The Oklahoma Senate

Week In Review
Monday, March 31 to Thursday, April 3, 2008

Monday, March 31

• The Senate met Monday and approved the following legislation:

-SB 706 by Sen. Brian Bingman, modifies language related to mining permits, stating that a municipality is not required to reconsider requests denied on the same site unless the municipality determines there has been a material change in the application.

• Senate committees approved the following measures on Monday:

-HB 2501 by Rep. Dennis Adkins, modifies language related to the unlawful act of selling new or used aircraft without a dealer license as well as licensing for aircraft sales.

-HB 2239 by Rep. Colby Schwartz, directs district school boards to adopt a policy allowing students to self-administer anaphylaxis medication.

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

-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.

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

-HB 3187 by Rep. Dale DeWitt, would create the Oklahoma Oilseed Resources Act to develop programs that would enhance oilseed production and oilseed research.

-HB 3123 by Rep. Tad Jones, removes language related to project criteria for design build and construction management project delivery methods construction projects of schools, CareerTech and institutions within the Oklahoma State System of Higher Education construction projects.

-HB 2470 by Rep. Wade Rousselot, removes language allowing a city manager to not be a resident of the city or state and states that the apportionment of a city manager be subject to the terms of employment established by a city council.

-HB 2969 by Rep. Chuck Hoskin, directs state agencies to purchase U.S. and state flags that are manufactured in the United States.

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

-HCR 1047 by Rep. Joe Dorman, directs the Oklahoma Historical Society to host a website and have polling locations allowing the public to nominate an official rock and roll song.

• House committees approved the following bills on Monday:

-SB 2101 by Sen. Clark Jolley, directs the State Board of Education to collaborate with state institutions of higher education to develop a program for alternative teacher certification in partnership with an organization that recruits and trains alternatively certified teachers for one-year licensure within the state.

-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 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 seperate classrooms if the children are in the same grade level and meet the school's eligibility requirements.

-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.

-SJR 38 by Sen. Glenn Coffee, proposes a constitutional amendment to add new language setting forth the inherent right of state citizens to engage in hunting, trapping, fishing and taking of game and fish, free of state laws which explicitly or implicitly prohibit such activities.

-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 1841 by Sen. Cliff Aldridge, is the sunset omnibus bill.

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

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

Tuesday, April 1

• The Senate met Tuesday and approved several resolution and the following substantive bill:

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

Senate committees approved the following bills on Tuesday:

-HB 3341 by Rep. Mike Thompson, creates the Cigarette Fire Safety Standard and Firefighter Protection Act that requires certain testing and prohibits the sale of cigarettes that do not meet certain standards.

-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 3076 by Rep. Joe Dorman, modifies language related to the Oklahoma Boating Safety Regulation Act.

-HB 2231 by Rep. Jason Murphey, repeals a section of law regarding the Department of Transportation's remarking of existing section corners and quarter section quarters on highways.

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

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

-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 their employment.

-HB 1418 by Rep. Ann Coody, provides a sales tax exemption for surviving spouses of disabled veterans.

-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 boundary lines.

-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 attorneys' fees.

-HB 2522 by Rep. Ben Sherrer, allows counties to establish drug courts for misdemeanor offenses.

-HB 2765 by Rep. Doug Cox, modifies language relating to a court's determination of insanity, allowing the court to order an examination by a Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services facility.

• The House on Tuesday approved numerous appropriations shell bills.

• House committees passed the following measures on Tuesday:

-SB 1383 by Sen. Mike Johnson, speeds up the elimination of the estate tax.

-SB 2157 by Sen. Don Barrington, creates Nick's Law which requires health insurers to cover autism treatments.

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

-SB 2117 by Sen. John Sparks, creates the Vehicle Protection Product Act and provides for regulation and requirements of vehicle warrantors.

-SB 1010 by Sen. Mike Morgan, modifies various provisions relating to public accountants.

-SB 1531 by Sen. Debbe Leftwich, modifies language relating to the Employment Security Act and the Standards for Workplace Drug and Alcohol Testing Act.

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

-SB 1625 by Sen. Susan Paddack, expands the list of entities with which the Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training (CLEET) may enter into agreements for professional services and facililty usage.

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

-SB 2016 by Sen. Jim Wilson, adds the law enforcement of the state of Oklahoma to the list of entities with which the Oklahoma Tax Commission may share records and reports related to tobacco.

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

Wednesday, April 2

The Senate met Wednesday and approved sunset and appropriations provisions.

• Senate committees met Wednesday and approved the following measures:

-HJR 1093 by Rep. Al McAffrey, memorializes the U.S. Department of Defense and the U.S. Department of Labor to include Oklahoma in the Military Spouse Career Advancement Initiatives.

-HB 3100 by Rep. Gary Banz, directs that the Oklahoma Legislative Medal of Honor be awarded to a member of the state or federal military forces who voluntarily performs a deed of personal bravery or self sacrifice involving risk of life and establishes quantifying criteria.

-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 2783 by Rep. Glen Bud Smithson, requires the Department of Corrections risk assessment review committee to review the registration information and determine the numeric risk level of persons who have entered the state and who have registered as a sex offender.

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

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

-HB 2821 by Rep. Daniel Sullivan, authorizes the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics to establish an employee performance recognition program to encourage outstanding job performance and productivity.

-HB 3126 by Rep. John Enns, creates the Advancement in Stem Cell Cures and Therapies Act, allowing stem cell research to be conducted in the state if it is performed ethically and safely, in accordance with federal law and without the use of a human embryo.

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

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

-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 3 percent growth in the General Revenue Fund before allocating $50 million to the ROADS Fund.

-HB 3342 by Rep. Mike Thompson, increases the cap on the Rebuilding Oklahoma Access and Driver Safety Fund from $200,000 to $500,000.

-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.

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

-HB 1878 by Sen. Todd Lamb, creates the Freedom of Conscience Act, which prohibits employers from discriminating against employees or prospective employees who refuse to participate in prescribed activities on moral or religious grounds.

• House committees approved the following bills on Wednesday:

-SB 1686 by Sen. Mary Easley, directs that professional development programs for teachers include a special emphasis on autism.

-SB 1437 by Sen. Richard Lerblance, directs the Board of Environmental Quality to study measures to reduce diesel fuel emissions in an effort to achieve the National Ambient Air Quality Standards set forth by the federal Clean Air Act.

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

-SB 1463 by Sen. James 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.

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

-SB 2028 by Sen. Anthony Sykes, creates a felony for any individual who maliciously, forcibly or fraudulently takes or entices away any incapacitated or partially incapacitated 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.

-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 to attend four consecutive sessions of any court-ordered domestic abuse counseling or treatment program.

-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 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 1987 by Sen. Owen Laughlin, proposes a constitutional amendment to limit the terms of lieutenant governor, state auditor and inspector, attorney general, state treasurer, commissioner of labor, insurance commissioner, superintendent of public instruction or corporation commissioner to 12 years.

-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 monitoring.

-SB 163 by Sen. Owen Laughlin, proposes a constitutional amendment to make English the official language of the state of Oklahoma.

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

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

-SB 1988 by Sen. Owen Laughlin, provides for the 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.

-SB 1186 by Sen. Mary Easley, increases the amount of physical education or exercise required for public elementary school students from 60 minutes to 120 minutes each week.

-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 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.

Thursday, April 3

• The Senate met Thursday and approved the following resolution:

-SB 1365 by Sen. Mike Johnson, makes an appropriation to the special cash fund.

-SB 1354 by Sen. Mike Johnson, makes an appropriation to the Department of Education.

-SB 1294 by Sen. Mike Johnson, makes an appropriation to the Corporation Commission.

Other News

• The Senate on Thursday honored Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chad Smith at the state Capitol. Smith, along with several other members of the Cherokee Nation were there as part of the 8th annual Cherokee Nation Legislative Day at the State Capitol. The Cherokee Nation is the second largest tribe in the United States and the largest tribe in Oklahoma with over 160,000 tribal members living in the state. The tribe has annual expenditures in excess of $450 million.

• The state Senate on Tuesday honored Army Staff Sergeant Chris Hake of Enid, who was one of four U.S. soldiers killed on Easter Sunday when their vehicle was struck by a roadside bomb in Baghdad, Iraq. Hake was serving his second tour of duty in Iraq with the 4th Battalion, 64th Armor Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, where he served as a Squad Leader. Senate Resolution 68 was authored by Sen. Patrick Anderson to honor Hake’s contributions to his country and the state of Oklahoma.