The Oklahoma Senate

Week In Review
Monday, Mar. 15 to Thursday, Mar. 18, 2010

Monday, March 15

• The Senate met Monday, but approved no substantive legislation.

• Senate committees approved numerous sunset bills and the following measures on Monday:

-HB 2989 by Rep. John Enns, mandates that owners of property who have an interest in certain civil litigation be notified by first-class mail at least 10 days prior to the date of the hearing.

-HB 3312 by Rep. Scott Martin, authorizes counties to use an online reserve auction for the purpose of obtaining bids for the purchase of goods or services as an alternative to the other bid-obtaining methods.

-HB 2992 by Rep. John Enns, mandates that notices of payment to contractors from the state specify manner of payment.

-HB 2602 by Rep. Dennis Johnson, strikes a population requirement regarding restrictions to the amount of hours that a part-time reserve municipal officer shall be allowed to serve on a monthly basis.

-HB 2319 by Rep. Jason Murphey, dissolves all task forces or other advisory bodies who fail to issue their final report within three years of creation.

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

-HB 3006 by Rep. Pam Peterson, amends language regarding county budgets.

-HB 3366 by Rep. Shane Jett, creates the Marvin Williams and Robbie Chase Whitebird County Sheriff Assistance Act.

• The House convened Monday, but approved no substantive legislation.

• House committees took no action on Monday.

Tuesday, March 16

• The Senate met Tuesday, approving the following resolution:

-SCR 48 by Sen. Bill Brown, designates the Honor and Remember Flag as Oklahoma’s emblem of service and sacrifice for those in the U.S. Armed Forces who have given their lives in the line of duty.

• Senate committees approved the following measures on Tuesday:

-HB 2658 by Rep. Daniel Sullivan, modifies language related to the requirement that an employer provide prosthetic devices to injured workers, as determined by the Workers’ Compensation Court.

-HB 2936 by Rep. Todd Russ, increases from $11 to $22 the per-hour, per-person fee that a financial institution may charge a government authority for search and processing.

-HB 2779 by Rep. Pat Ownbey, modifies qualifications for a deputy banking commissioner.

-HB 2300 by Rep. Gary Banz, requires individual and corporate income tax return forms for tax years beginning after Dec. 31, 2010, to include a provision to allow a donation from a tax refund to Oklahoma Honor Flights.

-HB 2730 by Rep. Wade Rousselot, states that any law enforcement agency in this state that seizes a vehicle in which a controlled dangerous substance has been manufactured that is forfeited may request that the Oklahoma Tax Commission brand the certificate of title with the notation “drug manufacture vehicle”.

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

-HB 2628 by Rep. Tad Jones, removes a prohibition against self-serve fireworks or marketing where retail customers can move among stocks of fireworks.

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

-HB 2957 by Rep. Harold Wright, makes it unlawful for a public transit driver to operate a motor vehicle on any street or highway within the state while using a cellular telephone or electronic communication device to write, send or read a text-based communication while the vehicle is in motion.

-HB 2959 by Rep. Harold Wright, allows the owner, legal possessor or authorized agent of a property owner who is unable to obtain a licensed wrecker or towing service to remove an abandoned vehicle within a reasonable amount of time to contact a service from an adjacent county.

-HB 2969 by Rep. Mike Sanders, removes language requiring a driver to reduce speed or change lanes when approaching a tow vehicle.

-HB 2659 by Sen. Daniel Sullivan, modifies language related to the Workers’ Compensation Act.

-HB 1611 by Sen. Daniel Sullivan, modifies the workers compensation time extension period relating to surgery recommendations for soft-tissue injuries.

-HB 2650 by Sen. Daniel Sullivan, modifies certain immunity granted under workers’ compensation provisions, stating that such immunity does not extend to actions by the employee against the employer if the injury resulted from the “willful intention” of the employer.

-HB 2894 by Rep. Purcy Walker, modifies language requiring any person who commits workers’ compensation fraud, upon conviction, to pay the employer for the difference between premiums prior to the fraud and premiums after the fraud if the employer incurs additional premium costs as a result of the fraud.

-HB 2911 by Rep. Danny Morgan, prohibits the creation of a new business entity to evade payment of a workers’ compensation judgment.

• The House convened Tuesday but took no action on bills.

• House committees took no action on Tuesday.

Wednesday, March 17

• The Senate met Wednesday, approving the following resolution:

-SR 85 by Sen. Judy Eason McIntyre, applauds and expresses support for the goals and ideas of social workers in Oklahoma and recognizes the contributions of individuals who serve their communities through social work.

• Senate committees met Wednesday, approving the following bills:

-HB 3231 by Rep. Mike Jackson, modifies language related to the Oklahoma Health Care Authority’s duty to establish a method to deter abuse and reduce errors in Medicaid billing, payment and eligibility.

-HB 2965 by Rep. Rex Duncan, modifies the punishment for anyone who willfully or maliciously engages in sexual abuse with a child under 12 or sexual exploitation of a child under age 12 to include a maximum imprisonment of 25 or life without parole and a $20,000 fine.

-HB 2836 by Rep. Earl Sears, requires the State Board of Education to establish a grant program as part of a teacher pay pilot program, contingent upon the availability of funding, and adopt program guidelines for school districts to follow in developing a teacher performance pay plan.

-HB 2274 by Rep. Todd Thomsen, allows building funds of technology center school districts to be used for repairing and maintaining computer systems and equipment.

-HB 2302 by Rep. Gary Banz, modifies language related to the Academic Achievement Award Program, removing language limiting monetary awards to qualified employees at the top four schools.

-HB 2644 by Rep. Todd Thomsen, modifies language related to the Oklahoma Student Loan Act.

-HB 3170 by Rep. Jeff Hickman, directs the State Board of Education to develop a funding mechanism for the disbursement of federal funds to reimburse local education agencies for the excessive costs of high-need students.

-HB 3253 by Rep. Gus Blackwell, creates the School District Transparency Act.

-HB 2775 by Rep. Kris Steele, authorizes the Department of Health to contract with an existing vendor providing an electronic benefit transfer system to the Department of Human Services to deliver women, infants and children benefits electronically.

-HB 2778 by Rep. Kris Steele, directs the Oklahoma Health Care Authority to refine its incentive reimbursement rate plan for nursing facilities to ensure transparency and integrity.

-HB 2999 by Rep. Kris Steele, directs the Board of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services and the Oklahoma Health Care Authority Board to continue to purchase treatment services provided by certified alcohol and drug counselors.

-HB 3171 by Rep. Jeff Hickman, requires death certificates to be filed with the Department of Health within three days of the death.

-HB 3292 by Rep. Pam Peterson, allows the medical and social history of a minor in the custody of the Department of Human Services to be disclosed to prospective adoptive parents without any agreement and without redacting identifying information when the prospective parent is a kinship or relative caregiver for the minor.

-HB 2313 by Rep. Rex Duncan, modifies language related to juvenile proceedings, allowing a juvenile proceeding to be filed within six months after the juvenile’s 18th birthday under certain circumstances.

-HB 2567 by Rep. Paul Wesselhoft, modifies language to require municipalities and political subdivisions of the state with authority to regulate the standing or parking of vehicles to extend special parking privileges to a physically disabled person with the proper item displayed in the person’s vehicle.

-HB 2572 by Rep. Paul Wesselhoft, modifies language regarding demonstrations at a funeral service.

-HB 2631 by Rep. Dennis Johnson, requires part-time reserve peace officers certified by the Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training to complete a minimum of eight hours of continuing law enforcement training.

-HB 2732 by Rep. Wade Rousselot, makes it a felony to knowingly expose or communicate a sexually transmitted disease to a child under the age of 16 and states that violations are punishable by up to life in prison.

-HB 2991 by Rep. John Enns, allows any officer of the Department of Public Safety or other political subdivision to tow any vehicle that has been used in the commission of a felony.

-HB 3338 by Rep. Mike Christian, adds language prohibiting the state fire marshal from engaging in any other business that may be a conflict of interest with agency business.

-HB 3381 by Rep. Randy Terrill, adds language making it a felony to delete from, alter or deface the required “sex offender” designation on a driver license or identification card.

• The House met Wednesday, but approved no legislation.

• House committees approved no measures on Wednesday.

Thursday, March 18

• The Senate met Thursday, but approved no legislation.

Other News

• After rallying earlier in the week, the price of oil fell to $82 per barrel on Thursday. Oil prices had risen by $3 earlier in the week, fueled in part by indications that U.S. crude demand is improving.