The Oklahoma Senate

Week In Review
Monday, March 3 to Thursday, March 6, 2008

Monday, March 3

• The Senate met Monday and approved the following measures:

-SB 1451 by Sen. Roger Ballenger, permits the Department of Environmental Quality to use other available funds in place of the annual fees due the Central Interstate Low-Level Radioactive Waste Compact Commission for apportionment among generators disposing of low-level radioactive waste.

-SB 1500 by Sen. Jeff Rabon, modifies the definition of “nonfiscal retirement bill” under the Oklahoma Pension Legislation Actuarial Analysis Act to mean bills that grant a benefit increase that does not exceed 2 percent annually.

-SB 1141 by Sen. Kenneth Corn, modifies language regarding the Rebuilding Oklahoma Access and Driver Safety (ROADS) Fund.

-SB 1491 by Sen. Debbe Leftwich, adds the Department of Labor to the list of agencies permitted to purchase vehicles.

-SB 1636 by Sen. Cliff Aldridge, clarifies language related to the Oklahoma Highway Remediation and Cleanup Services Act.

-SB 1816 by Sen. Don Barrington, allows the Board of County Commissioners, with the concurrence of the majority of fire chiefs in their jurisdiction, to declare a county burn ban not to exceed seven days from the date of passage by the commissioners.

-SB 2186 by Sen. Tom Ivester, creates a task force to study the Oklahoma Children’s Code.

-SB 1724 by Sen. Roger Ballenger, creates conditions under which a person is considered released on personal recognizance.

-SB 1440 by Sen. Kenneth Corn, modifies language related to the Uniform Controlled Dangerous Substance Act and sentencing of defendants to probation.

-SB 1503 by Sen. David Myers, directs the State Department of Education to notify school districts of any changes to the Oklahoma Cost Accounting System reporting codes that will be in effect for the following fiscal year.

-SB 1458 by Sen. Andrew Rice, creates the Veterans’ Health Insurance Program Act to be administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs beginning on or after July 1, 2009.

-SB 1141 by Sen. Kenneth Corn, modifies language regarding the Rebuilding Oklahoma Access and Driver Safety (ROADS) Fund.

-SB 1190 by Sen. Charles Wyrick, would modify language related to the Lead-Impacted Communities Relocation Assistance Act.

-SB 1463 by Sen. James A. Williamson, prohibits the operation, sale, use or offer of any computer software or service that allows a person to remotely control a firearm or weapon to hunt any live animal or bird.

-SB 1525 by Sen. Patrick Anderson, directs the Department of Human Services to implement caseload/investigation levels for child protection service workers that support implementation of national models of excellence.

-SB 1612 by Sen. Ron Justice, creates the Quality Afterschool Opportunities Act to Reduce Childhood Obesity and Improve Academic Performance.

-SB 1759 by Sen. Tom Adelson, authorizes the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services to contract for professional services at any time with a physician, provided certain provisions are met.

-SB 1766 by Sen. Charles Wyrick, authorizes the Oklahoma Conservation Commission to establish and maintain an Equipment Revolving Fund to be used to loan conservation districts funds to buy equipment for installing conservation practices.

-SB 1767 by Sen. Roger Ballenger, modifies the apportionment of revenue generated by the Oklahoma Vehicle License and Registration Act, directing funds to be transferred to the County Improvements for Roads and Bridges Fund.

-SB 1893 by Sen. Roger Ballenger, authorizes counties to adopt standards for the location, design, construction and maintenance of solid waste disposal sites.

-SB 1998 by Sen. Mike Schulz, adds the definition of “imported mini-truck” and adds it to the Oklahoma Vehicle License and Registration Act.

-SB 1190 by Sen. Charles Wyrick, modifies language related to the Lead-Impacted Communities Relocation Assistance Act.


• Senate committees took no action on Monday:

• The House convened Monday and approved the following bills:

-HB 2242 by Rep. Terry Ingmire, authorizes the State Regents for Higher Education to enter into contracts for the payment of food, lodging and other expenses to host, conduct, sponsor or participate in conferences, meetings or training sessions.

-HB 2474 by Rep. Purcy Walker, creates the crime of endangerment of a highway worker.

-HB 2710 by Rep. Lisa Billy, lowers from 21 to 20 the minimum age for service as a correctional officer or guard with the Department of Corrections.

-HB 2530 by Rep. Kris Steele, modifies language relating to emergency custody hearings for children by prescribing a form to be used by the district attorney and the Department of Human Services when it is determined that a child placement hearing is not needed.

-HB 2735 by Rep. Brian Renegar, lowers from 16 to 10 the minimum age for persons to purchase a hunting license with an “apprentice” designation.


• House committees on Monday approved the following measures:


-HB 3146 by Rep. David Derby, creates the School Protection Act to provide teachers, principals and other school professionals the tools they need to undertake reasonable action and maintain order.

-HB 3102 by Rep. Gary Banz, restricts awards granted by the Oklahoma Higher Learning Access Program, preventing awards for tuition and fees for remedial non-credit-earning courses or units taken by an OHLAP eligible student.

-HB 2805 by Mike Brown, directs the Oklahoma Health Care Authority to participate in an online database that contains a system of privacy protected medical records.

-HB 2654 by Rep. Lucky Lamons, creates the Oklahoma Access to Health Care Act, directing the Oklahoma Health Care Authority to receive state funds to be matched by federal funds to address access to health care services under existing state programs and providing stability in provider reimbursement.

-HB 3143 by Rep. Fred Jordan, creates the Compassionate Care Task Force to make recommendations regarding the role of faith-based organizations in the Oklahoma health care system.

-HB 3108 by Rep. Ron Peterson, modifies language related to the state’s flexible benefit plan, expanding a certain calculation of average monthly premiums to include all health insurance plans.

-HB 2793 by Rep. Chris Benge, modifies language related to annuity contracts of teachers.

-HB 2074 by Rep. Earl Spears, allows retired classified or nonclassified members of the Teacher Retirement System who have been retired for 36 or more months and who are employed by a public school to receive annualized earnings with no reduction in retirement benefits regardless of earnings.

-HB 3002 by Rep. Dennis Johnson, increases from 12 to 14 the age at which the consent of a minor to adoption is required.

-HB 3394 by Rep. Lance Cargill, requires the Department of Central Services to adopt a high performance certification program for public buildings.

-HB 3391 by Rep. Lance Cargill, creates the Commission on Accountability and Review of State Agencies (CARSA) and establishes members and duties.

-HB 1677 by Rep. Jeff Hickman, creates the Administrative Services Agency Task Force to examine the policies, programs and procedures of the Department of Central Services, the Office of Personnel Management and the Employee Benefits Council and suggest a plan to establish a single state agency to provide administrative services and equipment to other state agencies.

-SJR 29 by Sen. Tom Ivester, proposes a constitutional amendment to allow winemakers to sell wine they produce to any wholesale distributor and to receive orders in electronic or written form for wine to be delivered or shipped to consumers.

-SB 995 by Sen. Harry Coates, allows winemakers to receive orders for wine produced at the winery in both written and electronic form for delivery or shipping to customers.

-HB 2196 by Rep. David Dank, creates the Oklahoma Clean Campaigns Act of 2008.

-HB 2689 by Rep. Jabar Shumate, creates the Oklahoma Urban Medical Education Loan and Scholarship Programs Act to encourage persons to enter medication education programs and to practice in urban medically underserved areas of the state.

-HB 3118 by Rep. Tad Jones, modifies language related to the Academic Achievement Award program, providing monetary awards for all schools that obtain a total academic performance index score of 1,250 or higher and all schools with an API score of 1,000 or higher.

-HB 3385 by Rep. George Faught, requires a Social Security number be given to the Department of Public Safety when applying for an initial drivers license.

-HB 2711 by Rep. Lisa Billy, allows correctional facility employees to be served the same meals as those served to prisoners.

-HB 2737 by Rep. Brian Renegar, modifies the definition of “sexual battery” to include the intentional placing of any ejaculated substance upon an object with the intent that the object be used by a person 16 or older.

-HB 2788 by Rep. Mike Jackson, creates a nine-member KidSafe Child Abuse Task Force to provide oversight regarding the role of specialized child abuse investigators, monitor case activity for matters involving alleged or adjudicated instances of child abuse or neglect.

-HB 2815 by Rep. Daniel Sullivan, directs persons to report to police if they have reason to believe that an act of terrorism against a child under age 18 or involving any child is being considered, planned or underway.

-HB 3001 by Rep. Dennis Johnson, creates the Oklahoma Youth Gang Prevention and Intervention Act of 2008.


Tuesday, March 4

• The Senate met Tuesday and approved the following bills:

- SB 1988 by Sen. Owen Lauglin, provides for the extended offering of an award through the Oklahoma Higher Learning Access Program scholarship for a student who is a member of of the U.S. Armed Forces or the Oklahoma National Guard ordered to active duty.

-SB 2164 by Sen. Randy Bass, creates the Oklahoma Information Services Act and the Office of Information Services to be responsible for formulating and implementing an information technology strategy for the state.

-SB 1634 by Sen. Kathleen Wilcoxson, requires each high school to determine its baseline graduation rate for the 2007-08 school year based on a designated formula and to set and achieve annual improvement goals to reach the 100 percent level.

-SB 1149 by Sen. Don Barrington, expands the sales tax exemption granted under the “Back to School” sales tax holiday to include school supplies, school art supplies and school instructional supplies.

-SB 1530 by Sen. Debbe Leftwich, prohibits any person 21 or older from knowingly permitting an invitee under age 21 to possess or consume any alcoholic beverage, low-point beer or controlled dangerous substance.

-SB 1601 by Sen. Cliff Aldridge, creates the May Rippy Violent Crime Offenders Registration Act.

-SB 1687 by Sen. Susan Paddack, creates the Oklahoma Health Care Workers and Educators Assistance Program.

-SB 1714 by Sen. Mike Mazzei, requires at least 5 percent of the expenditures from the EDGE fund be allotted to carry out the mission of the Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology.

-SB 2041 by Sen. Jonathan Nichols, adds county sheriffs, their employees or contractors to the list of those who may take and submit DNA samples to be included in a criminal investigation database maintained by the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation.

-SJR 50 by Sen. Earl Garrison, orders a legislative referendum related to increasing from 10 to 15 percent the amount of surplus revenue which goes into the Constitutional Reserve Fund.

-SCR 56 by Sen. Mike Morgan, commemorates the life of Richard Huddleston.

-SB 1951 by Sen. Kathleen Wilcoxson, creates the School Investigative Audit Revolving Fund for the holding of 10 percent of bonds forfeited by school districts found guilty of illegal activity during a state audit.

-SB 1186 by Sen. Mary Easley, increases the physical education requirement to 120 minutes, 60 minutes more than currently required.

-SB 1719 by Sen. Brian Crain, creates the Oklahoma Health Information and Privacy Collaboration Advisory Board.


Senate committees took no action on Tuesday.

• The House approved the following bills on Tuesday:

-HB 2748 by Rep. Susan Winchester, directs the Legislative Service Bureau to contract for a performance audit of the human services centers of the Department of Human Services.

-HB 2749 by Rep. Susan Winchester, creates the Adoption Review Task Force to study and make recommendations concerning the laws and practices relating to adoption.

-HB 2551 by Rep. Guy Liebmann, modifies the apportionment process for the Rebuilding Oklahoma Access and Driver Safety Fund by removing language requiring the Board of Equalization to certify three percent growth in the General Revenue Fund before allocating $50 million to the ROADS Fund.

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

-HB 2218 by Rep. Jerry Shoemake, creates the Oklahoma Livestock Industry Development Act of 2008 as well as the Oklahoma Livestock Industry Development Payment Fund.

-HB 2791 by Rep. Mike Jackson, states that any person who willfully enters a facility licensed under the Oklahoma Farmed Cervidae Act or a commericial hunting area without permission be guilty of trespassing and fined a maximum $250 fine.

-HCR 1057 by Rep. Tad Jones, creates a 10-member Task Force on Student Remediation to study and make recommendations relating to the problem of student remediation.

• House committees met Tuesday approved the following measures:


-HB 3358 by Rep. Randy Terrill, increases from $250 to $500 the minimum threshold for exemption from the franchise tax.

-HB 2863 by Rep. Mike Shelton, requires a child care facility to maintain liability insurance coverage worth at least $300,000, rather than the $200,000 previously listed, for each occurrence of negligence.

-HB 2529 by Rep. Kris Steele, creates the Oklahoma Commission on Aging and the Office of Aging Services Oversight and Accountability.

-HB 2643 by Rep. Ron Peters, modifies residential child care facility requirements, adding a mandate that all caregivers be 18 or older.

-HB 2810 by Rep. Pam Peterson, creates the Protective Parent Reform Act, prohibiting a court from restricting or modifying the custody or visitation between a parent and child based solely on certain criteria.

-HB 3209 by Rep. Shane Jett, provides for a Native American Affairs cabinet position and directs 15 state agencies to implement a tribal liaison position.

-HB 3322 by Rep. Al Lindley, makes programs initiated under the Opportunities for Independent Living Act permanent programs rather than pilot programs.

-HB 3145 by Rep. David Derby, creates the Oklahoma Information Services Act and the Office of Information Services to be responsible for formulating and implementing a information technology strategy for the state, overseeing applications development and professional development of technology staff and evaluating all technology investment choices.

-HB 2944 by Rep. Lance Cargill, would create “First Impression Zones” at the state line to better proclaim Oklahoma’s virtues.

-HB 3229 by Rep. Charles Key, modifies how ad valorem taxes relate to school aid and changes formulas for calculation.

-HB 3069 by Rep. T.W. Shannon, authorizes the Oklahoma Capitol Improvement Authority to issue $25 million worth of obligations to acquire property or construct buildings for the Native American Cultural Center Museum for the Native American Cultural and Educational Authority.

-HB 3355 by Rep. Randy Terrill, provides for numerous sales tax exemptions.

-HB 1809 by Rep. Randy Terrill, extends the income tax credit in relation to qualified capital expenditures, wages or training expenses for qualified business enterprises.

-HB 3114 by Rep. Ron Peterson, creates the Oklahoma Workforce Incentives Act of 2008.

-HB 3392 by Rep. Lance Cargill, creates the American Dream Act and provides an income tax deduction of $2,500 for individuals filing single and $5,000 for married persons filing jointly on interest earned on a qualified home purchase savings account.


Wednesday, March 5

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

-SB 2159 by Sen. Mike Mazzei, authorizes the Teachers Retirement System to offer individual retirement accounts and Roth individual retirement accounts.

-SJR 59 by Sen. Jim Reynolds, proposes a constitutional amendment related to assessment of real property, prohibiting an increase of more than 5 percent in a taxable year and instead limits an increase in homesteads’ value to the lesser of 3 percent or the rate of inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index for all Urban Consumers for the most recent complete year.

-SB 1149 by Sen. Don Barrington, expands the sales tax exemption granted under the “Back to School” sales tax holiday to include school supplies, school art supplies and school instructional supplies.

-SB 1404 by Sen. Bill Brown, authorizes the Oklahoma Health Care Authority to seek waivers or amendments to expand the premium assistance program to include non-profit employers with 500 employees or less.

-SB 1604 by Sen. David Myers, directs the secretary of energy to create an energy policy for the state.

-SB 1816 by Sen. Don Barrington, would authorize county commissioners to declare burn bans in their counties.

-SB 1856 by Sen. Cliff Branan, modifies the requirements of specific information junk dealers must obtain from sellers before transactions.

-SB 1423 by Sen. Richard Lerblance, modifies the definition of “petroleum” under the Oklahoma Storage Tank Regulation Act to include used oil, gasoline, kerosene, biofuels, biodiesel and E-85.

-SB 1600 by Sen. Ron Justice, makes it a felony to commit certain offenses against an elderly or incapacitated person and prescribes penalties in the absence of specified penalties.

-SB 1693 by Sen. Richard Lerblance, creates the Task Force on Taxation of Water Sales to review the current statutes and relevant case law and discuss how various tax types might be applied to the sale of water and issues surrounding implementation of such tax types and other relevant matters.

-SB 1881 by Sen. Clark Jolley, extends the lifespan of the School Funding Formula Task Force and extends the terms of appointed members.

-SB 1535 by Sen. Roger Ballenger, directs that one-half of the total amount of a fine – excluding costs and additional penalties – resulting from citations issued by county officers and gathered for violations of statutes governing size, weight and load requirements be deposited in the county in which the violation occurred.

-SB 1931 by Sen. Susan Paddack, modifies the Oklahoma Higher Learning Access Program to make qualified a student with a parent who is a certified teacher with a minimum of six years of experience at a state public school unless the family’s income exceeds $100,000 per year.

• Senate committees took no action on Wednesday.

• The House met Wednesday and approved a number of appropriations shell bills and the following substantive legislation:

-HB 2473 by Rep. Wade Rousselot, creates the Oklahoma Business Development Park Loan Act to allow eligible public trusts to apply to the Oklahoma Department of Commerce for a loan not to exceed $250,000 and to be paid back within 20 years.

-HB 2637 by Rep. Ron Peters, directs that in disputes over custody of a minor child when a court determines there is domestic violence, stalking or harassment, there is rebuttable presumption that sole custody, joint legal custody or physical custody or any shared parenting plan is detrimental and not in the best interest of the child.

-HB 2504 by Rep. Mike Reynolds, authorizes certified driver education instructors to administer the driving skills portion of driving examinations to students under certain circumstances.

-HB 2502 by Rep. Dennis Adkins, removes language relating to the Oklahoma E911 Emergency Service Fund.

-HB 3342 by Rep. Mike Reynolds, increases the cap on the Rebuilding Oklahoma Access and Driver Safety Fund from $200,000,000 to $500,000,000 and adjusts certain fiscal year allocations.

-HB 3197 by Rep. Lee Denney, modifies language related to alternative placement teaching certificates, requiring a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0 on a 4.0 scale.

-HB 3201 by Rep. Lee Denney, mandates the photographing and fingerprinting of children in DHS custody within two months of when the department assumes custody and sets requirements thereof.

-HB 3239 by Rep. Skye McNiel, grants a tax credit equal to 50 percent of the tuition reimbursed to qualified employees in the aerospace sector for the first through fourth years of employment.

• House committees took no action on Wednesday.

Thursday, March 6

• The Senate met Thursday and approved the following bills:

-SB 2086 by Sen. Owen Laughlin, allows the operation of all-terrain vehicles on streets and highways within certain municipalities.

-SB 2034 by Sen. Mike Mazzei, clarifies the limits on liabilities for certain purchasers of vehicles.

-SB 2057 by Sen. Kenneth Corn, authorizes the Oklahoma Tax Commission to approve certain locations of motor vehicle licensing agencies.

-SB 1819 by Sen. Mike Morgan, modifies the apportionment of certain revenues from gross production taxes.

-SB 1927 by Sen. Brian Crain, adds education requirements for certain licenses under the Mortgage Broker Licensure Act.

-SB 1955 by Sen. Susan Paddack, requires approval under the Oklahoma Solicitation of Charitable Contributions Act before acting as a professional fundraiser or professional solicitor.

-SB 2000 by Sen. Randy Brogdon, requires certain cities & towns to permit the burning of debris or require disposal services.

-SB 1962 by Sen. Anthony Sykes, relates to the Taxpayer Transparency Act and requires its website to include a list of agency request bills.

-SCR 56 by Sen. Mike Morgan, commends the life and contributions of Richard Huddleston.

-SB 1631 by Sen. Susan Paddack, creates the Oklahoma Computer Equipment Recovery Act and requires manufacturers to adopt recovery plans.

-SB 1386 by Sen. Don Barrington, modifies language relating to the required position and method of turning at intersections.


Other News


• The Pew Charitable Trusts issued the state a report card on government performance this week, and gave Oklahoma an overall grade of C+. The state’s lowest ranking was in the category of infrastructure, where Oklahoma was deemed among the nation’s worst. The group gave the state a B- in the area of money, which includes long-term outlook, structural balance and budget processes. The B- was Oklahoma’s highest score on the study.


• The Senate on Wednesday honored the life of one of Oklahoma's great civic leaders and philanthropists. Senate Resolution 56, by Sen. Cliff Branan, commended Jeannine Rainbolt for her tremendous contributions and support of the arts, higher education, college athletics and cancer research in the state.


• The Senate honored the life of Richard Huddleston on Friday. Huddleston’s lengthy tenure in the Oklahoma House of Representatives saw him serve with six different House Speakers. After retiring from the House in 1983, Huddleston founded the independent contract lobbying firm Huddleston Investments, which still represents a variety of clients at the state Capitol.


Index