The Oklahoma Senate

Week In Review
Monday, May 10 to Thursday, May 13, 2010

Monday, May 10

• • The Senate met Monday, approving the following measures:

-SB 1668 by Sen. David Myers, modifies the definition of “project” under the Oklahoma Municipal Power Authority Act.

-SB 1326 by Sen. David Myers, recreates the Oklahoma Geologic Storage of Carbon Dioxide Task Force.

-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 1662 by Sen. Mike Schulz, allows members of the Teachers’ Retirement System who retire after the effective date of the bill who have selected a retirement allowance for a reduced amount to make a one-time irrevocable election to select a different option within 120 days of the retirement date.

-SB 1700 by Sen. Patrick Anderson, directs school district boards of education to work in cooperation with the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association to develop the guidelines and other pertinent information and forms to inform and educate coaches of the nature and risk of concussion and head injury.

-SB 1919 by Sen. Jonathan Nichols, allows a tax credit for any taxpayer who makes a donation to a cancer research institute.

-SB 2128 by Sen. David Myers, specifies within the Quality Jobs Act that a “qualified federal contract” shall not qualify unless both the qualified federal contractor and subcontractor verify to the qualified federal contractor verifier that they offer or will offer within 180 days of employment of their respective employees, a basic health benefits plan.

-SB 2210 by Sen. Cliff Branan, prohibits the spouse of a package store license holder from holding another license provided for pursuant to the Oklahoma Alcoholic Beverage Control Act, except a package store license.

• The Senate General Conference Committee on Appropriations approved no legislation on Monday.

• The House convened Monday, approving the following measures:

-HB 3284 by Rep. Pam Peterson, creates the Statistical Abortion Reporting Act.

-HB 2944 by Rep. Fred Jordan, states legislative intent that court appearances of public school district employees should be scheduled to minimize disruption of class time.

-HB 1786 by Rep. T.W. Shannon, creates the Local Government Infrastructure Cost Recovery Payment Act.

-HB 2290 by Rep. John Wright, recreates the Minority Teacher Recruitment Advisory Committee.

-HB 2939 by Rep. Todd Russ, extends the circumstances under which a durable power of attorney may be used to include an extended absence.

-SB 1998 by Sen. Dan Newberry, eliminates the population limitations for certain use of county-owned property and requires a written cooperative agreement between the county and a municipality for counties with at least two cities with populations of 15,000 or more.

• The House General Conference Committee on Appropriations approved no measures on Monday.

Tuesday, May 11

• The Senate met Tuesday, approving the following bills:

-HB 3284 by Rep. Pam Peterson, creates the Statistical Abortion Reporting Act.

-SB 1321 by Sen. Jay Paul Gumm, increases the penalty for vendors who willfully or intentionally refuse to honor a consumer’s sales tax exemption from an administrative fine to a misdemeanor and a fine of up to $500 per offense.

-SB 1955 by Sen. Bryce Marlatt, increases the amount that may be loaned under the Oklahoma Small Business Linked Deposit Act from $1 million to $1.2 million.

-SB 2169 by Sen. Cliff Branan, creates the Task Force on Tax Incentives to Increase Natural Gas Pipeline Capacity.

-SB 2183 by Sen. Cliff Branan, directs the secretary of the Commissioners of the Land Office to undertake a study on the possibility of the state selling land for development but retaining mineral rights.

-SB 2229 by Sen. Jerry Ellis, permits Department of Public Safety licensing agents to verify an individual’s identity through alternative means and to override the finger imaging system if the finger cannot be scanned.

-SB 2007 by Sen. Don Barrington, deletes time specific language related to the Department of Public Safety canceling or denying driving privileges for those under the age of 18.

-SB 2129 by Sen. Gary Stanislawski, creates the Statewide Virtual School Task Force.

• Senate committees approved no legislation on Tuesday.

• The House approved the following measures on Tuesday:

-HB 1281 by Rep. Scott Martin, increases from three-fourths of 1 cent to 1 cent the per-ton fee operators of non-coal mining operators must pay to the Department of Mines.

-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.

-HB 3236 by Rep. Mike Jackson, allows improvement districts to be used to fund the acquisition, construction, installation or maintenance of capital improvements with an estimated useful life of five or more years.

• House committees approved no legislation on Tuesday.

Wednesday, May 12

• The Senate approved no substantive legislation on Wednesday.

• The Senate General Conference Committee on Appropriations approved the following measures on Wednesday:

-SB 1590 by Sen. Mike Johnson, establishes a moratorium on tax credits for qualified investments in small business capital companies and qualified investments in small business ventures.

-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 2567 by Rep. Paul Wesselhoft, requires 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 on the person’s vehicle.

-HB 2596 by Rep. Richard Morrissette, creates the Empower-OK Act, directing the Oklahoma Health Care Authority’s cash and counseling program to include provisions ensuring that existing benefits are not terminated or decreased as a result of developing the program.

-HB 2698 by Rep. Randy McDaniel, creates the Oklahoma Government Website Information Act.

-HB 2710 by Rep. Wallace Collins, creates up to a $25 state income tax checkoff provision for a donation for the benefit of the Multiple Sclerosis Society.

-HB 2777 by Rep. Kris Steele, provides a method for the Oklahoma Health Care Authority to verify the income of applicants to the Employer/Employee Partnership for Insurance Coverage Premium Assistance Program.

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

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

-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 or the minor has lived in the prospective parent’s home for two or more years.

-SB 1901 by Sen. Harry Coates, declares that the American Indian Cultural Center, the Native American Cultural and Educational Authority may exercise all its powers without approval from any other public entity.

-SB 902 by Sen. Bill Brown, modifies language related to children under age 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 2319 by Sen. Gary Stanislawski, specifies criteria for the State Board of Education’s rules regarding the implementation of online courses.

-HB 1043 by Rep. Earl Sears, creates the Oklahoma Medical Loan Repayment Program to provide educational loan repayment assistance of up to $25,000 per year for five years for up to six Oklahoma licensed primary care physicians per year who agree to establish a practice in a community approved by the Physician Manpower Training Commission.

-HB 2302 by Rep. Gary Benz, modifies language related to the Academic Achievement Award program.

-HB 2629 by Rep. Tad Jones, authorizes the Will Rogers Memorial Commission and the J.M Davis Memorial Commission to transfer museum collection objects that are duplicates or are outside the scope of its collection to other state agencies or museums with nonprofit status.

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

• The House met Wednesday, approving the following bills:

-HB 3290 by Rep. Skye McNiel, prohibits any health plan, including health insurance contracts, plans or policies offered by or outside of the state exchange created by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act from providing coverage for elective abortions.

-HB 2171 by Rep. Mark McCullough, establishes the Oklahoma Discretionary and Special Needs Trust Act to apply to all trusts created or modified from and after Nov. 1, 2010, regardless of whether spendthrift provisions are included.

-HB 2886 by Rep. Lewis Moore, allows the Risk Management Division of the Department of Central Services to assist any state agency in obtaining quotes for workers’ compensation insurance at the request of any state agency.

-HB 3021 by Rep. Seneca Scott, modifies landlord disclosure requirements under the Oklahoma Residential Landlord and Tenant Act.

• House committees approved no measures on Wednesday.

Thursday, May 13

• The Senate met Thursday, approving the following measures:

-SB 859 by Sen. Randy Bass, allows members of the Teachers’ Retirement System to name a spouse as beneficiary if they marry after making an initial election.

-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.

Other News

• The oldest Oklahoma survivor of D-Day was honored by the State Senate on Monday. Virgil Van Dyck was 28 years old when he enlisted in the U.S. Army. Four years later, in 1944, he landed in the assault wave on D-Day in Normandy as a bazooka man on Utah Beach. Van Dyck was born August 26, 1912 in Ramona, Oklahoma. He enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1940. In addition to being part the D-Day invasion, he fought in four campaigns across France, including Normandy, Northern France, Alsace-Lorraine, and Huertgen Forest, where he was severely wounded.