The Oklahoma Senate

Week In Review
Monday, April 20 to Thursday, Apr. 23, 2009

Monday, April 20

• The Senate approved the following measures on Monday:

-HB 1330 by Rep. Mike Ritze, creates the Ten Commandments Monument Display Act, authorizing the State Capitol Preservation Commission to permit and arrange for the placement of a suitable monument for displaying the Ten Commandments on state Capitol grounds.

-HB 1888 by Rep. Phil Richardson, replaces reference to the Rural Ambulance Service Districts Act to the Ambulance Service Districts Act, removing reference to “rural resident” and “rural area”.

-HB 1003 by Rep. Sally Kern, modifies language related to exemptions granted under the Workers’ Compensation Act.

-HB 1030 by Rep. John Wright, adds home invasion to the list of crimes for which convicted persons must serve 85 percent of their sentence.

-HB 1072 by Rep. Charles Key, modifies language related to the number of petition signatures required to become a recognized political party.

-HB 1449 by Rep. Ryan McMullen, allows applicants for firearm instructor’s licenses under provisions of the Oklahoma Self-Defense Act to request a 10-year license at double the normal fee.

-HB 1462 by Rep. John Trebilcock, allows the State Department of Health’s Vision Screening Advisory Committee to serve as a sports eye-safety resource for Oklahoma K-12 public school districts.

-HB 1465 by Rep. R.C. Pruett, extends the dates during which the hunting, killing, capturing or taking of any furbearer is allowed.

-HB 1483 by Rep. Dale DeWitt, requires the Oklahoma Water Resources Board to give pending in-state applications first consideration over out-of-state applications to ensure all in-state needs are met.

-HB 1509 by Rep. Gus Blackwell, makes it unlawful for anyone to help, in any way, a convicted sex offender avoid registration, conceal his identity or keep information from peace officers.

-HB 1790 by Rep. T.W. Shannon, makes taking an unauthorized electronic communication device into a state penal facility a felony instead of a misdemeanor.

-HB 1884 by Rep. Phil Richardson, creates a study group to review and report regulations related to classification of dams.

-HB 1935 by Rep. Weldon Watson, removes language allowing teachers teaching past age 70 the ability to make up 5 percent contributions for the years taught after age 70.

-HB 2047 by Rep. Danny Morgan, directs the Department of Corrections to establish a program to ensure that inmates have the opportunity to achieve at least a general education development level of proficiency in reading, writing and computation skills.

-HB 2087 by Rep. Charles Joyner, authorizes municipal fire districts to conduct criminal history background checks before appointing a paid employee.

-HB 1032 by Rep. Jason Murphey, creates the Oklahoma State Government Modernization Act of 2009.

-HB 1707 by Rep. David Derby, sets maximum fine limits for controlled dangerous substance possession and sets a period of time for completion of court imposed probationary terms for record expunging.

-HB 1738 by Rep. Ron Peters, broadens the definition of health care professionals who are required to report a belief of child abuse or neglect to the Department of Human Services.

-HB 2149 by Rep. Don Armes, adds language allowing motorcyclists to proceed through red traffic lights when certain conditions are met.

-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 239 by Sen. Mike Johnson, authorizes the Oklahoma Capitol Improvement Authority to issue $25 million in obligations to acquire property for construction of Zink Dam improvements, stream bank stabilization and construction of two additional low-water dams on the Arkansas River in Tulsa County.

• Senate committees took no action on Monday.

• The House on Monday approved the following bills:

-SB 1102 by Sen. Jonathan Nichols, requires individuals found guilty of certain misdemeanor offenses to submit to DNA testing for law enforcement identification purposes.

-HJR by Rep. Guy Liebmann, disapproves the Department of Labor’s permanent rule relating to criteria for type determinations of amusement rides.

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

-SB 2 by Sen. Jay Paul Gumm, authorizes the Oklahoma Tax Commission to design and issue “In God We Trust” license plates.

-SB 48 by Sen. 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 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 he/she is paroled.

-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 458 by Sen. Cliff Branan, authorizes county election board secretaries to transmit balloting materials by e-mail under certain conditions.

-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 486 by Sen. Clark Jolley, provides a sales tax exemption on the sale of tangible personal property or services to a non-profit organization that is certified and designated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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

-SB 541 by Sen. Jerry Ellis, establishes a $3,000 application fee for long-term care facility certificates of need.

-SB 608 by Sen. Patrick Anderson, increases the annual fee for cigarette wholesaler and manufacturer licenses from $25 to $250 and establishes the form of applying for the license.


• House committees took no action on Monday.


Tuesday, April 21

• The Senate approved the following bills on Tuesday:

-HB 1053 by Rep. Gary Banz, sets forth guidelines for courts to consider in determining equitable division of military retirement pay.

-SB 135 by Sen. Ron Justice, requires persons wishing to practice as a licensed behavioral analyst or a licensed assistant behavior analyst to apply to the Developmental Disabilities Services Division within the Department of Human Services.

-HB 1061 by Rep. Ben Sherrer, allows a court clerk to charge and collect fees as determined by a municipal body.

-HB 1063 by Rep. Ben Sherrer, creates the Oklahoma District Court Improvement Act.

-HB 1307 by Rep. Ken Luttrell, exempts from liability for damages any physician providing medical services at an amateur or professional athletic event sanctioned under the Oklahoma Athletic Commission Act who is a ring official and renders emergency care to an injured participant.

-HB 1322 by Rep. Mike Reynolds, orders a legislative referendum creating the Let the People Choose Act, ordering all vacancies in state offices to be filled by special elections called by the governor within 30 days of the vacancy occurring.

-HB 1411 by Rep. Jason Nelson, provides for a 10-year concealed handgun license in addition to the current five-year license.

-HB 1468 by Rep. Mike Jackson, modifies language related to the Oklahoma Quality Jobs Program Act.

-HB 1487 by Rep. Dale DeWitt, requires owners and operators of commercial incinerators that are not generator-owned and operated to install scales within 5 miles of the incinerator.

-HB 1826 by Rep. Dennis Johnson, requires school district boards of education to adopt policies and procedures to annually notify parents and guardians about clubs and organizations sponsored by or under the direction and control of the school.

-HB 1897 by Rep. Doug Cox, creates the Allied Professional Peer Assistance Program to rehabilitate allied medical professionals whose competency may be compromised because of the abuse of drugs or alcohol so the professionals can be treated and can return to practice.

-HB 2055 by Rep. Mike Thompson, states that each oil and gas interest owner shall be granted a security interest to secure the obligations of a first purchaser, as a debtor, to pay the sales price.

-HJR 1041 by Rep. Chris Benge, proposes a constitutional amendment related to the appointment of judges.

-SB 314 by Sen. Cliff Branan, creates a subcategory of public service corporations for “video service providers”.

• Senate committees took no action on Tuesday.

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

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

-SB 723 by Sen. Don Barrington, expands the back-to-school sales tax holiday to include the sale of school supplies, school art supplies or school instructional supplies.

-SB 481 by Sen. Todd Lamb, modifies the criteria for receiving tax credits in the construction of energy efficient homes.

-SB 938 by Sen. Mike Mazzei, creates the 21st Century Quality Jobs Incentive Act, allowing qualified establishments to apply with the Department of Commerce to receive quarterly incentive payments for 15 years, to be calculated based on the actual gross taxable payroll of new direct jobs.

-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 342 by Sen. Brian Crain, creates a misdemeanor for electronically scanning bar-coded information on a driver license or identification card.

-SB 1022 by Sen. Bill Brown, allows the insurance commissioner to conduct financial and market conduct examinations.

-SJR 25 by Sen. Glenn Coffee, proposes a constitutional amendment adjusting membership of the Apportionment Commission to include the lieutenant governor, on Republican and one Democrat approved by the Senate President Pro Tempore, one Republican and one Democrat appointed by the House Speaker and one Republican and one Democrat appointed by the Governor.

-SB 643 by Sen. Glenn Coffee, grants the state Legislature control of all space in the west wing of the state Capitol building’s second floor that is occupied by the Supreme Court and all space in the north wing of the second floor that is occupied by the Court of Criminal Appeals.

-SB 1175 by Sen. Mike Mazzei, creates the Oklahoma Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund Security Act of 2009.

-SB 673 by Sen. Patrick Anderson, adds the Oklahoma Health Care Authority to the definition of health care facility in the Affordable Access to Health Care Act.

-SB 726 by Sen. Don Barrington, directs the termination of local firefighter pension and retirement boards of participating employers of the Oklahoma Firefighters Pension and Retirement System.

-SB 1075 by Sen. Brian Crain, modifies requirements for review of an offender’s eligibility for drug court.

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

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

-SB 489 by Sen. Don Barrington, extends a maximum $15,000 per year sales tax exemption granted to persons who have been honorably discharged from active service in the U.S. Armed Forces to the surviving spouse of a deceased eligible person if the surviving spouse has not remarried.

-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 668 by Sen. Cliff Aldridge, creates the Oklahoma Energy Independence Act.

-SB 812 by Sen. Gary Stanislawski, modifies the Consumer Protection Act, adding the definition of a credit reporting agency and business.

-SB 827 by Sen. Mike Schulz, creates a contract position within the corporation commission to act as an electric transmission system advisor to the commission.

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

-SB 888 by Sen. Glenn Coffee, eliminates the population threshold relating to appointment procedures for motor license agents.

-SB 902 by Sen. Bill Brown, modifies language related to children under 12 operating water vessels, prohibiting children under age 12 from operating any personal watercraft and removing language allowing operation if accompanied by a person age 16 or older.

-SB 916 by Sen. Mike Mazzei, directs a dividends-paid deduction otherwise allowed by federal law to compute net income of a real estate investment trust and is subject to federal income tax to be added back in computing income tax if the trust is a captive real estate investment trust.

-SB 1031 by Sen. John Sparks, adjusts the fee for an annual hunting license, increasing from $19 to $24 the fee for residents age 18 or older; from $9 to $14 the fee for a two-day resident permit license; from $36 to $41 the fee for nonresidents and from $17.50 to $22.50 the fee for a five-day nonresident permit license.

-SB 1034 by Sen. John Sparks, creates until Oct. 31, 2009, a 10-member Department of Wildlife Conservation Consolidation of Licenses, Permits and Fees Task Force to study the feasibility of combining certain Department of Wildlife Conservation licenses, permits and fees.

-SB 1035 by Sen. John Sparks, increases penalties for trespassing on private land that is primarily devoted to farming, ranching or forestry, increasing from $250 to $1,500 the maximum fine and from $500 to $1,500 the minimum fine for a second subsequent offense and from $1,000 to $2,500 the maximum fine for such offenses.

-SB 1071 by Sen. Don Barrington, makes additions to the definition of “final average salary” as it relates to the Oklahoma Firefighters Pension and Retirement System.

-SB 832 by Sen. Brian Bingman, authorizes the Department of Transportation to enter into cooperative agreements with the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority for the purpose of replacement, expansion or repair of functionally obsolete and structurally deficient bridges that cross over turnpikes.

-SB 844 by Sen. Cliff Branan, prohibits sclera tattooing.

• House committees took no action on Tuesday.


Wednesday, April 22

• The Senate approved the following bills on Wednesday:

-HJR 1042 by Rep. Randy Terrill, proposes a constitutional amendment designating English as the common and unifying language of the state.

-HB 1603 by Rep. Dan Sullivan, requires a court to appoint an independent attorney in class actions, if a request for award of attorney fees is made, and directs that the independent attorney be awarded reasonable fees on an hourly basis out of the proceeds awarded to the class.

-HB 1332 by Rep. Lee Denney, creates the Oklahoma Pet Quality Assurance and Protection Act to be administered by the Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry.

-SR 42 by Sen. Steve Russell, expresses disagreement with the Obama administration’s characterization of returning military veterans and other supporters of traditional American values.

-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 1481 by Rep. Sally Kern, expands the scope of special volunteer licenses to include pharmacists, physician assistants and nurse practitioners.

-HB 1737 by Rep. Ron Peters, establishes the Oklahoma School for Visual and Performing Arts and a board of trustees for the school.

-HB 1740 by Rep. Ron Peters, declares the uses and purposes of the Oklahoma Centennial Botanical Garden Authority to be in furtherance of a public function and purpose and vital to the public welfare of the people of the state.

-HB 1775 by Rep. Paul Roan, grants the director of the Department of Corrections the ability to issue subpoenas to assist or further investigations into allegations of crimes committed in public or private prisons in Oklahoma.

-HB 1975 by Rep. Lewis Moore, requires that any bill that mandates health coverage by an insurance, hospital or other organization as part of a policy to be introduced in odd-numbered years and passed in even-numbered years.

-HB 1458 by Rep. Dan Sullivan, creates the Funeral Services Licensing Act.

-HB 1055 by Rep. Doug Cox, adds to the list of actions that constitute an unfair claim settlement practice under the Unfair Claims Settlement Practices Act.

-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 or entity.

-HJR 1035 by Rep. John Enns, proposes a constitutional amendment modifying appropriation limitations from the Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust Fund.

-HB 1487 by Rep. Dale DeWitt, requires owners and operators of commercial incinerators that are not generator-owned and operated to install scales within 5 miles of the incinerator.

-HCR 1004 by Rep. Ann Coody, creates an eight-member Internet-based Administration Task Force.


• Senate Committees took no action on Wednesday.

• The House approved numerous appropriations bills and the following measures on Wednesday:

-SB 1111 by Sen. Judy Eason McIntyre, creates the Education Accountability Reform Act.

-SB 934 by Sen. Patrick Anderson, includes “mental health disorder” drugs as drugs for which the Utilization Review Board may establish protocols and standards.

-SB 907 by Sen. Glenn Coffee, clarifies limitations on expenditures and carryover for the Economic Development Generating Excellence Trust Fund.

-SJR 5 by Sen. Jim Reynolds, refers to a vote of the people a constitutional amendment limiting increases in fair cash value of properties to be tied to the Consumer Price Index.

-SJR 13 by Sen. Randy Brogdon, sends a measure to a vote of the people to reduce the percentage of voters necessary for an initiative petition seeking to change legislative and constitutional measures.

-SB 822 by Sen. Cliff Branan, establishes the Task Force on the Review of Health Insurance Mandates.

-SB 815 by Sen. Sean Burrage, increases small claims court fees.

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

-SB 318 by Sen. Mike Mazzei, provides for a sales tax on all eligible food and beverages as defined in the Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement.

-SB 595 by Sen. Patrick Anderson, establishes the Juvenile Justice Public Works Act.

-SB 796 by Sen. Randy Brogdon, states that no transitional living facility that houses sex offenders or persons convicted of a capital offense shall be located within two thousand five hundred feet of any public or private school or residential neighborhood.

-SB 878 by Sen. Mike Johnson, authorizes the Attorney General to charge examination fees with proceeds to the Attorney General Revolving Fund.

-SB 1182 by Sen. Randy Brogdon, creates the Oklahoma Uniform Building Code Commission within the Oklahoma Department of Commerce to build communication between various adoption authorities and between those authorities and the industry.

-SB 909 by Sen. Mike Mazzei, allows any establishment qualified for quarterly payments to receive credit and requires payment of average annualized wages equal or exceeding the average state wage.

-SB 281 by Sen. Tom Ivester, increases resulting liability for computation of franchise taxes from $250 to $500.

-SB 929 by Sen. Jim Halligan, provides that payroll requirements be waived for claims previously denied if the applicant meets certain requirements.

-SB 622 by Sen. Glenn Coffee, creates the “Oklahoma Uniform Anatomical Gift Act”.

-SB 1066 by Sen. Bryce Marlatt, establishes procedures for requisition of supplies, materials and equipment to maintain counties.

-SJR 34 by Sen. Bryce Marlatt, sends to a vote of the people an increase to the maximum length of agricultural leases of school land by the Commissioners of the Land Office.

-SB 959 by Sen. Glenn Coffee, creates the Task Force on Investment Practices of the Oklahoma Statewide Pension Systems.

-SB 881 by Sen. Steve Russell, relates to income tax by deleting obsolete language and modifying deduction amounts after certain time periods.

-SB 833 by Sen. Brian Bingman, directs state agencies to develop energy efficiency and conservation plans featuring certain criteria and specifying disbursement of savings.

-SB 721 by Sen. Don Barrington, creates opportunity for donation of income tax refunds to the Folds of Honor Scholarship Program.

-SJR 11 by Sen. Randy Brogdon, rescinds applications by the Legislature to the Congress of the U.S. to call a constitutional convention.

-SB 789 by Sen. Jonathan Nichols, states that anyone who knowingly makes a false statement in the course of an internal agency investigation shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

-SB 612 by Sen. Patrick Anderson, states that if a defendant wishes to file notice of insanity, it must be done no later than thirty days after formal arraignment.

-SB 604 by Sen. Gary Stanislawski, creates a task force on internet-based instruction and makes a comprehensive review of internet-based instruction.

-SB 613 by Sen. Patrick Anderson, states that within twelve months after a sentence is imposed, the court may modify the sentence if the best interest of the public will not be jeopardized.


• House Committees took no action on Wednesday.

Thursday, April 23


• The Senate approved the following measures on Thursday:


-HB 2246 by Rep. Randy Terrill, modifies provisions and amends language relating to legislative referendums.

-HB 1059 by Rep. Bill Nations, clarifies requirements for the use of trade names in accordance with the State Dental Act.

-HB 1755 by Rep. Scott Martin, allows the Governor to designate a state agency as an enterprise agency.

-HB 1295 by Rep. Jason Murphey, clarifies language regarding taxation on the renewal or reissuing of professional licenses.

-HB 1035 by Rep. Fred Jordan, eliminates the requirement that arbitrators must support their decisions by rendering findings and conclusions of law.

-HB 2247 by Rep. Randy Terrill, establishes tax credits relating to the installation of wind energy systems.

-HB 1834 by Rep. Rebecca Hamilton, establishes a felony for female genital mutilation.

-HB 2250 by Rep. Randy Terrill, modifies provisions regarding persons found to be in violation of certain narcotics laws.

-HB 2245 by Rep. Randy Terrill, states that the Director of the Dept. of Corrections may release a prisoner to the custody and control of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enformcement, provided that the department has received an order of deportation.

-HB 2167 by Rep. Mark McCullough, creates the “Private Attorney Retention Sunshine Act”, stating that when any state agency or agent that wishes to retain a lawyer to perform legal services on behalf of the state where expenses will exceed $5,000, an open bidding session will occur.

-HB 2252 by Rep. Randy Terrill, strikes the requirement of the Department of Public Safety to provide alternative written driver’s license tests for Spanish speakers.

Other News

• Oklahoma veterans and supporters came to the State Capitol on Wednesday to voice their criticism of a recently released report issued by the Department of Homeland Security. The report, “Right-wing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence on Radicalization and Recruitment,” suggested those who had served in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as individuals who opposed abortion and supported Second Amendment gun rights were a potential threat to national security. Before being elected to the State Senate, Steve Russell, R-Oklahoma City, served in both Iraq and Afghanistan. He now chairs an organization called “Vets for Victory.” Russell said he was stunned by the Homeland Security report. Russell also authored a Senate Resolution critical of the current administration’s “mischaracterization of our wartime service.”

• Gov. Brad Henry this week requested federal disaster aid for Oklahomans who were affected by wildfires this month. If approved by the White House, the request would make individual assistance available to residents and business owners in Carter, Cleveland, Grady, Lincoln, McClain, Murray, Oklahoma, Payne and Stephens counties. Nearly 270 homes and businesses were damaged beginning April 9 as fires burned more than 100,000 acres across the state.