The Oklahoma Senate

Week In Review
Monday, Feb. 1 to Thursday, Feb. 4, 2009

Monday, February 1

• With attention focused on committee activity, the Senate approved no legislation on Monday.


• Senate committees took no action on Monday


• The House convened Monday but approved no legislation.


• House committees met Monday but passed no legislation.

Tuesday, February 2

• With attention focused on committee work, the Senate met Tuesday and approved the following resolution:

-SCR 37 by Sen. Ron Justice, congratulates Sen. Jim Inhofe on being selected for the American Farm Bureau’s Golden Plow Award.


• Senate committees approved the following bills on Tuesday:

-SB 1351 by Sen. David Myers, includes the Oklahoma Film and Music Office as a public body permitted to retain certain confidential materials and records subsequent to their required period of disclosure.

-SB 1287 by Sen. Sean Burrage, allows a personal representative of any deceased heir, devisee or legatee to enter into probate procedures.

-SB 1775 by Sen. Sean Burrage, requires landlords to disclose in writing within the rental agreement if the premises to be rented has been the location of prior methamphetamine manufacturing within the past five years, or risk legal liability.

-SB 1612 by Sen. Patrick Anderson, creates the Advisory Counsel for Children of Incarcerated Parents.

-SB 1753 by Sen. Debbe Leftwich, includes date of birth in the list of personal information to be kept confidential for those employed by public bodies.

-SB 1794 by Sen. Richard Lerblance, requires the court to inform juvenile offenders under custody of the Dept of Corrections about the Delayed Sentencing Program for Young Adults and the offenders' eligibility for the program before they enter a plea.

-SB 1645 by Sen. Susan Paddack, modifies minor statutory language regarding child abuse.

-SB 1318 by Sen. Patrick Anderson, amends court clerk fees to add a $0.25 fee for making a copy of an instrument of record or on file pursuant to a request under the OK Open Records Act.

-SB 1325 by Sen. Patrick Anderson, states that the representative of an incapacitated person can revoke the do-not-resuscitate consent form in writing to a physician.

-SB 1771 by Sen. Patrick Anderson, modifies language relating to the escape of a juvenile from a court ordered facility, and lists such offenses as possible grounds for trying the offender as an adult.

-SB 1895 by Sen. Patrick Anderson, eliminates estate tax due upon the death of the owner.

-SB 1762 by Sen. Debbe Leftwich, states that bus and limousine drivers who knowingly transport minors in possession of alcoholic beverages will be guilty of a misdemeanor, and fined no more that $1,000. They will also lose their commercial license and cannot reapply for two years.

-SB 1295 by Sen. Andrew Rice, requires the inclusion of a pediatrics specialist in the Oklahoma Emergency Response Systems Development Advisory Council.

-SB 1779 by Sen. Sean Burrage, allows for applicants of a drivers license to provide emergency contact information to be maintained by the Department of Public Safety.

-SB 1831 by Sen. Joe Sweeden, would require drivers to turn on their headlights whenever their windshield wipers are in use.

-SB 1354 by Sen. Jerry Ellis, changes the maximum age of a commissioned officer position for the OK Highway Patrol Division from forty-three to forty-five.


• The House convened Tuesday and approved the following measures:

-HB 1888 by Rep. Phil Richardson, expands the scope of the Rural Ambulance Service Districts Act, and authorizes a county or incorporated town or city to levy assessments.

-HB 1053 by Rep. Gary Banz, gives guidelines for distributing alimony to a former spouse if the allocating party is an active or retired member of the armed forces.

-SB 749 by Sen. Clark Jolley, modifies definition of “equipment” related to the issuance of bonds for equipment purchases by Oklahoma school districts.


• House committees met Tuesday and approved the following measures:


-HB 2284 by Rep. John Wright, amends the current statutes to push forward the sunset deadline for the Board of Governors of the Licensed Architects, Landscape Architects and Registered Interior Designers of Oklahoma from 2010 to 2014.

-HB 2286 by Rep. John Wright, amends current statutes to push forward the sunset deadline for the Oklahoma Accountancy Board from 2010 to 2014.

-HB 2921 by Rep. John Trebilcock, authorizes county agents to use electronic commerce for solicitation, notification, and other purchasing processes.

-HB 2306 by Rep. Jason Murphey, would let county officers construct and maintain culverts and drainage projects within their districts.

-HB 2554 by Rep. Steve Martin, states that a majority of employees in a municipal bargaining unit can no longer authorize an employee organization for collective bargaining certification with the Public Employees Relations Board.

-HB 2567 by Rep. Paul Wesselhoft, modifies procedures regarding the regulation of disabled parking permits to include the acceptance of military issued stickers and out-of-state plates, and also specifies punitive measures for violations and creates a database.

-HB 2748 by Rep. Lee Denney, prohibits the use of smoking tobacco products on all grounds, buildings, or portions thereof, owned or operated by a state institution of Higher Education, with restrictions and penalties to be designed by the institutions' board of regents.

-HB 2274 by Rep. Todd Thomsen, amends the building fund for technology center school districts to allow for repairing and maintaining computer systems and equipment.

-HB 2292 by Rep. Rex Duncan, allows the Adjutant General to raise funds to promote the National Guard, and limits said funds to $300 per occasion and $2,500 per year.

-HB 2571 by Rep. Paul Wesselhoft, releases funeral establishments from legal obligations after the transfer of a veteran's remains to an approved charitable organization.

-HB 3383 by Rep. Randy Terrill, states that military personnel may enter the state with more than one liter of alcoholic beverages when on temporary active assignment outside the contiguous United States.



Wednesday, February 3

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

-SCR 38 by Sen. Mike Mazzei, congratulates Danny Cahill for winning “The Biggest Loser”.

-SR 82 by Sen. Dan Newberry, supports pregnancy resource centers.

-SR 81 by Sen. Debbe Leftwich, praises Eric Berry for winning the 2009 Jim Thorpe Award.

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

-SB 1338 by Sen. Tom Ivester, allows independent school districts beginning with the 2011-12 school year to offer students in grades nine and above an elective course on the Hebrew Scriptures, or Old Testament, and its impact; an elective course on the New Testament and its impact; or an elective course that combines both.

-SB 1633 by Sen. Randy Brogdon, creates the School District Transparency Act, requiring the State Department of Education by Jan. 30, 2011, to develop and make available on its website a searchable database of school district expenditures by the Oklahoma Cost Accounting System code designation.

-SB 1305 by Sen. Susan Paddack, directs the State Board of Career and Technology Education to increase the number of dropout recovery programs operated by technology center schools beginning with the 2011-12 school year.

-SB 1332 by Sen. David Myers authorizes the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education to establish a master lease program to refinance or restructure outstanding equipment lease obligations.

-SB 1359 by Sen. Patrick Anderson, authorizes institutions of higher learning that are eligible to participate in the Section Thirteen Fund and the New College Fund during fiscal year 2011 for ongoing expenses.

-SB 1610 by Sen. Jim Halligan, requires students entering ninth grade in the 2010-2011 school year to complete four rather than three units of mathematics.

-SB 1618 by Sen. Jim Halligan, modifies requirements for high school graduation with a standard diploma, requiring students entering the ninth grade in the 2010-11 school year to complete three units of mathematics that includes algebra I and algebra II and at least one additional unit with content and/or rigor above Algebra I and approved for college admission requirements.

-SB 1674 by Sen. Jim Halligan, prohibits the possession of lighted tobacco on any campuses, buildings, grounds or portions thereof under the control of a higher education institution upon approval by the institution’s board of regents.

-HB 2748 by Rep. Lee Denney, states that all buildings, or portions thereof, owned by an educational facility as is defined in the Smoking in Public Places and Indoor Workplaces Act shall be designated as nonsmoking.

-SB 1784 by Sen. Gary Stanislawski, allows school districts to spend textbook allocations for instructional expenses during fiscal year 2011.

-SB 1799 by Sen. Susan Paddack, provides retakes of criterion reference tests by eligible students be administered at least two weeks prior to the tests’ regular administration date.

-SB 1858 by Sen. Susan Paddack, allows school districts to expend textbook allocations for instructional expenses and waives the penalties for exceeding class size limitations for the fiscal years 2011 and 2012.

-SB 1392 by Sen. Anothony Sykes, requires the Department of Human Services to establish a program of drug testing for people applying for or receiving assistance from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program.

-SB 1281 by Sen. Patrick Anderson, increase from $5 to $25 the fee charged by the State Board of Cosmetology for registration as an apprentice or student.

-SB 1349 by Sen. Brian Crain, authorizes the Oklahoma Health Care Authority to develop and implement an obesity treatment program to treat a Medicaid patient who has a body mass index equal to or greater than 30 and who has a comorbidity related to obesity.

-SB 1373 by Sen. Brian Crain, creates the Oklahoma Plan for Comprehensive Treatment of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Act.

-SB 1593 by Sen. Jim Halligan, directs the Oklahoma Health Care Authority to study the use of federal and state funding to retrofit nursing homes and specialized care facilities with portable generators to be used during emergency situations.

-SB 1600 by Sen. Brian Crain, exempts from the requirements of the Oklahoma Central Purchasing Act purchases and solicitations made from funds or assets received by the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services.

-SB 1772 by Sen. Patrick Anderson, directs information, records and reports related to investigations by the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services into allegations of consumer abuse, neglect or mistreatment to be confidential and privileged, not open to public inspection or subject to subpoena.

-SB 1818 by Sen. Brian Crain, creates the Oklahoma Certified Health Communities Act.

-SB 1830 by Sen. Brian Crain, requires the Department of Human Services to immediately make a referral to an appropriate law enforcement agency for the purpose of conducting a possible criminal investigation when the department determines that alleged abuse or neglect of a child involves a child in the custody of the Office of Juvenile Affairs.

-SB 1836 by Sen. Brian Crain, modifies language relating to an electronic health record.


-SB 1916 by Sen. John Ford, requires the State Department of Health to establish and make available to the public on its website a registry for persons who are employed by or who contract with a home care agency to provide home care services.

-SB 1337 by Sen. Anthony Sykes, directs that the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner be located in close proximity to the University of Central Oklahoma Science Institute.

-SB 1379 by Sen. Anthony Sykes, creates the Private Attorney Retention Sunshine Act.

-SB 1313 by Sen. Susan Paddack, authorizes the Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training to establish and host law enforcement youth camps at the CLEET statewide training facility.

-SB 1723 by Sen. Jay Paul Gumm, directs the 2nd Century Entrepreneurship Center to develop and diversify the economy of the state through the provision of programs and services to facilitate the growth and success of entrepreneurs and promote results-driven collaboration of public and private entities to create jobs and energize sustainable local economies.

-SB 1347 by Sen. Mike Schulz, modifies language related to the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department, changing reference from the division of travel and tourism to the travel and promotion division.

-SB 1640 by Sen. Jim Halligan, directs the Department of Commerce to create the Oklahoma Certified Retirement Communities program to recognize communities that have made themselves attractive destinations for retirees.

-SB 1658 by Sen. David Myers, states legislative intent to make the Insurance Department a non-appropriated agency beginning July 1, 2010.

-SB 1782 by Sen. David Myers, allows the Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry to sell any used vehicles, used emergency vehicle equipment or any other used equipment determined to surplus to any federal, state, county or municipal agency or public school district.


• The House met Wednesday, approving numerous appropriations shell bills.

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

-HB 2330 by Rep. Jason Nelson, adds the Office of Inspector General of the Department of Human Services to the list of agencies of which retired officers, investigators or agents may retain their sidearm and badge.

-HB 2631 by Rep. Dennis Johnson, requires part-time reserve peace officers certified by CLEET to complete a minimum of 10 hours of continuing law enforcement training.

-HB 2280 by Rep. Larry Glenn, requires vehicles on a highway, except for parked vehicles, to display all lamps and illuminating devices at any time when unfavorable atmospheric conditions require continuous use of windshield wipers in order to operate the vehicle in a careful and prudent manner.

-HB 2837 by Rep. Earl Sears, clarifies language related to certified crime stoppers organizations.

-HB 3339 by Rep. Mike Christian, modifies language relating to the Advisory Committee for Motorcycle Safety and Education to require three members to be licensed and safety course certified motorcycle operator/owners.

-HB 2299 by Rep. Gary Banz, modifies language related to the Teacher Due Process Act of 1990.

-HB 2750 by Rep. Lee Denney, directs the State Board of Education to adopt a social studies core curriculum with courses in Oklahoma history for all students in public schools to include information about the April 19, 1995, bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City.

-HB 1863 by Rep. Samson Ray Buck, creates the Parental Education Warning Act.

-HB 2814 by Rep. Charles Key, directs the State Board of Education to adopt a social studies core curriculum with instruction that includes the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, the Federalist Papers, Emancipation Proclamation, Gettysburg Address and George Washington’s Farewell Address.

-HB 3202 by Rep. Don Armes, adds definitions of “animal husbandry” and “teeth floating” to the Oklahoma Veterinary Practice Act.

-HB 2791 by Rep. Steve Kouplen, modifies the definition of “eligible agricultural business” under the Oklahoma Agricultural Linked Deposit Program.

-HB 2530 by Rep. Colby Schwartz, expands the exemptions granted under the Elevator Safety Act to include elevators located in or adjacent to a building or structure owned by an Oklahoma public trust, established prior to the act, that provides independent living apartments for persons age 62 or older.

-HB 2348 by Colby Schwartz, modifies language related to the Oklahoma Alcoholic Beverage Control Act, allowing beer to be made by simple fermentation without distillation for the sole use of the maker and his/her family and guests under a license obtained by the Alcoholic Beverage Laws Enforcement Commission.

-HJR 1056 by Rep. Rex Duncan, proposes a constitutional amendment changing reference from the State Industrial Court to the Workers’ Compensation Court.

-HB 3261 by Rep. Gus Blackwell, repeals language related to the forfeiture of a candidate’s filing fee unless the candidate is unopposed in a primary election, becomes a candidate in a primary runoff or receives more than 15 percent of votes cast.

Thursday, February 4

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

-SR 83 by Sen. Harry Coates, honors Dawn Welch for being honored as the Oklahoma Woman of the Year by the Daily Oklahoman.

Other News


• Governor Brad Henry on Monday delivered his final State of the State Address, stating that further cuts to the state’s budget would be unavoidable. Henry also urged lawmakers to increase the cap on the state's Rainy Day Fund to 15 percent from 10 percent.

• The Senate on Wednesday approved a resolution supporting pregnancy resource centers and commending their efforts to provide comprehensive care to women and men facing unplanned pregnancies. Pregnancy resource centers provide assistance to women who choose childbirth over abortion.

• The state Legislature this week congratulated Sen. Jim Inhofe for receiving the American Farm Bureau’s Golden Plow award, the highest honor the organization bestows on members of Congress. The Farm Bureau awards the Golden Plow award to a member of Congress, regardless of party affiliation, whose philosophy or record demonstrates his or her commitment to the private enterprise system, sound agricultural policies supported by the Farm Bureau, fiscal conservatism, and reduced federal regulations on businesses and individuals.

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