The Oklahoma Senate

Week In Review
Monday, April 25 to Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Monday, April 25

• The Senate approved the following measures on Monday:

-HB 1381 by Rep. Doug Cox, creates the Supplemental Hospital Offset Payment Program Act.

-HB 1550 by Rep. Sally Kern, states legislative intent that each district school board’s policies facilitate that each student’s academic progression be determined, in part, by reading proficiency and that each student and their parents be informed of the student’s academic progress.

-HB 2024 by Rep. Daniel Sullivan, modifies language applicable to actions in which the present value of the award of future damages equals or exceeds $100,000.

-HB 1027 by Rep. Larry Glenn, modifies language under the Compulsory Insurance Law, allowing dismissal with payment of court costs if security verification is presented to the court on the first scheduled appearance.

-HB 1079 by rep. Scott Martin, creates the Electric Utility Data Protection Act.

-HB 1381 by Rep. Doug Cox, creates the Supplemental Hospital Offset Payment Program Act.

-HB 1415 by Rep. Gus Blackwell, modifies language related to the Legal Services Revolving Fund.

-HB 1418 by Rep. Dennis Ray Casey, allows a board of education to request a national criminal history name search from a private company qualified to conduct such name searches that is approved by the Oklahoma State Department of Education.

-HB 1465 by Rep. Dennis Johnson, states that children who reach age 5 on or before July 1 are entitled to attend school free of charge in their residential district.

-HB 1475 by Rep. Don Armes, prohibits exceptions or exemptions to the Oklahoma Sales Tax Code for sales of fireworks to consumers.

-HB 1554 by Rep. Sally Kern, creates the Oklahoma Options Counseling for Long-term Care Program Act.

-HB 1614 by Rep. Gary Banz, moves from the first Tuesday in February to the first Tuesday in March the date of the presidential preferential primary.

-HB 1655 by Rep. John Enns, requires the Oklahoma Health Care Authority to study and recommend coverage for prosthetic devices and orthotic devices for Medicaid eligible individuals.

-HB 1676 by Rep. Lisa Billy, prohibits the Board of Environmental Quality from promulgating rules regarding the use of sources of radiation by public safety bomb squads within law enforcement agencies of the state.

-HB 1715 by Rep. Pam Peterson, adds definitions under the Social Worker’s Licensing Act.

-HB 1750 by Rep. Jason Nelson, prohibits a public employee of an entity authorized to issue, revoke, suspend or deny a license from directly or indirectly coercing or directing a person who is seeking a license to pay, lend or contribute time or money to any party, committee, organization, agency or person for political purposes.

-HB 1979 by Rep. Anastasia Pittman, creates the Oklahoma Freedom Trail Act.

-HB 1995 by Rep. Daniel Sullivan, requires any physician licensed to practice in Oklahoma to maintain malpractice liability insurance coverage with available limits of at least $1 million.

-HB 2023 by Rep. Daniel Sullivan, directs the amount paid for doctor, hospital, ambulance service, drug and similar bills incurred in treatment to be the amount admissible at trial in any civil case involving personal injury, not the amounts billed for expenses incurred in treatment.

-HB 2156 by Rep. Jason Murphey, modifies how legislation moves between houses during the legislative process.

• Senate committees took no action on bills Monday.

• The House met Monday approving the following measures:

-SB 2 by Sen. John Ford, requires the State Board of Education to adopt expected alternate year percentage growth targets.

-SB 664 by Sen. Eddie Fields, decreases the percentage cap on administrative services for certain school districts.

-SB 260 by Sen. John Ford, creates the John W. Bryant Charter School Sponsoring Commission Act.

-SB 610 by Sen. John Ford, exempts students who have received an Oklahoma Higher Learning Access Program benefit award prior to the 2012-2013 school year from achieving a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale for courses taken through the student’s sophomore year and a minimum grade point average of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale for courses taken during the student’s junior year and thereafter.

-SB 11 by Sen. Jim Halligan, designates a section of State Highway 177 from the intersection of State Highway 33 in Perkins north to the Stillwater municipal limits as “Major Scott Hagerty USAR Memorial Highway.”

-SB 19 by Sen. Roger Ballenger, requires operators of solid waste landfills to ensure that the exterior slopes are maintained at all times to be no steeper than four horizontal to one vertical, unless otherwise approved by the Department of Environmental Quality.

-SB 45 by Sen. Earl Garrison, designates the bridge over the Arkansas River on U.S. Highway 62 within the city limits of Muskogee the “Bass Reeves Memorial Bridge.”

-SB 73 by Sen. Judy Eason McIntyre, designates “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot,” as the state’s official gospel song.

-SB 115 by Sen. Tom Ivester, creates the Uniform Military and Overseas Voters Act.

-SB 195 by Sen. Susan Paddack, designates the new bridge on State Highway 74 over Rush Creek south of Maysville the “OHP Trooper Sam R. Henderson Memorial Bridge.”

-SB 235 by Sen. Eddie Fields, requires the commissioner of public safety to consult with the Department of Transportation when issuing special permits to any person allowing the movement of a house or building on state and federal highways.

-SB 241 by Sen. Cliff Branan, modifies the County Bridge and Road Improvement Act to require costs associated with county bridges or roads to be payable rather than reimbursable.

-SB 243 by Sen. Cliff Branan, removes the requirement that trials related to surface damages caused by drilling be conducted in the same manner as railroad condemnation actions tried in court.

-SB 286 by Sen. Patrick Anderson, creates the Municipal Tax Enforcement Revolving Fund in the State Treasury for the Oklahoma Tax Commission.

-SB 304 by Sen. David Holt, designates the southbound bridge on U.S. 722/U.S. 281 crossing the Red River as “President George W. Bush Bridge.”

-SB 398 by Sen. Gary Stanislawski, allows a contract or agreement to purchase any consumer goods or services pursuant to an unsolicited message made by an automatic dialing device without the use of a live operator to be voided at the option of the consumer unless it has been memorialized in writing.

-SB 420 by Sen. Eddie Fields, states legislative intent that an international airport in Oklahoma apply and receive approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol to provide international and domestic livestock and livestock products import and export functions.

-SB 567 by Sen. Patrick Anderson, requires the Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training to establish and include evidence-based domestic violence and stalking investigation training.

-SB 574 by Sen. Clark Jolley, requires dental facility permit holders following the first year of employment to show proof of passing an appropriate clinical board examination recognized by the Board of Dentistry.

-SB 623 by Sen. Cliff Aldridge, expands the duties of the Oklahoma Employees Benefits Council to select and contract with one or more providers to offer a group Tricare Supplement product to eligible state employees who are eligible Tricare beneficiaries.

-SB 731 by Sen. David Myers, creates the Oklahoma Quality Jobs Program Act.

-SB 740 by Sen. Mike Schulz, creates the Airspace Severance Restriction Act.

-SB 750 by Sen. Bryce Marlatt, modifies language related to the Oklahoma Tax Commission.

-SB 885 by Sen. Cliff Branan, establishes that the production of oil and gas from certain horizontally drilled wells established after July 1, 2011, shall be taxed at a rate of 1 percent for the first 48 months of production.

-SB 902 by Sen. Bryce Marlatt, creates the Oklahoma Recreational Vehicle Franchise Act.

-SB 929 by Sen. Dan Newberry, creates a task force to study the consolidation of professional and occupational licensing functions.

-SB 949 by Sen. Jonathan Nichols, creates the Oklahoma Sports Eye Safety Program Act.

-SB 952 by Sen. Jonathan Nichols, states that any person with intent to do bodily harm who commits assault on a person related by blood or marriage, a person with whom the defendant is in a dating relationship, an individual with whom the defendant has a child, a person who lives or formerly lived in the same household as the defendant with certain weapons, without intent to kill or commit a felony, shall be guilty of domestic assault or domestic assault and battery with a deadly weapon.

-SB 232 by Sen. Bryce Marlatt, creates a Task Force on Healthier Neighborhood Living.

-SB 13 by Sen. Mike Mazzei, modifies language related to the Ad Valorem Reimbursement Fund.


• House committees met Monday and approved the following legislation:

-HB 1527 by Rep. Kris Steele, creates the Oklahoma Congressional Redistricting Act of 2011.

-HB 2145 by Rep. Kris Steele, creates the State House of Representatives Redistricting Act of 2011.

Tuesday, April 26

• The Senate approved the following bills on Tuesday:

-HB 1304 by Rep. David Derby, directs all information technology assets of all state-appropriated agencies to be transferred to the Information Services Division of the Office of State Finance and the Chief Information Officer effective July 1, 2011.

-HB 1970 by Rep. Randy Grau, requires any physician giving or prescribing mifepristone or any abortion-inducing drug to first examine the patient.

-HB 2136 by Rep. Kris Steele, requires that the Department of Human Services’ safety analysis include a criminal background check that will consist of inquiries into the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation and Federal Bureau of Investigation files of any adult known to be in the home of the child for whom a report of abuse or neglect has been received.

-HB 1010 by Rep. Randy McDaniel, modifies language related to members of the Uniform Retirement System for Justices and Judges whose initial service is performed on or after Jan. 1, 2012.

-HB 1035 by Rep. Jason Murphey, requires state agencies to use the Trip Optimizer system for vehicles used by state employees when travel exceeds 100 miles per day and the employee is not driving a state-owned or state-leased dedicated vehicle.

-HB 1059 by Rep. Jason Murphey, adds a requirement that a permit be obtained from the executive director of the Department of Environmental Quality before construction of a water supply system.

-HB 1086 by Rep. Jason Murphey, creates the Transparency, Accountability and Innovation in Oklahoma State Government 2.0 Act of 2011.

-HB 1207 by Rep. Jason Murphey, creates the Oklahoma Innovation, Efficiency and Accountability Act of 2011.

-HB 1223 by Rep. Mark McCullough, creates the Legal Services Reform Act.

-HB 1234 by Rep. Ben Sherrer, creates the Judge Gary Dean Courtroom Technology Act.

-HB 1251 by Rep. Wade Rousselot, allows rural water districts to take water from the Grand River and any of its tributaries in any quantities that may be needed by the rural water district without payment of any fee or charge for such water.

-HB 1343 by Rep. Eric Proctor, sets the requirements for a student to be eligible to participate in the Oklahoma Higher Learning Access Program and to qualify for an award, which includes payment of an amount equivalent to resident tuition or other tuition for the first semester or other academic unit of postsecondary enrollment.

-HB 1361 by Rep. Ron Peters, modifies the definition of “Oklahoma assets” under the Family Wealth Preservation Trust Act.

-HB 1382 by Rep. Donald Condit, modifies language related to aggravated circumstances for murder, replacing reference to “guard” with “correctional employee” of a Department of Corrections institution.

-HB 1388 by Rep. Paul Roan, allows products and services provided by the Prison Industries Program of the Department of Corrections to be purchased by any office of the state.

-HB 1464 by Rep. Dennis Johnson, modifies language related to Oklahoma Tax Commission hearings.

-HB 1481 by Rep. Don Armes, directs the Department of Environmental Quality to provide sampling and analysis of contaminated water or soil after the release of dangerous substances requiring protective actions has been contained or stabilized.

-HB 1601 by Rep. Aaron Stiles, establishes the Oklahoma State Government Business Licensing One-Stop Program.

-HB 1607 by Rep. Aaron Stiles, modifies language related to court determinations of child custody.

-HB 1652 by Rep. John Enns, exempts technology center school property from the places in which it is unlawful to carry a handgun.

-HB 1680 by Rep. Marty Quinn, modifies language related to criterion-referenced tests for public school students.

-HB 1743 by Rep. Dennis Johnson, directs the Corporation Commission to adopt rules establishing maximum fees for the transportation and storage of disabled vehicles or nonconsent tows of vehicles on or from Oklahoma roads and highways.

-HB 1815 by Rep. Danny Morgan, states legislative findings regarding compressed natural gas.

-HB 1903 by Rep. Mike Jackson, requires the date of the postmark stamped on the cover in which a return, claim, statement or other document or payment filed with a county assessor to be the date of delivery or the date of payment.

-HB 1939 by Rep. Mike Jackson, renames the Oklahoma Waste Tire Recycling Act the Oklahoma Used Tire Recycling Act.

-HB 2116 by Rep. Jeff Hickman, delays from the 2011-2012 to the 2013-2014 school year the time by which every school district in Oklahoma must provide and offer a full six-hour day of kindergarten free of tuition for every child residing in the district who obtains the age of 5 on or before the first day of September during the school year kindergarten is offered.


• Senate committees approved no measures on Tuesday.


• The House convened Tuesday, approving the following bills:

-SB 969 by Sen. Dan Newberry, creates the Oklahoma Equal Opportunity Education Scholarship Act.

-SB 132 by Sen. Ron Justice, provides a tax exemption for taxable years on and after Jan. 1, 2016, for retirement income derived from any component of the U.S. Armed Forces in an amount not to exceed the greater of 100 percent of such benefits or $12,000.

-SB 852 by Sen. Clark Jolley, defines “multi-unit structure” for the purposes of the Sex Offender Registration Act.

-SB 928 by Sen. Dan Newberry, requires an applicant for a roofing contractor registration certificate to pay a fee of $75.

-SB 637 by Sen. Charles Wyrick, directs the Oklahoma Board of Commercial Pet Breeders to adopt rules that establish a toll-free hotline for people to report cases of animal abuse and require the complainants to leave their names and phone numbers.

-HJR 1045 by Rep. Brian Renegar, disapproves the Oklahoma State Board of Commercial Pet Breeder’s permanent rules pertaining to licensing applications for commercial pet breeders.

-SB 122 by Sen. Mike Mazzei, delays apportionment of gross production taxes to the Oklahoma Water Resources Board Rural Economic Action Plan water projects fund until July 1, 2014.

-SB 123 by Sen. Mike Mazzei, modifies language related to certification of qualification for certain income tax credits.

-SB 141 by Sen. Clark Jolley, modifies language related to funding calculations for online students.

-SB 154 by Sen. Mike Mazzei, clarifies language related to the Oklahoma Quality Jobs Act.

-SB 194 by Sen. David Myers, modifies retirement options under the Teachers Retirement System.

-SB 200 by Sen. Jim Halligan, authorizes the Oklahoma Tax Commission to design and issue ovarian cancer awareness, pancreatic cancer awareness and Alzheimer’s disease awareness license plates.

-SB 261 by Sen. Mike Mazzei, requires a special license plate meeting certain requirements to be issued if 500 prepaid applications for the special license plate are received by the Oklahoma Tax Commission on or after the effective date of the bill.

-SB 285 by Sen. Kim David, exempts the governor’s mansion and its grounds from requirements to be posted with signs warning against trespass.

-SB 492 by Sen. Sean Burrage, allows the Department of Human Services to petition the district court for certain orders if a vulnerable adult is suffering from abuse, neglect, self-neglect, financial neglect or exploitation.

-SB 494 by Sen. Don Barrington, creates the Oklahoma Private Lands and Public Recreation Act.

-SB 510 by Sen. Steve Russell, defines “relative adoption.”

-SB 532 by Sen. Tom Ivester, requires any motor vehicle of any size, with certain exception, meeting the legal requirements for safety equipment and licensed to operate on public roadways in Oklahoma to be allowed to operate without restriction on any road or highway in Oklahoma.

-SB 563 by Sen. Bill Brown, includes a temporary high risk pool referred to as the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan Program under the definition of “creditable coverage.”

-SB 571 by Sen. Clark Jolley, allows the state to sell property that is customarily sold on a recognized market.

-SB 629 by Sen. Clark Jolley, modifies the Oklahoma carbon Sequestration Enhancement Act.

-SB 674 by Sen. Clark Jolley, requires that a search of the Oklahoma State Courts Network, the Child Care Restricted Registry and a national criminal history records search be conducted for individuals applying to establish or operate a child care facility.

-SB 772 by Sen. Clark Jolley, establishes the Oklahoma State Government Business Licensing One-Stop Program.

-SB 733 by Sen. Mike Mazzei, states that all statutes in the Oklahoma Tax Code shall become operational according to the effective date or emergency clause provided in the enacting act or 90 days after sine die adjournment unless the Legislature has expressed the intent they have retroactive operation.

-SB 738 by Sen. Mike Schulz, allows the Oklahoma Liquefied Petroleum Gas Research, Marketing and Safety Commission to contract for services necessary to carry out the purpose and provisions of the Oklahoma Liquefied Petroleum Gas Research, Marketing and Safety Act.

-SB 798 by Sen. Clark Jolley, allows for a motion to protect and preserve abandoned or vacated property that is subject to suit, action or proceeding to foreclose or otherwise enforce the remedies in the mortgage, contract for deed or deed of trust.

-SB 867 by Sen. Anthony Sykes, prohibits certain state agencies from owning or leasing any telecommunications fiber networks used for conveying electronic communication or information systems data to multiple physical locations.

-SB 931 by Sen. Brian Bingman, requires the State Election Board to be comprised of three members and two alternate members.

-SB 935 by Sen. Brian Bingman, provides an ad valorem tax exemption for an entity which has been granted an exemption for a time period which included calendar year 2009 but which did not meet the base-line payroll requirements during calendar year 2009.

-SB 965 by Sen. Bill Brown, modifies language related to licenses issued by the Oklahoma Insurance Department.

• House committees approved no legislation Tuesday.



Wednesday, April 27

• The Senate approved the following measures on Wednesday:

-HB 1465 by Rep. Dennis Johnson, modifies the date that determines the age for when children start school for attendance purposes.

-HB 1446 by Rep. George Faught, states that a person in the country illegally cannot solicit himself for work on public property.

-HB 1232 by Rep. Ben Sherrer, adds the word flood to existing laws that authorize governing bodies to close sections of road.

-HB 1943 by Rep. Mike Jackson, requires county floodplain regulations to be approved by the Oklahoma Water Resources Board.

-HB 1953 by Rep. Skye McNiel, establishes the Oklahoma Quick Action Closing Fund which will be used by the Governor for economic development and infrastructure.

-HB 1488 by Rep. David Brumbaugh, extends the length of time for specific tax incentives from July 1, 2010 to July 1, 2022.

-HB 2140 by Rep. Kris Steele, consolidates various agencies.

-HB 1603 by Rep. Aaron Stiles, directs the court to provide for custody of a child when a parent has been deployed.

-HB 2004 by Rep. Joe Dorman, modifies language regarding qualified disclaimers for death benefits.

-HB 1998 by Rep. Joe Dorman, creates options for tax refund monies.

Other News

• The Senate Republican Rural Caucus urged rural fire departments Tuesday to apply for Fire Management Assistance Grants (FMAGs) available through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). These FMAGs will provide recovery assistance to fire departments and other emergency organizations for the expense of resources necessary to respond. The FMAGs allow up to 75% reimbursement of expenses. Once the state has accumulated $600,000 of expense or greater to fight wildfires, the departments can apply for federal aid.

• Tuesday night, Gov. Fallin signed SB 73 into law at the Oklahoma Legislative Black Caucus’ 19th Biennial A. C. Hamlin Awards Banquet, making “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” the official gospel song of the state of Oklahoma. It is the first time a governor has signed a bill into law at the event.


• Plans are under way to roll out a new $30 million case management system for the state's courts, moving away from paper-based to electronic processes and joining up all district and appeals courts under the same system. Currently, 13 counties in the state, including Tulsa and Oklahoma counties, use one case management system; 64 other counties use another. Officials say the state has outgrown the old systems. Officials hope to have the system complete and all state trial courts online within the next five years.

• Oklahoma participants of the 60th annual National Day of Prayer activities said prayer gatherings will continue May 5 without legal challenge because of an appellate court's decision to overturn a 2010 lower court ruling that found the prayer day unconstitutional. A three-judge panel of the Chicago-based 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled April 14 that the law calling for the annual prayer day imposes solely on the duties of the U.S. president, leaving private citizens no legal standing to challenge it. Thus far, observances across the state are planned at the state Capitol and in Edmond, Lawton-Fort Sill, Antlers, Muskogee, Guymon, Midwest City, Ponca City, Sasakwa, Shawnee, Stillwater, Tecumseh, Tulsa, Warr Acres and Wister.

• Oklahoma wasn't even a sparkle in Uncle Sam's eye back in 1861, but the state is observing the sesquicentennial of the Civil War during the next four years, starting April 30-May 1 with a re-enactment of the Battle of Honey Springs because the state's oldest political ancestor, Indian Territory, while far from the biggest battles, experienced some of the most vicious fighting — more than 100 battles, engagements and skirmishes in all — and the Indian nations suffered some of the most disastrous factionalism of the war.