The Oklahoma Senate

Week In Review
Monday, March 10 to Thursday, March 13, 2008

Monday, March 10

• The Senate met Monday and approved the following measures:

-SB 1895 by Sen. Cliff Aldridge, provides guidelines for calculating and apportioning the amount of the Home Office Credit.

-SB 2118 by Sen. John Sparks, requires certain conduct changes to be agreed upon in writing by both insurers and health care providers and requires the Insurance Commissioner to enforce regulations.

-SB 2157 by Sen. Don Barrington, requires the Oklahoma Firefighters Pension and Retirement System to report quarterly to the Department of Human Services in an acceptable electronic format the home address and Social Security number of all participants in connection with child support orders.

-SB 958 by Sen. Glenn Coffee, establishes ad valorem assessment procedures for certain properties.

-SB 1160 by Sen. Randy Bass, grants a sales tax exemption on the sale of tangible personal property or services to the Department of Central Services only when carrying out a public construction contract on behalf of the Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs.

-SB 1396 by Sen. Brian Bingman, increases the amount to be allocated to the Rebuilding Oklahoma Access and Driver Safety Fund from $70 million to $120 million beginning with the fiscal year ending June 30, 2009.

-SB 1413 by Sen. Randy Brogdon, makes computerized finger imaging for obtaining a driver license or identification card an option rather than a requirement.

-SB 1475 by Sen. Brian Bingman, creates the Sustaining Oklahoma’s Energy Resources Act.

-SB 1518 by Sen. Jonathan Nichols, states that correctional facility employees be served the same meals served prisoners.

-SB 1587 by Sen. Mike Johnson, authorizes the Oklahoma Corporation Commission to retain 10 percent of conference costs to cover start-up costs for the next conference and transfer any remaining money to the Commission’s revolving fund.

-SB 1697 by Sen. Richard Lerblance, allows operators desiring to engage in limited mining activity to apply for a limited use permit for mining operations not eligible for a surface mining permit.

-SB 1928 by Sen. Brian Crain modifies certain continuing education requirements for licenses under the Mortgage Broker Licensure Act.

-SB 1929 by Sen. Brian Crain, adds a Governor appointee to the Commission on Consumer Credit, bringing its total membership to 10 and setting certain requirements to serve.

-SB 2037 by Sen. Jonathan Nichols, permits parents or guardians of multiple birth siblings to request that the children attend the same school and be placed in the same or separate classrooms if the children are in the same grade level and meet the school’s eligibility requirements.

-SB 2069 by Sen. Glenn Coffee, creates the Uniform Interstate Enforcement of Domestic Violence Protection Orders Act.

-SB 2129 by Sen. Mike Mazzei, creates a working capital allowance for certain investment tax exemptions.

-SB 1889 by Sen. Todd Lamb, authorizes the Office of Juvenile Affairs to place a youthful offender in a county jail if there is no existing acceptable alternative placement available.

-SB 1968 by Sen. Mike Mazzei, removes an ad valorem tax exemption from a certain automotive manufacturing facility.

-SB 1999 by Sen. Cliff Aldridge, creates a task force to conduct a comprehensive review of the functions, operations and services of the State and Education Employees Group Insurance Board and the Oklahoma State Employee Benefits Council.

-SB 1961 by Sen. Anthony Sykes, creates the Drug Money Laundering and Wire Transmitter Act and requires anyone operating a money services business to register with the Oklahoma State Banking Commissioner.

-SB 1533 by Sen. Debbe Leftwich, creates the Oklahoma Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund Security Act of 2008 with the intent of maintaining programs to use reemployment services to reduce the duration of unemployment claims when they occur and combat fraud and abuse of the system.

-SB 1738 by Sen. Mike Schulz, establishes equal access for private and on-campus bookstore advertising for institutions of higher education.


• Senate committees took no action on Monday:

• The House convened Monday and approved the following bills:

-HJR 1065 by Rep. Susan Winchester, proposes a constitutional amendment authorizing the Contingency Review Board to act on requests for funding from the Oklahoma Opportunity Fund.

-HB 2956 by Rep. Sue Tibbs, requires voters to provide proof of identity when voting.

-HB 2957 by Rep. Sue Tibbs, requires the Governor to review parole recommendations and deny or approve parole for persons convicted of first-degree murder, first-degree rape or aggravated drug trafficking.

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

-HB 2640 by Rep. Ron Peters, permits an electronic signature to satisfy a legal signature requirement.

-HB 2823 by Rep. Daniel Sullivan, directs that state appropriations fund the alternative dispute resolution system operated under the Oklahoma Supreme Court.

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

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

-HJR 1074 by Rep. Scott Martin, proposes a constitutional amendment to allow the Governor to replace up to 40 percent of gubernatorial appointments within the first 12 months in office.

-HB 2273 by Rep. Kenneth Miller, directs the Department of Human Services to investigate any state eleemosynary institution against which a complaint is made, and it gives DHS the power to summon any person to present evidence and to testify.


• House committees took no action on Monday.


Tuesday, March 11

• The Senate met Tuesday and approved the following bills:

-SB 1383 by Sen. Mike Johnson, speeds up the elimination of the estate tax and states legislative intent to eliminate the tax on the transfer of estate of any decedent who dies on or after Jan. 1, 2009.

-SB 2163 by Sen. Debbe Leftwich, permits courts to order certain defendants to use Global Positioning Monitoring System devices as a condition of pretrial release and requires the defendant to pay the costs of the monitoring.

-SB 1731 by Sen. Richard Lerblance, establishes the Local Transportation Revolving Fund for the purpose of development and renovation of local roadways through loans from the fund.

-SB 1144 by Sen. John Sparks, increases from $600 to $1,000 the maximum monthly travel allowance for county commissioners and sheriffs for travel within their counties and increases monthly travel allowances for county assessors and clerks.

-SB 1970 by Sen. Randy Bass, expands the powers of the Adjutant General to award certain honors, expend certain funds for advertising purposes and invest certain monies with the State Treasurer.

-SB 2112 by Sen. Jim Wilson, qualifies a specific rural small business tax credit and provides certain requirements regarding the tax credit in association with acquisition of legal entities.

-SB 1868 by Sen. Mike Johnson, limits the percentage of surplus funds that accrue in the General Revenue Fund that can be used to pay recurring expenses.

-SB 1709 by Sen. Glenn Coffee, transfers all powers and duties of the Board of Mediological Examiners and the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner to the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation.

-SB 1727 by Sen. David Myers, adds all-terrain vehicles, motorcycles and utility vehicles to the definition of motor vehicles.

-SB 1803 by Sen. Joe Sweeden, increases the amount of revenue collected from insurance premiums that is allocated to the Oklahoma Firefighters Pension and Retirement Fund.

-SB 1829 by Sen. Judy Eason McIntyre, creates a task force on the status of the statewide minority human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and acquired immune defeciency (AIDS) program.

-SB 1865 by Sen. Glenn Coffee, creates the Accountability and Effeciency Act, the Joint Committee on Accountability and Efficiency and the Office of Accountability and Efficiency.

-SB 1869 by Sen. Mike Johnson, abolishes the Legislative Oversight Committee on State Budget Performance and modifies entities with which certain documents and notice must be filed.

-SB 1992 by Sen. Jonathan Nichols, modifies language related to child stealing crimes and punishment.

-SB 2046 by Sen. Jonathan Nichols, allows a disclosure, report or charge that a person has engaged in or is engaging in improper activities under the Whistleblower Act to be filed by another party on behalf of another individual and establishes certain requirements for such filings.

-SB 2076 by Sen. John Sparks, defines certain types of mental health treatment facilities and licensed mental health professionals.

-SB 2180 by Sen. John Sparks, provides a 4 percent increase in benefits for the Oklahoma Public Employees Retirement System.

-SB 1553 by Sen. Jay Paul Gumm, requires agencies of the executive branch to submit job descriptions for unclassified positions to the Office of Personnel Management.

-SB 1745 by Sen. Randy Bass, makes it a misdemeanor for anyone to purchase, access, compile or maintain electronically accessible driver license information for commercial purposes.

-SB 1941 by Sen. Todd Lamb, creates the Oklahoma School Security Act and provides for the Oklahoma Office of Homeland Security to make grant monies available to schools and law enforcement for natural and man-made disaster preparation.

-SB 1420 by Sen. John Sparks, creates the Oklahoma Health Information Exchange Act.

-SB 1878 by Sen. Todd Lamb, creates the Freedom of Conscience Act, which gives employees of health care facilities the right to choose not to participate in an activity objected to based on moral or religious grounds.

-SB 1807 by Sen. Glenn Coffee, creates the Oklahoma Technology Consolidation Task Force.

-SJR 41 by Sen. Brian Crain, directs the State Board of Health to prepare and submit to the Legislature a health improvement plan for Oklahoma and the general improvement of the physical, social and mental well-being of the people.

-SB 1640 by Sen. Thomas Ivester, requires health insurance plans to provide equal reimbursement for services when the policy provides for reimbursement for any mental or behavioral health or alcohol and drug treatment that is within the scope of practice of a licensed physician.

-SB 1757 by Sen. Brian Bingman, expands the list of federal laws electric utilities must comply with and which they may cite when they submit their plans about related expenditures to the Corporation Commission for approval.

-SB 1876 by Sen. Clark Jolley, allows for the redesign of Oklahoma license plates based on the work of the Oklahoma License Plate Design Task Force.

-SB 1822 by Sen. Judy Eason McIntyre, modifies language related to the Delinquency and Youth Gang Intervention and Prevention Act.

Senate committees took no action on Tuesday.

• The House approved the following bills on Tuesday:

- HB 3144 by Rep. Lisa Billy, requires abortion providers to comply with certain requirements, including the performance of obstetric ultrasounds and explanations of what the ultrasound means.

-HB 3145 by Rep. David Derby, calls for the creation of the Oklahoma Information Services Act and the Office of Information Services to be administered by a Chief Information Director to be appointed by the Governor.

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

-HB 3145 by Rep. David Derby, creates the Oklahoma Information Services Act and the Office of Information Services to be administered by a Chief Information Director to be appointed by the Governor.

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

-HB 3326 by Rep. Ken Miller, creates a new license plate to be issued to Oklahoma vehicles in 2009, which would be the first new tag design in almost 16 years.

-HB 3355 by Rep. Randy Terrill, provides a sales tax exemption on property or services sold to a nonprofit foundation that raises tax-deductable contributions in support of a wide range of firearms related public interest activities of the National Rifle Association of America.

-HB 2706 by Rep. Fred Jordan, provides a $5,000 income tax deduction for the salary or other form of compensation received for being a member of the U.S. Armed Forces.

-HJR 1053 by Rep. Wade Rousselot, proposes a constitutional amendment modifying language related to the prohibition against increasing the value of certain homesteads of individuals over 65.

-HB 2788 by Rep. Mike Jackson, creates a task force to provide oversight regarding the role of specialized child abuse investigators.

-HB 2995 by Rep. Dennis Johnson, creates the Missing Angels Act-Christopher and Kendall's Law, which modifies language related to vital statistics, adding definitions for "stillbirth" and "certificate of birth resulting in stillbirth".

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

-HB 3326, by Rep. Kenneth Miller, directs the Oklahoma Tax Commission to begin replacing state license plates with those approved by the Oklahoma License Plate Design Task Force.

-HB 2245 by Rep. Terry Ingmire, creates the Security Breach Notification Act.

-HB 2811 by Rep. Pam Peterson, authorizes school districts to access juvenile records within the Juvenile Justice Information System on children who are currently enrolled or intend to enroll.

-HB 3175 by Rep. Ann Coody, directs institutions within the Oklahoma State System of Higher Education that offer elementary and early childhood education programs to administer a pretest and post-test to teacher candidates that assess the knowledge and skills of the candidates in providing phonics instruction to students in kindergarten through second grade.


• House committees took no action on Tuesday.



Wednesday, March 12

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

-SB 1499 by Sen. Jeff Rabon, stipulates a new qualification of “vacancy” for seats on a school district’s board of education.

-SB 2173 by Sen. John Ford, creates the Oklahoma Lottery Privatization Act.

-SB 1407 by Sen. Jay Paul Gumm, requires individual or group health benefit plans, including the Oklahoma State and Education Employees Group Health Insurance Plan.

-SB 1521 by Sen. Andrew Rice, creates Steffanie’s Law for Clinical Trial Access.

-SB 1960 by Sen. Anthony Sykes, creates the Bureau of Narcotics Drug Education Revolving Fund.

-SB 2021 by Sen. Jeff Rabon, would make the playing of any loud, obscene music or continuous noise from a vehicle illegal, provided that the noise can be heard at distance of 50 feet or further from the vehicle.

-SB 2028 by Sen. Anthony Sykes, creates a felony for any individual who maliciously, forcibly or fraudulently takes or entices away any incapacitated person or any other person over the age of 16 for whom a guardian has been appointed with the intent to detain and conceal the individual from his or her guardian or who transports such a person outside the jurisdiction of the United States without consent of the guardian or court and sets penalties.

-SB 1964 by Sen. Kenneth Corn, authorizes the Department of Corrections to use one agency special account as a centralized petty cash fund for state correctional facilities.

-SB 2004 by Sen. Jonathan Nichols, allows the inclusion of religious invocations or references in victim impact statements.

-SB 2122 by Sen. John Sparks, creates the Crimes By or Affecting Persons Engaged in the Business of Insurance Act.

-SB 1923 by Sen. Todd Lamb, establishes procedures for determining paternity in certain circumstances and clarifies statutory references.

-SB 1628 by Sen. Mike Schulz, adds entities solely engaged in power generation by means of wind and other electric power generation entities except those using fossil fuels, hydroelectric and nuclear fuel to the Ad Valorem Tax Code’s list of transmission companies and public service companies that are authorized to exercise the right of eminent domain or to use or occupy a right-of-way, street, alley or public highway.

-SB 1528 by Sen. Harry Coates, authorizes the Construction Industries Board to establish a system of fees for dishonored checks used to pay for application or renewal of any license or registration.

-SJR 38 by Sen. Glenn Coffee, establishes a constitutional amendment recognizing the right of citizens to hunt game and fish.

• Senate committees took no action on Wednesday.

• The House met Wednesday and approved the following bills:

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

-HB 1441 by Rep. Gary Banz, modifies distribution of proceeds from the Oklahoma Education Lottery Trust Fund.

-HB 3001 by Rep. Dennis Johnson, increases the penalties for persons convicted of a felony that is committed for the benefit of, at the direction of or in association with any criminal street gang, adding an additional term of five years.

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

-HB 3396 by Rep. Chris Benge, raises the bonding authority for the Endowed Chairs program at the State Regents for Higher Education from $100,000,000 to $125,000,000.

-HB 1441 by Rep. Gary Banz, modifies distribution of proceeds from the Oklahoma Education Lottery Trust Fund.

-HB 3390 by Rep. Lance Cargill, creates the Higher Outcomes and Performance in Education (HOPE) Rewards Act of 2008.

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

-HB 3121 by Rep. Tad Jones, establishes an alternative education pilot program and sets regulations and stipulations thereof.

-HB 3143 by Rep. Lance Cargill, creates the Compassionate Care Task Force to make recommendations regarding the role of faith-based and non-faith-based organizations in the Oklahoma Health Care System.

-HB 3226 by Rep. Charles Key, modifies language related finger imaging and restricts use of in-state finger images to the Department of Public Safety.

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

• House committees took no action on Wednesday.

Thursday, March 13

• The Senate met Thursday and approved the following bills:

-SB 1735 by Sen. John Sparks, relates to receiving permission to hunt or fish on privately owned property and makes specific individuals responsible for certain damages.

-SB 2111 by Sen. John Sparks, establishes penalties for damages created by trespassers.

-SB 1910 by Sen. Constance Johnson, establishes a special license plate for “peace”.

-SB 2093 by Sen. Glenn Coffee, relates to qualified rehabilitation expenditures and expands the requirement to file agreements with the Oklahoma Tax Commission.

-SB 1987 by Sen. Owen Laughlin, modifies the amount of per diem for travel for members of the State Election Board.

-SB 1959 by Constance Johnson, creates a task force to study incarcerated, mentally ill women.

-SB 1858 by Sen. Susan Paddack, creates a tax exemption for pre-paid legal liability insurance.

-SB 1150 by Sen. John Ford requires voters to provide proof of identity before voting.


Other News


• The average price of natural gasoline reached a record high this week. On Wednesday, the average price reached a record high of $3.227 per gallon. The average price has risen by 27 cents per gallon in the past month. Oklahoma’s average price of $3.103 per gallon is lower than every state in the region.


• A large crowd of state employees gathered at the south steps of the state Capitol on Wednesday to rally for a pay increase. One proposal has called for a $2,700 across-the-board increase for state employees, though legislative leaders are not optimistic that a state employee pay raise is possible in a tight budget year.


• Government revenue collections for the month of February were lower than collections from the previous year, though revenue collections for the fiscal year remain above estimates.

Index