The Oklahoma Senate

Week In Review
Monday, Feb. 2 to Thursday, Feb. 5, 2009

Monday, February 2

• With attention focused on committee activity, the Senate approved one resolution on Monday

-SR 1 by Sen. Randy Brogdon, declares the first week of February as International Networking Week in Oklahoma.


• Several measures were approved by Senate committees Monday.

-SB 394 by Sen. Gary Stanislawski, modifies the time period during which boards of education must notify teachers of re-employment.

-SB 421 by Sen. Gary Stanislawski, transfers from the State Board of Education to individual school districts the authority for setting the time for administering criterion-referenced tests.

-SB 275 by Sen. Kenneth Corn, directs the State Board of Career and Technology Education to divide technology center school district territories into district zones.

-SB 473 by Sen. John Ford, authorizes the Office of Accountability to conduct performance reviews of school districts with a student eligibility rate for free or reduced-price meals above the state average.

-SB 497 by Sen. Susan Paddack, requires school districts, during reporting of end-of-instruction test results under the Oklahoma School Testing Program Act, to include on individual student transcripts any business and industry recognized endorsements attained by that student during the academic year.


• The House convened Monday and approved the following resolution:

-HR 1005 by Rep. Chris Benge, establishes the rules of the House for the 52nd Legislature.

• House committees met Monday but passed no legislation.

Tuesday, February 3

• With attention focused on committee work, the Senate met Tuesday but did not hear any legislation.


• Senate committees approved the following bills on Tuesday:

-SB 339 by Sen. Patrick Anderson, directs the court at an emergency custody hearing to determine whether reasonable efforts have been made to place siblings together in the same foster care, guardianship or adoptive placement and provide frequent visitation in the case of siblings who have been removed and not placed together.

-SB 342 by Sen. Brian Crain, creates a misdemeanor for electronically scanning bar-coded information on a driver’s license or identification card, compiling or maintaining a database of information from bar code information or purchasing, selling or disseminating information to market, advertise, solicit or distribute samples of any product.

-SB 318 by Sen. Mike Mazzei, replaces the state sales tax on eligible foods and beverages with an excise tax.

-SB 315 by Sen. Mike Mazzei, delays implementation of a 5.25 percent income tax rate from 2009 to 2010.

-SB 313 by Sen. Brian Bingman, extends the gross production tax exemption on oil and gas from horizontally drilled wells producing prior to July 1, 2002, until July 1, 2020.

-SB 11 by Sen. Jay Paul Gumm, requires the Oklahoma Tax Commission to pay interest on refunds due on tax returns filed after Jan. 1, 2010, when the refund is not paid in a certain number of days.

-SB 26 by Sen. Patrick Anderson, authorizes a $5,000 tax credit annually for up to five years for individuals licensed under the Oklahoma Allopathic Medical and Surgical Licensure and Supervision Act or the Oklahoma Osteopathic Medicine Act who are employed or serving as primary physician in an area outside Oklahoma City or Tulsa with a population of less than 20,000.

-SB 281 by Sen. Tom Ivester, exempts from franchise tax entities with a tax liability of $500 or less.

-SB 330 by Sen. Sean Burrage, modifies language related to eligibility for a manufactured home exemption, increasing the income threshold from $10,000 to the greater of $22,000 or 50 percent of the median income for the county or metro area in which the person lives.

-SB 517 by Sen. Brian Bingman, requires the municipal governing bodies to notify the Oklahoma Tax Commission prior to annexing territory.

-SB 48 by Patrick Anderson, states that any driver license originally issued to a U.S. citizen, national or legal permanent resident alien, is to be presumed as originally issued and renewed, duplicated or re-issued without documentary proof of U.S. citizenship, nationality or permanent resident alien status, regardless of whether the license has expired.

-SB 249 by Sen. Ron Justice, allows municipal fire departments to conduct national criminal history records checks prior to appointing a paid member of the department.

-SB 357 by Sen. Johnnie Crutchfield, authorizes boards of county commissioners to enter into agreements with municipalities for emergency services.

-SB 388 by Sen. Sean Burrage, allows the Department of Public Safety to make available for sale used vehicles and emergency equipment to reserve deputies, reserve officers and firefighters who furnish their own vehicles for the performance of their duties.

-SB 402 by Sen. Brian Crain, modifies language relating to the testing of blood, breath, saliva or urine to determine alcohol concentration or the presence or concentration of another intoxicating substance affecting a person's ability to drive.

-SB 483 by Sen. Todd Lamb, authorizes the Department of Public Safety to creat procedures and agreements with any other law enforcement agency in Oklahoma for providing direct electronic access to computerized driver license and identification card photographs.

-SB 254 by Sen. Kenneth Corn, exempts an adoptive grandparent from court costs associated with an adoption.

-SB 286 by Sen. Jay Paul Gumm, directs a warden to invite any law enforcement officer who investigated the crime or testified in a court or clemency proceeding related to the crime to be present at an execution.

-SB 487 by Sen. Susan Paddack, include volunteers at a federally recognized community health center under the Governmental Tort Claims Act.

-SB 270 by Sen. Patrick Anderson, modifies conditions under which a presentence youthful offender is to be held in the custody of the Office of Juvenile Affairs, removing reference to holding such offender until they are paroled.

-SB 285 by Sen. Patrick Anderson, allows the Oklahoma Department of Career Technology and Education and technology center school districts to keep confidential certain information, including business plans and financing proposals.

-SB 349 by Sen. David Myers, allows the Department of Environmental Quality to collect administrative penalties under the Oklahoma Hazardous Waste Management Act.

-SB 476 by Sen. Patrick Anderson, adds electronic transmission by a bill's author or an author's designee as a pre-filing delivery option.

-SB 518 by Sen. Ron Justice, adds "grandparent" to the definition of "members of the immediate family" for the purposes of victim impact statements.


• The House convened Tuesday but approved no legislation.


• House committees met Tuesday approved the following measures:


-HB 1013 by Rep. John Wright, recreates the State Board of Cosmetology until July 1, 2013.

-HB 1014 by Rep. John Wright, recreates the State Board of Medical Licensure and Supervision until July 1, 2013.

-HB 1016 by Rep. John Wright, recreates the Oklahoma Real Estate Commission until July 1, 2013.

-HB 1044 by Rep. Earl Sears, removes language that allows city manager appointments to not be residents of the city or state and the requirement that city managers reside within the city while holding office.

-HB 1049 by Rep. John Carey, directs law enforcement agencies to make available for public inspection a chronological list of all incidents, including a specific address, and a statement summarizing noninvestigatory observations and facts.

-HB 1296 by Rep. John Wright, modifies the language related to required reduction-in-force notices.

-HB 1031 by Rep. Jason Murphey, allows a municipality to adopt the building standards code of the International Code Council.

-HB 1294 by Rep. Jason Murphey, allows boards of directors of rural road improvement districts to use funds from an annual levy on ad valorem taxed property to finance improvements on a pay-as-you-go basis, as long as the districts have no outstanding bonds or other indebtedness.

-HB 1334 by Rep. Lee Denney, allows state agencies to transfer copies of state records pertaining to the April 19, 1995, bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City to the Oklahoma City National Memorial Foundation.

-HB 1347 by Rep. Marian Cooksey, modifies the procedure for counties to dispose of equipment that originally cost more than $500.

Wednesday, February 4

• Attention remained focused on committee action on Wednesday, as the Senate quickly adjourned after approving the following resolution:

-SCR 4 by Sen. Randy Brogdon, rejecting any proposal to release Guantanamo Bay detainees to Oklahoma.


• Senate committees passed numerous bills on Wednesday, including the following:

-SB 390 by Sen. Randy Brogdon, directs the Department of Human Services to establish a drug-testing program for people applying for or receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.

-SB 59 by Sen. Andrew Rice, modifies language related to eligibility requirements for the Oklahoma Employer/Employee Partnership for Insurance Coverage premium assistance program.

-SB 267 by Sen. Brian Crain, allows funds of the Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust Fund to be used for capital expenditures and operating expenses incurred by the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center and the Oklahoma State University College of Osteopathic Medicine for education programs and residency training.

-SB 337 by Sen. Tom Adelson, amends HJR 1058 of the 51st Legislature, which authorized the Department of Human Services to sell a parcel of land in Tulsa County.

-SB 292 by Sen. Patrick Anderson, repeals language related to the schedule of benefits for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families for families with children born during the period in which the family is eligible for TANF or a temporary period during which the family is ineligible for TANF

-SB 346 by Sen. Brian Crain, requires the Department of Health to establish and maintain an advance directive registry to store directives under the Oklahoma Advance Directive Act to be accessible through the agency’s website.

-SB 404 by Sen. Brian Crain, authorizes the Capitol Improvement Authority to issue $100 million in obligations to provide office space for the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, the Oklahoma Health Care Authority and the Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs.

-SB 434 by Sen. Judy Eason McIntyre, directs the Department of Health to provide a cancer patient navigation program to provide education about and assistance with the management of cancer.

-SB 479 by Sen. Todd Lamb, modifies definition of “long-term care administrator” under the Nursing Home Care Act to exclude bed requirements as they related to intermediate care facilities for the mentally retarded.

-SB 496 by Sen. Jay Paul Gumm, allows any individual applying for institutional care whose income is in excess of the categorical needy standards but whose income does not exceed the statewide median of nursing facility payments to create an income pension trust.

-SB 564 by Sen. Charles Wyrick, authorizes the State Board of Agriculture to require more than the minimum $25,000 surety bond for operating, conducting or maintaining a livestock auction market.

-SB 551 by Sen. David Myers, modifies language related to exceptions to minimum annualized salaries for state employees.

-SB 391 by Sen. Susan Paddack, establishes penalties for persons who operate vehicles that tare 700 pounds or more above the gross weight limits.

-SB 256 by Sen. Judy Eason McIntyre, authorizes the Oklahoma Historical Society to transfer all duties and obligation to the municipal governing body or a public trust where the 1921 Tulsa Race Riot Memorial of Reconciliation is located.

-SB 293 by Sen. Sean Burrage, authorizes the Grand River Dam Authority and municipally owned utilities to use funds to assist consumers in establishing energy conservation activities if there is a defined and measurable conservation of energy.

-SB 299 by Sen. Brian Bingman, transfers from the Corporation Commission to the Department of Central Services the duty of selling vehicles that have been seized for not bearing a proper license plate as required by the Oklahoma Vehicle License and Registration Act.

-SB 449 by Sen. Kenneth Corn, directs the state to recognize the provisions of certain National Fire Protection standards.

-SB 482 by Sen. Harry Coates, creates the Oklahoma State Capitol Centennial Commemoration and Preservation Act and the Oklahoma State Capitol Centennial Commemoration and Preservation Committee.

-SB 508 by Sen. Jim Wilson, allows expenditures made under the Scenic Rivers Act to be made outside the boundaries of a scenic river area as long as such expenditures are made in counties with scenic rivers.

-SB 521 by Sen. Jim Halligan, creates the Oklahoma Centennial Botanical Garden Authority Revolving Fund.

-SB 291 by Sen. Kenneth Corn, increases from 400 to 650 the number of teachers that may be selected to receive assistance from the Education Leadership Oklahoma Program.

-SB 255 by Sen. Tom Ivester, grants full resident tuition waivers to students who are recipients of the Congressional Medal of Honor, Silver Star, Bronze Star or Purple Heart; a veteran classified as a prisoner of war during Operation Global War on Terror; a combat veteran who served during Operation Global War on Terror; a veteran who receives 20 percent or more of disability; a child or spouse of a veteran who died during Operation Global War on Terror; or a child or spouse of a veteran who has a service-related disability with a combined rating of 20 percent or more as a result of Operation Global War on Terror.

-SB 257 by Sen. Kenneth Corn, allows the board of education of a technology center school district to convey surplus personal property to a technology center school district or the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education.

-SB 309 by Sen. Susan Paddack, modifies language relating to income eligibility under the Oklahoma Higher Learning Access Program.

-SB 310 by Sen. Susan Paddack, makes scholarships established through the Oklahoma Health Care Workers and Educators Assistance Fund subject to available funds.

-SB 354 by Sen. David Myers, modifies income eligibility under the Oklahoma Higher Learning Access Program.

-SB 467 by Sen. Kenneth Corn, establishes eligibility requirements for students who are veterans that have been honorably discharged from the U.S. Armed Forces to receive a full resident tuition waiver at an Oklahoma higher education institution or technology center school.

-SB 469 by Sen. Judy Eason McIntyre, expands the purposes for which additional funds may be used by the Oklahoma Commission for Teacher Preparation to include scientifically research-based instructional strategies for teachers of English language learners and children in poverty.

-SB 471 by Sen. Mary Easley, increases the Oklahoma Higher Learning Access Program qualifying income level for students who apply during the eighth, ninth, or 10th grade from $50,000 of income from taxable and nontaxable sources to $75,000 of income from taxable and nontaxable sources.


• The House met Wednesday and approved numerous appropriations shell bills before adjourning to resume committee work. The House also passed the following resolution:

-HR 1006 by Rep. Mike Reynolds, recognizes Feb. 4, 2009 as Rose Day 2009 at the state Capitol.

• House committees approved a number of measures Wednesday including the following:

-HB 1037 by Rep. Sue Tibbs, would require voters to provide proof of identity when voting.

-HB 1919 by Rep. Steve Kouplen, modifies the definition of “eligible agricultural business” under the Oklahoma Agricultural Linked Deposit Program to include any person recently graduated from veterinary school who is establishing a practice in which 30 percent of the practice consists of services for large animals.

-HB 2148 by Rep. Don Armes, creates the Uniform Limited Cooperative Association Act of 2009.

-HB 1482 by Rep. Dale DeWitt, prohibits actions for nuisance from being brought against agricultural activities on farm or ranch land that has lawfully been in operation for one year or more prior to the action.

-HB 1583 by Rep. Eddie Fields, creates the Weed Free Hay Certification Act and authorizes the State Board of Agriculture to promulgate rules to allows the certification of crops as “weed-free” or free of noxious weeds.

-HB 1074 by Rep. Marian Cooksey, disqualifies employees used in the operation of Department of Corrections canteen services from being state employees.

-HB 1698 by Rep. Lisa Joe Billy, allows correctional employees to eat for free the same meals served inmates.

-HB 1368 by Rep. Glen Bud Smithson, allows driving in a lane other than the right-hand lane when traffic conditions or flow or road configuration require the use of lanes other than the right-hand lane to maintain safe traffic conditions.

-HB 1448 by Rep. Ryan McMullen, removes the limitation of homicide crime scene cleanup for which individuals may seek funds from the Crime Victims Compensation Board for crime scene cleanup.

-HB 1760 by Rep. John Enns, removes the requirement that tests of blood, breath, saliva or urine specimens for intoxicating substances other than alcohol identify the presence and concentration of the intoxicating substance and allowing the test to identify the presence of the intoxicating substance.

-HB 1803 by Rep. Steve Martin, allows wrecker support vehicles to use flashing red or blue lights or a combination at the scene of an emergency.

-HR 1001 by Rep. Lucky Lamons, encourages the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety, in partnership with local law enforcement and media, to implement a statewide “Blue Alert” early warning system to aid in the apprehension of violent criminals responsible for the death or serious injury of local, state or federal law enforcement agents.

-HJR 1014 by Rep. Leslie Osborn, proposes a constitutional amendment related to state spending, prohibiting the Legislature from making expenditures for any function of government using a predetermined formula of any kind or by reference to the expenditure levels of any other state government entity.

-HJR 1035 by Rep. John Enns, proposes a constitutional amendment modifying appropriation limitation from the Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust Fund, allowing some funds to go toward adult stem cell research.

-HJR 1004 by Rep. John Wright, rescinds, repeals and supersedes any and all application by the Legislature to U.S. Congress to call a constitutional convention.

-HJR 1017 by Rep. Gary Banz, puts to a vote of the people, whether or not the state should call a Constitutional Convention to convene in Oklahoma City on July 13, 2011.

-HB 1329 by Rep. Mike Ritze, requires candidates filing with the State Election Board or county election boards to provide proof of citizenship at the time of filing.

-HB 1333 by Rep. Lee Denney, requires applicants for alternative placement teaching certificates to have attained a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.5 from a higher education institution.

-HB 1479 by Rep. Eddie Fields, requires local school districts to study and assess ways to eliminate, reduce, consolidate and simplify the type, number and length of reports, data, statistics and other information required by federal and state law.

Thursday, February 4

• The Senate met briefly Thursday passing the following resolution before adjourning to resume committee work:

-SR 3 by Sen. Debbe Leftwich, congratulates Malcolm Jenkins upon his selection as recipient of the 2008 Jim Thorpe Award.

Other News

• The state Senate this week adopted a resolution opposing the relocation to Oklahoma of detainees from military prisons at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Sen. Randy Brogdon, author of the resolution, said speculation had circulated about Fort Sill being a possible destination for Guantanamo detainees.

• The White House on Wednesday said about 43,000 jobs will be created or saved in Oklahoma over two years by a stimulus package at the center of President Barack Obama’s economic recovery plan. A White House release announced that more than 90 percent of the jobs would be in the private sector, in areas such as clean energy and health care.

• Sen. Tom Adelson of Tulsa this week informed reporters that he was considering seeking the Democratic nomination for attorney general in 2010. Adelson said he has yet to form a committee to raise funds for a statewide race.

• The Oklahoma Employment Security Commission this week announced that unemployment rates increased in 67 of Oklahoma’s 77 counties in December. The statewide jobless rate for the month was 4.8 percent.

Index