The Oklahoma Senate

Week In Review
Monday, April 14 to Thursday, April 17, 2008

Monday, April 14

• The Senate met Monday and approved the following legislation:

-HB 1959 by Rep. Ron Peterson, authorizes CompSource Oklahoma to contract with companies to insure employers operating in Oklahoma and their employees who may work outside the state.

-HB 1622 by Rep. David Derby, expands the crime of unlawful use of a credit or debit card to include purchases on the internet.

-HJR 1014 by Rep. Doug Cox, proposes a constitutional amendment that would remove the current tax maximum for emergency medical service districts and would remove the requirement that emergency medical districts follow school district boundary lines.

-HB 2518 by Rep. Ben Sherrer, directs rather than recommends the State Board of Education to adopt rules related to transfers of children with disabilities.

-HB 1547 by Rep. Phil Richardson, increases from $250 to $500 the minimum fine for trespassing on private farm, ranch or forestry land.

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

-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 2784 by Rep. Mike Jackson, creates the Regional Business Airport Modernization Act.

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

-HB 3031 by Rep. Ryan McMullen, expands the circumstances under which a person may file a motion for expungement of criminal records to include persons who receive full pardons on the basis of a written finding by the governor of actual innocence.

-HB 3126 by Rep. John Enns, creates the Advancement in Stem Cell Cures and Therapies Act.

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


• Senate committees took no action on Monday.

• The House convened Monday and approved a number of appropriations bills and the following legislation:

-SB 1819 by Sen. Glenn Coffee, modifies language relating to the Oklahoma Quality Jobs Program Act.

-SB 1150 by Sen. John Ford, requires voters to present proof of identity to vote.

-HB 2279 by Rep. Kenneth Corn, appropriates $19.2 million to the State Department of Education.

-SB 995 by Sen. Harry Coates, allows winemakers to sell and ship up to 10,000 gallons of wine annually directly to retail package stores and restaurants, unless distribution volume limits are unconstitutional.

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

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

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

-SB 1421 by Sen. John Sparks, authorizes the director of the Department of Human Services or the Department of Juvenile Justice to issue exceptions to the fingerprinting requirement.

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

-SB 1889 by Sen. Todd Lamb, authorizes the Office of Juvenile Affairs to detain a youthful offender in a county jail if it meets the standards set forth by the State Department of Health for juvenile offenders.

-SB 2086 by Sen. Owen Laughlin, allows all-terrain vehicles to be operated on streets and highways within a municipality when the municipal body has adopted an ordinance governing such operation and operation of the vehicles occurs during daylight hours only.

• House committees took no action on Monday.

Tuesday, April 15

• The Senate met Tuesday and approved several resolutions and the following measures:

-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 1418 by Rep. Ann Coody, provides a sales tax exemption for surviving spouses of disabled veterans and a sales tax exemption on the Oklahoma sales of railroad cars manufactured in Oklahoma.

-HB 2583 by Rep. Terry Hyman, increases from 15 to 17 percent the rebate offered within the Oklahoma Film Enhancement Rebate Program.

-SB 1819 by Sen. Glenn Coffee, modifies language relating to the Oklahoma Quality Jobs Program Act.

-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 1622 by Rep. David Derby, expands the crime of unlawful use of a credit or debit card to include purchases on the internet.

-HB 2568 by Rep. Pam 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 2731 by Rep. Fred Jordan, creates the School District Employee Direct Deposit Act.

-HB 2863 by Rep. Mike Shelton, creates Demarion’s Law, requiring a child care facility to maintain liability insurance coverage worth $200,000 for each occurrence of negligence.

-HB 1392 by Rep. Phil Richardson, creates a resource conservation management plan, administered by the Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry, to integrate all plans from the unincorporated areas of the state that address nonpoint secure pollution.

• Senate committees took no action on Tuesday.

• The House on Tuesday approved the following bills:

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

-SB 539 by Sen. Randy Bass, provides that the spouse of a package store license holder or partner is not deemed to be a partner or have a beneficial interest in a package store unless his or her name appears on the license.

-SB 1795 by Sen. Mike Johnson, prohibits someone who holds a license issued by the Oklahoma Horse Racing Commission to be eligible to serve on the commission.

-SB 70 by Sen. Roger Ballenger, creates the Large Animal Veterinarian Incentive Act.

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

-SB 1181 by Sen. Jeff Rabon, modifies reference from the Oklahoma Transportation Authority to the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority as it relates to construction management and design consultant services.

-SB 1389 by Sen. Cliff Aldridge, modifies language relating to the Oklahoma Vehicle License and Registration Act.

-SB 1529 by Sen. Harry Coates, modifies the definition of the “practice of engineering” as it relates to registration of engineers and land surveyors to include work related to communication systems, transportation systems and control system or communication nature.

-SB 1577 by Sen. Debbe Leftwich, creates the Oklahoma Anesthesiologist Assistant Act.

-SB 1675 by Sen. Don Barrington, authorizes the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation to disclose investigative information to employees of the Department of Human Services for the furtherance of child abuse investigations.

-SB 1734 by Sen. John Sparks, removes a requirement that upland game license applicants submit proof of being an Oklahoma resident.

-SB 1735 by Sen. John Sparks, specifies a second-offense punishment for persons who fish on land without consent and makes all offenders responsible for damages they cause.

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

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

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

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

-SB 2186 by Sen. Thomas Ivester, creates a 16-member Task Force on the Effect of Alzheimer’s Disease on Oklahoma.


• House committees took no action on Tuesday.


Wednesday, April 16

• The Senate met Wednesday and approved numerous appropriations bills and the following legislation:

-HB 2714 by Rep. Lisa Billy, modifies language related to sales tax exemptions granted to nonprofit organizations for veterans, directing the exemption include but not be limited to the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

-HB 1546 by Rep. Susan Winchester, directs $941,000 in funds appropriated to the Department of Rehabilitation Services to be used to fund operations for the Oklahoma School for the Deaf regional service center on the main campus of the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma.

-HB 2247 by Rep. Jerry Shoemake, designates the Oklahoma State University campus located in Okmulgee as the Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology – Okmulgee.

-HB 2492 by Rep. Wes Hilliard, raises from $7,500 to $25,000 the advertisement threshold for contracts related to master conservancy districts.

-HB 2633 by Rep. Sally Kern, modifies language related to when criterion-reference tests are administered to students, directing that the testing window dates for the administration of each end-of-instruction criterion-reference test begin 25 days prior to the last full day of the end of the course.

-HB 2638 by Rep. Ron Peters, modifies reference from the Secretary of State to the Attorney General under the Protection from Domestic Abuse Act.

-HB 2763 by Rep. Doug Cox, authorizes the executive director of the State Board of Medical Licensure and Supervision to commission certified employees within the Department of Investigations of the board as peace officers.

-HB 2822 by Rep. Daniel Sullivan, removes the population restriction on language relating to use of 911 emergency telephone service information by law enforcement or public health agencies.

-HB 3003 by Rep. Rob Johnson, creates the Sustaining Oklahoma’s Energy Resources Act and Oklahoma’s Energy Resources Board.

-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 or 1,000 or higher.

-HB 2573 by Rep. Jeff Hickman, modifies language related to annexation, stating that the prevailing party in an annexation dispute is entitled to court costs and reasonable attorney fees.

-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.

-HB 3070 by Rep. T.W. Shannon, renames the Oklahoma Professional Boxing Licensing Act the Oklahoma State Athletic Commission Act and the Oklahoma Professional Boxing Commission the Oklahoma Athletic Commission.

-HB 3396 by Rep. Chris Benge, increases from $100 million to $125 million the amount of bonds the Oklahoma Capitol Improvement Authority may issue on behalf of the Oklahoma State Regents Endowment Trust Fund and extends from 10 years to 25 years the maturity date of bonds that may be issued.

-HB 2547 by Rep. Phil Richardson, increases from $250 to $500 the minimum fine for trespassing on private farm, ranch or forestry land.

-SB 1819 by Sen. Glenn Coffee, modifies language relating to the Oklahoma Quality Jobs Program Act, expanding the definition of “basic industry” to include professional or semiprofessional sports teams or clubs.


• Senate committees took no action on Wednesday.


• The House met Wednesday and approved the following legislation:

-SB 1641 by Sen. Mike Mazzei, states that elected officials who become members of the Oklahoma Public Retirement System on or after July 1, 2008, will receive retirement benefits based on existing contribution rates and the member’s highest annual compensation received as an elected official and only for those years of credited service as an elected official.

-SB 1708 by Sen. Glenn Coffee, creates the Oklahoma Uniform Anatomical Gift Act.

-SB 1872 by Sen. Earl Garrison, adds an exemption within the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Commission that only the ex-officio shall be able to seek elected office.

-SB 1141 by Sen. Kenneth Corn, 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 1390 by Sen. Tom Adelson, exempts an Oklahoma College Savings Plan from being considered in determining eligibility for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, Medicaid and food stamps, if federal rules permit.

-SB 1440 by Sen. Kenneth Corn, modifies language related to the authority of a court to defer proceedings and place a person on probation, allowing such action to be taken against a person who pleads guilty or nolo contendere to a violation of the Uniform Controlled Dangerous Substances 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 1468 by Sen. Mike Schulz, reduces the minimum age for correctional security officers to 20 years old from 21 years old.

-SB 1595 by Sen. Jonathan Nichols, authorizes the staff of the Office of Accountability Systems and independent contractors performing internal investigative services to be directly supervised by the director of the office, not subject to the supervision of any other State Department of Health employee.

-SB 1816 by Sen. Don Barrington, allows the board of county commissioners, with 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 2000 by Sen. Randy Brogdon, changes the name of the Youth Suicide Prevention Act to the Suicide Prevention Act.

-SB 2003 by Sen. Jonathan Nichols, establishes that a district attorney may seek acceleration or revocation of any court-ordered probation of an individual who fails without an excuse to attend three consecutive sessions of any court ordered domestic abuse counseling or treatment program, or who has seven unexcused absences over a 52-week program period.

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

• House committees took no action on Wednesday.

Thursday, April 17

• The Senate met Thursday and approved the following bills:

-HB 2631 by Rep. Fred Jordan, creates a panel of judges to preside over complex litigation cases.

-HB 3143 by Rep. Fred Jordan, creates the Compassionate Care Task Force.

-HB 2775 by Rep. Dale DeWitt, directs the Oklahoma Water Resources Board to establish a state water portal system.

-HB 3115 by Rep. Ron Peterson, creates the Core Benefit Health Plan Act of 2008.

-HB 2446 by Rep. David Braddock, modifies certain eligibility requirements for the Oklahoma Higher Learning Access Act.

-HB 2862 by Rep. Mike Shelton, allows certain vehicles to be equipped with strobe lights.

-HB 3335 by Rep. Mike Thompson, removes the population limitation on prohibitions concerning certain road signage.

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

-HB 3336 by Rep. Mike Thompson, provides procedures for reducing incarceration costs and requires reimbursement to health care providers under certain circumstances.

-SB 1878 by Sen. Todd Lamb, creates the Freedom of Conscience Act and prohibits employers from discriminating against certain persons for refusing to perform specified acts based on certain beliefs.

-HB 3124 by Rep. Tad Jones, directs the State Board of Education to issue a license to teach to persons in the Teach for America Program.

-HB 2813 by Rep. Weldon Watson, makes costs of upgrades for wind energy recoverable.


Other News


• The state Senate voted overwhelmingly Thursday to override Gov. Brad Henry’s veto of Senate Bill 1878, a bipartisan pro-life bill, by a vote of 37-11. Thirty-two votes were required to override the veto in the Senate. The House of Representatives voted 81-15 to join the Senate in overriding the veto. It was the first gubernatorial veto overridden by the State Legislature since the administration of former Gov. David Walters.

• A large-scale painting of “The California Road” by Oklahoma artist Wayne Cooper was unveiled Monday in the Oklahoma State Senate. The California Road was a trail through Indian Territory used by those heading west to California in search of gold. The painting was commissioned by the Oklahoma State Senate Historical Preservation Fund and sponsored by former State Senator Joe and Carol McGraw of Tulsa. The trail started at Fort Smith, Arkansas, and followed the south bank of the South Canadian River through Indian Territory. In 1834, Edwards’ Post was established as a trading post where the Little River meets the South Canadian River, in what is now Hughes County. By the late 1840’s, Edwards’ Post was one of the busiest trade establishments in the territory since it was regarded as the last chance east of New Mexico to supplement supplies. Today, the California Road trail ruts remain as a monument to an important episode in the development of the United States. In more recent times, the route was used for modern highways, including U.S. Highway 40.

• A report entitled “The Taxpayer Costs of Divorce and Unwed Childbearing: First Ever Estimates for the Nation and All Fifty States” was released this week, and revealed the financial impact that divorce and children born to unwed parents are having on the state. The report suggests that divorce and unwed childbearing are costing state taxpayers $430 million annually.

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