The Oklahoma Senate

Week In Review
Monday, Apr. 6 to Thursday, Apr. 9, 2009

Monday, April 6

• The Senate approved the following measures on Monday:

-HB 1297 by Rep. Pat Ownbey, adds school supplies to the list of items subject to the back-to-school sales tax holiday.

-HB 1070 by Rep. Gary Banz, allows licensed teachers hired on a temporary contract in a resident teacher position for a complete school year to be hired for one additional complete school year on a temporary contract for the next school year.

-HB 1464 by Rep. R.C. Pruett, prohibits individuals from hunting or taking black bear without a license.

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

-HB 2070 by Rep. Skye McNiel, amends the list of exceptions in the Engineering and Land Surveying chapter to permit the work of an employee rendering engineering or land surveying to the individual’s corporation, when the services are conducted for the general business of the corporation and the corporation does not render the engineering services to the general public, provided that at least one employee has a certificate of registration as an engineer or land surveyor.


• Senate committees took no action on Monday.

• The House on Monday approved the following bills:

-SB 553 by Sen. Ron Justice, modifies the definition of “federally defined eligible individual” as it relates to the Health Insurance High Risk Pool Act.

-SB 880 by Sen. John Ford, eliminates the minimum membership number for an organization by the Oklahoma Teachers’ Retirement System.

-SB 52 by Sen. Clark Jolley, modifies language related to the Oklahoma State Employees Benefits Council.

-SB 401 by Sen. Brian Crain, allows deputy sheriffs to practice as an attorney or counselor at law.

-SB 411 by Sen. Clark Jolley, increases from 18 to 19 the membership of the Domestic Fatality Review Board to include the Executive Director of the Office of Juvenile Affairs.

-SB 505 by Sen. Debbe Leftwich, stipulates that no more than four members of a city planning commission may serve on design committees or commissions.

-SB 615 by Sen. Brian Crain, prohibits liens from being effective against a grantee beneficiary until the expiration of a nine-month disclaimer period, unless the beneficiary exerts dominion over the real estate within nine months.

-SB 698 by Sen. Patrick Anderson, permits the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry to take into possession any vehicle, implement of husbandry, farming equipment or farm implement and any and all livestock killed, taken, shipped or possessed in violation of the Agricultural Code.

-SB 699 by Sen. Brian Crain, clarifies language related to the Oklahoma Medicaid False Claims Act.

-SB 852 by Sen. Randy Brogdon, requires that the gist statement of each initiative petition and referendum petition be submitted to the Secretary of State at the time the proponent files a copy of the petition with the Secretary of State.

-SB 871 by Sen. Steve Russell, modifies membership of the Electronic and Information Technology Accessibility Advisory Council.

-SB 956 by Sen. Todd Lamb, modifies language related to human trafficking, defining terminology and what constitutes “human trafficking”.

• House committees approved the following bills on Monday:


-SB 1120 by Sen. Anthony Sykes, permits all law enforcement boards, bureaus, commissions and task forces to hold executive sessions for the purposes of discussing ongoing criminal investigations, targets or pending legal cases.

-SB 225 by Sen. Mike Johnson, makes an appropriation to the Department of Transportation.

-SB 238 by Sen. Mike Johnson, modifies language related to the Oklahoma Capitol Improvement Authority and its authority to require state agencies to be housed in a building and pay rent.

-SB 283 by Sen. Harry Coates, creates a Task Force on Youth Transitioning into Adulthood.

-SB 702 by Sen. Susan Paddack, adds kidnapping to the list of crimes for which 85 percent of any sentence must be served.

-SB 612 by Sen. Patrick Anderson, requires defendants planning to raise the question of mental illness or insanity to file notice with the court within 30 days after arraignment.

-SB 613 by Sen. Patrick Anderson, prohibits a court from imposing a sentence or revocation of probation.

-SB 789 by Sen. Jonathan Nichols, creates a misdemeanor for offenses of knowingly making or uttering a false statement in the course of an internal agency investigation.

-SB 826 by Sen. Anthony Sykes, increases the penalty for assisting a minor in participating in, associating with or joining a criminal street gang to a term of more than five years in the custody of the Department of Corrections.

-SB 1126 by Sen. Clark Jolley, establishes a formula for calculating the number of days a child support obligor pays a 90-day arrearage.

-SB 885 by Sen. Patrick Anderson, creates the Revised Uniform Unincorporated Nonprofit Association Act.

-SB 1064 by Sen. Don Barrington, adds cell phones and other small electronic communication devices to the list of items that individuals, without authority, are prohibited from bringing into any jail or state penal institution.

-SB 793 by Sen. Anthony Sykes, makes it unlawful for private employers to ask any applicant for employment whether he/she owns or possesses a firearm.

-SB 815 by Sen. Sean Burrage, increases the maximum amount of recovery in small claims courts from $6,000 to $25,000.

-SB 646 by Sen. Glenn Coffee, creates the Accountability, Innovation and Privatization Act.

-SB 595 by Sen. Patrick Anderson, creates the Juvenile Justice Public Works Act to provide labor for community service to develop lands pursuant to public works projects.

-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 322 by Sen. Clark Jolley, modifies language related to the Healthy and Fit Kids Act.

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

-SB 899 by Sen. Glenn Coffee, adds crimes related to campaign contributions or campaign financing, bribery, corruption, forgery or perjury related to the duties of any elected or appointed county or state officer that require the individual to forfeit the benefits of their office upon final conviction.


Tuesday, April 7

• The Senate approved the following bills on Tuesday:

-HB 1007 by Rep. Paul Wesselhoft, modifies language related to parking for the physically disabled.

-HB 1049 by Rep. John Carey, directs law enforcement agencies to make available for public inspection a chronological list of all incidents.

-HB 1092 by Rep. John Trebilcock, allows driver licensees 30 days from the last day of the month of expiration to renew a driver license without additional charge.

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

-HB 1365 by Rep. Samson Ray Buck, requires operators of water vessels involved in collisions or accidents resulting in immediate death or great bodily injury who were also cited for a violation of the Oklahoma Boating Safety Regulation Act to submit to drug and alcohol testing.

-HB 1420 by Rep. Edward Cannaday, authorizes municipalities with populations of less than 5,000 to employ a part-time city planner.

-HB 1470 by Rep. Mike Sanders, increases from $100 to $1,000 the maximum award a board of county commissioners may offer for the arrest, conviction or evidence leading to the arrest or conviction of any person stealing or defacing county road signs or other county property.

-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 1779 by Rep. Tad Jones, modifies definitions of the Oklahoma Accountancy Act.

-HB 1873 by Rep. Earl Sears, modifies penalties for the first offense of trespassing on private land used primarily for farming, ranching or forestry, prescribing a minimum fine of $250 and a maximum fine of $500.

-HB 2151 by Rep. Don Armes, provides that the Legislature preempts all local laws regarding the care and handling of livestock.

-HB 1949 by Rep. Chris Benge, extends a one-time tax credit for investments in qualified clean-burning motor vehicle property.

• Senate committees took no action on Tuesday.


• The House met Tuesday, approving numerous measures including the following:

-SB 980 by Sen. Glenn Coffee, creates the Oklahoma Information Services Act.

-SB 1231 by Sen. Clark Jolley, creates the Task Force on the Mutualization or Privatization of CompSource Oklahoma until Dec. 31, 2009.

-SB 290 by Sen. Kenneth Corn, modifies language related to concurrent enrollment.

-SB 303 by Sen. Brian Bingman, modifies language related to the Retail Electric Consumer Cost Reduction, Safety and Service Efficiency Act.

-SB 546 by Sen. Jim Halligan, creates the Therapeutic Recreation Practice Act to regulate persons offering therapeutic recreation service to the public.

-SB 572 by Sen. Brian Crain, states that county boards of health cannot adopt regulations that are more stringent than state law, rules and regulations of the State Board of Health.

-SB 694 by Sen. Joe Sweeden, excludes the offspring of cloned horses from the definition of horse racing.

-SB 1020 by Sen. Jonathan Nichols, prohibits individuals from knowingly transmitting child pornography by the Internet or an electronic, photo-electronic or photo-optical system.

-SB 1123 by Sen. Anthony Sykes, exempts from civil liability an owner, employee, participant, member or customer of a gun range, gun shop or gun club from liability under certain circumstances.


• House committees passed the following measures on Tuesday:

-SB 982 by Sen. John Ford, modifies language related to retaining eligibility for the Oklahoma Higher Learning Access Program.

-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 300 by Sen. Brian Bingman, removes language relating to duties and rules of the Corporation Commission that are to be in compliance with federal guidelines.

-SB 828 by Sen. Bryce Marlatt, directs the Oklahoma Corporation Commission to promulgate rules promoting the fair and orderly development of wind generation electric facilities.

-SB 1036 by Sen. David Myers, creates a task force to study smoking in public places.

-SB 810 by Sen. Jonathan Nichols, creates the Oklahoma Sleep Diagnostic Testing Regulation Act.

-SB 353 by Sen. Andrew Rice, creates the Volunteer Health Care Services Act.

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

-SB 479 by Sen. Brian Crain, modifies the 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 580 by Sen. Sean Burrage, permits long-term care facility pharmacies to maintain controlled dangerous substances in an emergency electronic medication kit used at the facility.

-SB 1206 by Sen. Bill Brown, increases the number of days the governor may remove from office any public officer having administrative responsibilities for willful failure to obey any order, rule or regulation to 60 from 30.

-SB 671 by Sen. Cliff Aldridge, is the omnibus sunset bill.

-SB 588 by Sen. John Ford, removes the district attorney from the approval process of counties for contracting with private attorneys in civil cases.

-SB 783 by Sen. Anthony Sykes, requires counties sending propositions with ballot titles to the voters for approval to submit the measure to the county district attorney.



Wednesday, April 8

• The Senate approved the following bill on Wednesday:

-HB 1008 by Rep. John Carey, requires prosecution for the crime of arson to occur within seven years after the commission of the crime.

-HB 1909 by Rep. Todd Thomsen, establishes a tax credit for banks and credit unions.

-1097 by Rep. David Dank, creates a Task Force for the Study of Transferable Tax Credits.

-SB 1103 by Sen. Glenn Coffee, creates the Use of Force for the Protection of the Unborn Act, allowing a pregnant woman to use force to protect her unborn child.

-HB 2030 by Rep. Kris Steele, creates the “Silver Alert Act” that shall notify Oklahomans of missing senior citizens.

-HB 1065 by Rep. George Faught, relates to the Continuum of Care and Assisted Living Act, adding definitions and requiring inspection results to be posted on a website.

-SCR 17 by Sen. Jim Reynolds, promotes responsible dog ownership, endorses the AKC Canine Good Citizen Program and encourages dog training programs.

-HB 1872 by Rep. Jeff Hickman, relates to agriculture and amends sections of law relating to swine waste management plans and eliminates certain liability.

-HB 1518 by Rep. Scott Inman, allows schools to exempt students from physical activity if the student has been placed under in-school-suspension.

-HB 2154 by Rep. Don Armes, modifies references and provisions about trespassing, increasing penalties for attempting to take a cervidae wildlife.

-HB 1747 by Rep. Gus Blackwell, gives the Oklahoma Corporation Commission the authority to supervise, control and regulate all electric power transmission lines statewide.

-HB 1419 by Rep. Ed Cannaday, makes it unlawful to steal dimensional stone products.

-HB 1647 by Rep. Wade Rousselot, allows persons related to members of the Board of Education to serve as substitute teachers under certain circumstances.

-HB 1604 by Rep. Daniel Sullivan, modifies the scope of action authorized by alcohol wholesaler licensees.

-HB 2054 by Rep. Mike Thompson, clarifies language relating to annual overweight permits for certain vehicles.

-HB 1069 by Rep. Sue Tibbs, modifies certain disciplinary procedures for Licensed Professional Counselors.


Thursday, April 9

• The Senate did not convene on Thursday.

Other News

• A report recently issued by Families USA, a national advocacy group, states that 36.3 percent of Oklahomans were without health insurance for at least one month in 2007 and 2008. According to the report, Oklahoma has the nation’s eighth-highest rate for those lacking health insurance.