678 by Rep. Earl Sears, directs the Department of Commerce to establish the Oklahoma Senior Card program for Oklahoma residents at least 62 years of age.

-HB 2704 by Rep. Kris Steele, directs the State Department of Health to initiate a request for proposal for the operation of a stand-alone, long-term care facility for high-level sex offenders.

-HB 3395 by Rep. Lance Cargill, directs the State Department of Education to establish a School Health Educators pilot program to assist school districts in establishing student health and wellness programs.

-HB 3397 by Rep. Lance Cargill, modifies the calculation of tuition rates.

-HB 2574 by Rep. Jeff Hickman, modifies physical education requirements in school, increasing from 60 to 150 minutes the amount of time spent on physical education and expands the requirement to include kindergarten through sixth grades.

Thursday, February 28

• The Senate met briefly Thursday and approved the following bills:

-SB 1148 by Sen. Patrick Anderson, relates to the estate tax and authorizes the use of a simplified return or affidavit in lieu of certain estate tax return.

-SB 1547 by Sen. Richard Lerblance, allows court clerks to issue marriage licenses.

-SB 1515 by Sen. Debbe Leftwich, expands the powers of the Construction Industries Board to include establishing and maintaining a list of verified citations made within the last five years against contractors in the trades and industries regulated by the Board.

-SB 1146 by Sen. Jay Paul Gumm, authorizes the Oklahoma Tax Commission to design and issue an “In God We Trust” license plate.

-SB 1554 by Sen. Brian Bingman, allows increases of 10 percent or more in the rates and prices of certain goods and services during a declaration of emergency if the increase is attributable to price increases in applicable regional, national or international petroleum commodity markets.

-SB 2160 by Sen. Roger Ballenger, permits the transfer of a drug court case or supervision to another judicial district upon agreement of both judges.

-SB 1403 by Sen. Patrick Anderson, modifies procedures related to the sentencing of a youthful offender.

-SB 1155 by Sen. Randy Bass, designates a section of State Highway 115 between the junctions of State Highway 49 and State Highway 19 in Comanche and Kiowa counties as “Duty Rowe Scenic Route 115”.

Other News


• The State Senate on Wednesday honored former Harlem Globetrotter and Oklahoma native Marques Haynes with the passage of Senate Concurrent Resolution 54, praising Haynes for his achievements and designating February 27, 2008, as Marques Haynes appreciation day in the state of Oklahoma. In 1948, Haynes led the Harlem Globetrotters to a 61-59 victory over the Minnesota Lakers in a contest that would later be regarded as the game that perhaps had the greatest impact in integrating American professional basketball. Haynes also served as President of the player's union for the Harlem Globetrotters. During his collegiate career, Haynes once led the Langston Lions to a victory over the visiting Globetrotters. He then declined a contract offer from the professional club, choosing instead to complete his university education.

• Lt. Gov. Jari Askins had the honor of being acting Governor of the state the day her hometown of Duncan claimed a new title—the Crapemyrtle Capital of Oklahoma. Senate Concurrent Resolution 44, by Sen. Anthony Sykes and Rep. Dennis Johnson, won final passage Wednesday at the State Capitol.

• Tuesday, a group of Oklahoma families joined Senator Jay Paul Gumm at a State Capitol news conference to promote “Nick’s Law.” The proposal, initially contained in Senate Bill 1537, would require health insurance policies to cover diagnosis, treatment and therapy for autism spectrum disorders. Currently, at least 17 states – including Texas – have similar mandates. SB 1537 was denied a committee hearing, but Gumm said he would continue his effort to pass the legislation.

• The initial vote on SB 1550 showed 24 voting aye, and 24 voting nay, mostly along party lines. (Two Democrats voted against the bill. Two Republicans voted it for it.) Democrat Lt. Gov. Jari Askins broke the tie with an aye vote. This marked the first time the Lt. Gov. has cast a deciding vote in the tied Oklahoma State Senate.


Index