The Oklahoma Senate

Week In Review
Monday, March 24 to Thursday, March 27, 2008

Monday, March 24

• The Senate met Monday and approved the following resolutions:

-SR 54 by Sen. Mike Mazzei, urges the government of Turkey to uphold and safeguard religious and human rights without compromise.

-SR 58 by Sen. Glenn Coffee, expresses support for Makenna Smith as Miss Oklahoma 2007.

-SCR 62 by Sen. Don Barrington, honors the sacrifices of Tim Cole of the District 5 Drug Task Force and Dennis Garza of the Oklahoma State Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Control and the services of Jerry Walls and Chad Johnson of OBN.

• Senate committees approved the following measures on Monday:

-HB 2566 by Rep. Marian Cooksey, removes language assessing a $15 fee for appeals to county boards of adjustment.

• The House convened Monday and approved numerous appropriations shell bills.

• House committees approved the following bills on Monday:

-SB 1599 by Sen. Debbe Leftwich, directs the Department of Public Safety to extend the period of suspension, revocation or denial of driving privileges for an additional 12 months upon receiving a record of conviction for driving while under suspension or revocation.

-SB 1988 by Sen. Owen Laughlin, provides for extended offering of an award through the Oklahoma Higher Learning Access Program scholarship for a student who is a member of the U.S. Armed Forces or the Oklahoma National Guard ordered to active duty and is unable to enroll for the first three years after graduation from high school or completion of an equivalent program.

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

-SB 1795 by Sen. Mike Johnson, requires appropriations from the Oklahoma Education Lottery Trust Fund be made available to the Oklahoma State System of Higher Education on a monthly basis and establishes procedures for the Office of State Finance to make the funds available.

-SB 1422 by Sen. Susan Paddack, directs the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services to develop and implement a mental health first aid pilot program to train non-mental health professionals how to support an individual in a mental health crisis situation until professional help can be obtained.

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

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

-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 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 1734 by Sen. John Sparks, prohibits trespassing on commercial hunting lands.

Tuesday, March 25

• The Senate met Tuesday and approved the following resolution:

-SR 62 by Sen. Richard Lerblance, congratulates the Red Oak Lady Eagles fast pitch softball team for their state championship.

Senate committees approved the following bills on Tuesday:

-HB 3193 by Sen. Ron Justice, 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 2533 by Sen. James A. Williamson, expands the Oklahoma State Council for Interstate Adult Offender Supervision to include the executive director of the District Attorneys Council.

-HB 2958 by Sen. James A. Williamson, prohibits age from being a reason for denying an individual who meets the minimum required age from receiving the placement or custody of a child.

-HB 2530 by Sen. Harry Coates, 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 3278 by Sen. Sean Burrage, states that a debt cancellation agreement shall not be considered a contract of, or for, insurance.

-HB 2469 by Sen. Earl Garrison, modifies language related to grandparent visitation rights.

• The House on Tuesday approved numerous appropriations shell bills.

• House committees passed the following measures on Tuesday:

-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 1551 by Sen. Richard Lerblance, increases from $25 to $65 the certification fee for welders.

-SB 1567 by Sen. Cliff Branan, modifies requirements for chiefs of police.

-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 2066 by Sen. Ron Justice, requires every private prison contractor to submit a national criminal history records check through the Department of Corrections.

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

-SB 1675 by Sen. Don Barrington, allows employees of the Department of Human Services to receive investigative information disclosed by Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation agents at the discretion of the agency’s director.

Wednesday, March 26

The Senate met Wednesday and approved the following resolution:

-SR 61 by Sen. Mike Morgan, designates March 26, 2008, as “Boys and Girls Clubs Appreciation Day” in the state of Oklahoma.

• Senate committees met Wednesday and approved the following measures:

-HB 1519 by Sen. Don Barrington, creates a 15-member Incident Command Site Task Force until Sept. 1, 2008, to study and make recommendations of appropriate incident command systems.

-HB 2784 by Sen. Jay Paul Gumm, creates the Regional Business Airport Modernization Act.

-HB 3098 by Sen. Cliff Aldridge, creates the Aerospace Institute Act.

-HB 2638 by Sen. Debbe Leftwich, modifies the reference from the Secretary of State to the Attorney General under the Protection from Domestic Abuse Act.

-HB 3122 by Sen. Clark Jolley, requires a school year to consist of at least 1,080 hours.

-HB 2446 by Sen. Susan Paddack, states that a 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 between birth and age 12 is not to be found in financial need for the purposes of OHLAP if, at the time the student begins postsecondary education and prior to receiving any OHLAP benefit award, the student’s parents’ income exceeds $250,000 per year.

-HB 2732 by Sen. Jay Paul Gumm, creates a felony offense for the practice of veterinary medicine by persons not certified or licensed by the Oklahoma Veterinary Practice Act.

-HB 1897 by Sen. Debbe Leftwich, creates a misdemeanor offense for domestic abuse against a pregnant woman with knowledge of the pregnancy punishable by imprisonment in county jail for at least one year.

-HB 2607 by Sen. Jonathan Nichols, modifies language requiring physicians to report to law enforcement criminally injurious conduct that appears to be or is reported by the victim as rape, rape by instrumentation, forcible sodomy or any form of sexual assault.

• The House met Wednesday and approved numerous appropriations shell bills.

• House committees approved the following bills on Wednesday:

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

-SB 1389 by Sen. Cliff Aldridge, defines “unrecovered-theft vehicle” as vehicles that have been stolen and not recovered.

-SB 1139 by Sen. Harry Coates, would repeal 74 O.S. 2001, Section 324.18, which requires the State Fire Marshal Commission to adopt rules relating to the fire-resistant qualities of thermal insulating materials.

-SB 1403 by Sen. Patrick Anderson, removes language regarding a review hearing of the custody of a youthful offender by the Office of Juvenile Affairs when the offender becomes 18.

-SB 1725 by Sen. Mike Schulz, clarifies language related to the civil rights of individuals sentenced to confinement in a Department of Corrections’ facility.

-SB 1452 by Sen. Todd Lamb, requires legislators, state agency employees and other members of the Reentry Policy Council to be reimbursed for travel expenses incurred in the performance of their council duties.

-SB 1672 by Sen. Kenneth Corn, prohibits the use of any electrical stun gun, tear gas weapon, mace, tear gas, pepper mace or any similar agent against another person knowing the other person to be a peace officer, corrections officer, probation or parole officer, firefighter or an emergency medical technician or paramedic acting in the course of official duty.

-SB 1673 by Sen. Don Barrington, authorizes state agencies to request national criminal history records checks on all persons authorized to access or review national criminal history records checks information.

-SB 1822 by Sen. Judy Eason McIntyre, modifies language related to the Delinquency and Youth Gang Intervention and Prevention Act and authorizes the Office of Juvenile Affairs to enter into certain agreements while deleting language concerning certain grants.

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

Thursday, March 27

• The Senate met Thursday and approved the following resolution:

-SR 52 by Sen. Tom Adelson, encourages local and state elected officials and government agencies to educate and create infrastructures for a healthier state.

Other News

• The Senate this week gave unanimous approval to a resolution honoring Makenna Smith, Miss Oklahoma 2007. The resolution was requested by Senate President Pro Tempore Mike Morgan and Co-President Pro Tempore Glenn Coffee, with all of the members of the Senate co-authoring the measure. While completing her journalism degree at the University of Oklahoma in 2005, Makenna interned for the Senate Communications Division, assisting with press releases and other assignments.

• The Oklahoma Commission on Children and Youth recently released a study suggesting that not only reintegration of inmates, but also prevention and intervention for their families may need to be a priority for the state. Oklahoma remains first in the nation in per capita incarceration of women.

• According to U.S. Census Bureau estimates, Stillwater topped the state in metropolitan and micropolitan growth in the state of Oklahoma from 2000-2007. Stillwater’s population increased by 17 percent, or 11,741 residents.