The Oklahoma Senate

Week In Review
Monday, Feb. 27 to Thursday, Mar. 1, 2012

Monday, February 27

• The Senate approved several bills on Monday:

-SB 1016 by Sen. Patrick Anderson, authorizes the director of the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation to enter into local cooperative agreements with local law enforcement agencies to appoint Internet Crimes Against Children Affiliate Reserve Agents to assist the ICAC unit of the OSBI.

-SB 994 by Sen. Jim Halligan, designates a section of highway from the junction of State Highway 108 and State Highway 51 extending to the Ripley municipal limits as “Specialist Jordan Morris Memorial Highway”.

-SB 1006 by Sen. Ron Justice, directs a board of county commissioners to take inventory of certain property, including equipment, machinery and work tools, annually rather than biennially.

-SB 1067 by Sen. Don Barrington, clarifies that a Department of Public Safety officer, or an officer of any other political subdivision, is authorized under certain circumstances to tow vehicles found upon public roads, highways, streets, turnpikes, other public places or upon any private road, street, alley or lane that provides access to one or more single or multi-family dwellings.

-SB 1068 by Sen. Don Barrington, modifies the definition of “allowable expense” under the Oklahoma Crime Victims Compensation Act.

-SB 1180 by Sen. Mark Allen, requires the Department of Public Safety to issue an annual vehicle permit to a transportation company or manufacturer of portable buildings for a specific manufacturer.

-SB 1210 by Sen. Frank Simpson, excludes from the definition of residential care home a home or facility approved and annually reviewed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs as a medical foster home in which care is provided exclusively to three or fewer veterans.

-SB 1214 by Sen. Bill Brown, allows any assets of the Oklahoma Police Pension and Retirement Board to be invested in a collective investment fund or in a group trust.

-SB 1242 by Sen. Don Barrington, allows the court to order a defendant to reimburse the Oklahoma attorney general for costs incurred by that agency during its investigation of a crime for which the defendant pleaded guilty if the defendant is able to pay without manifest hardship and if the costs incurred by the agency may be determined with reasonable certainty, except as otherwise provided in the Elderly and Incapacitated Victim’s Protection Program.


• Senate committees approved the following measures Monday:

-SB 1530 by Sen. John Ford, permits a school district to submit a request to the State Board of Education for exemption from statutory requirements and state board rules from which charter schools are exempt.

-SB 1821 by Sen. Jim Halligan, creates a process by which parents can encourage local school boards to reform their governing structure.

-SB 1229 by Sen. John Ford, requires the State Department of Education to submit a report electronically of district plans received to the members of the Senate and House Education committees.

-SB 1443 by Sen. John Ford, states that accreditation shall not be withdrawn from or denied nor shall a penalty be assessed against a school district for failing to meet the media materials and equipment standards and media program expenditure standards set forth by the State Board of Education for fiscal years 2012, 2013 and 2014.

-SB 1564 by Sen. Susan Paddack, requires school districts to develop a personal academic plan for each student upon entrance to middle school.

-SB 1819 by Sen. Jim Halligan, requires the State Regents of Education to annually submit a report to the Legislature that provides information concerning all baccalaureate programs offered in the state system.

-SB 1629 by Sen. Brian Bingman, creates the Health Insurance Private Marketplace Network Trust and moves the responsibility for overseeing Insure Oklahoma from the Oklahoma Health Care Authority to the trust beginning July 1, 2013.

-SB 178 by Sen. Brian Crain, authorizes the State Board of Health to adopt rules and requirements as necessary to establish adaptive standards of care where an extreme emergency exists, as defined in the Oklahoma Emergency Response Act.

-SB 1272 by Sen. Jonathan Nichols, allows a licensed medical doctor, osteopathic physician, doctor of podiatry or doctor of psychiatry of this state or other licensed medical personnel authorized by law to prescribe controlled dangerous substances eligible for the central repository to be able to access information collected at the central repository under the Anti-Drug Diversion Act.

-SB 1274 by Sen. Dan Newberry, creates the Heartbeat Informed Consent Act.

-SB 1300 by Sen. Brian Crain, creates a Guardian Ad Litem Training Task Force.

-SB 1593 by Sen. Brian Crain, requires the administrator of the Oklahoma Health Care Authority and the Department of Human Services to provide staff support and independent technical assistance as needed by the Advisory Committee on Medical Care for Public Assistance Recipients.

-SB 1695 by Sen. Anthony Sykes, creates the Nondiscrimination in Treatment Act.

-SB 1795 by Sen. Kim David, removes the Bill Willis Community Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services Center in Tahlequah and the Norman Alcohol and Drug Treatment Center in Norman from the facilities within the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services that may be maintained for residents of the state.

-SB 1823 by Sen. Brian Bingman, modifies reporting requirements of the Oklahoma Health Care Authority to the Legislature regarding a study of the feasibility of implementing one or more disease state management programs.

-SB 1096 by Sen. Brian Bingman, directs the Department of Central Services, in consultation with the secretary of energy, to adopt policies and direct state agencies to procure equipment and retrofit existing buildings to encourage maximum energy efficiency designed to reduce energy costs for all state buildings.

-SB 1890 by Sen. Randy Bass, exempts from the Trip Optimizer system employees of agencies, boards and commissions where the place of employment is located in a municipality with a population of less than 250,000 according to the latest federal decennial census.

-SB 221 by Sen. Roger Ballenger, modifies language related to the County Home Rule Charter Act.

-SB 222 by Sen. Roger Ballenger, clarifies language related to the County Home Rule Charter Act.

-SB 1052 by Sen. Harry Coates, modifies language related to the Public Building Construction and Planning Act.

-SB 1053 by Sen. Harry Coates, extends requirements for surety bonds and letters of credit for construction or repair contracts exceeding $50,000 to private buildings, structures or improvements on public real property or private real property using public funds.

-SB 1090 by Sen. Cliff Aldridge, modifies language related to the Oklahoma Sunset Law.

-SB 1134 by Sen. Patrick Anderson, requires the State Regents for Higher Education to submit to all members of the Legislature itemized lists of proposed projects and financing terms for bonds issued under the master lease program.

-SB 1257 by Sen. Susan Paddack, requires the secretary for the executive cabinet area relating to Native American affairs to be the appointed Oklahoma Native American liaison.

-SB 1346 by Sen. Greg Childers, removes language requiring a special judge be appointed in case of a disqualification of a judge of a municipal court.

-SB 1875 by Sen. David Holt, permits a county that has a community service program to impose a community service program assessment upon a majority vote of the board of county commissioners.

-SB 1877 by Sen. Rick Brinkley, modifies statutory references related to the Executive Branch Reform Act of 1986.

-SB 1919 by Sen. Eddie Fields, modifies language related to the Oklahoma Agriculture Environmental Permitting Act.

-SB 1743 by Sen. Steve Russell, creates the Landowner’s Hunting Freedom Act.

• The House met Monday, approving the following measures:

-HCR 1030 by Rep. Lisa Billy, disapproves the plan submitted by the Department of Human Services regarding the state-administered resources centers.

-HB 1968 by Rep. Glen Mulready, adds any health benefit plan that denies or refuses to accept an application for life insurance, or refusing to renew, cancel, restrict or otherwise terminate a policy of life insurance or charge a different rate based on the lawful travel destination of an applicant to the list of factors that will constitute as an unfair claim settlement practice.

-HB 2502 by Rep. Weldon Watson, removes language prohibiting someone from serving on the Grand River Dam Authority Board of Directors if three years prior to the appointment he or she was employed by an investor-owned utility company or has held a federal, state or county office, elective or appointive.

-HB 2319 by Rep. Randy McDaniel, increases the amount municipalities are to provide for support of the Oklahoma Police Pension and Retirement System to 14 percent of the actual paid base salary of each member of the system employed by the municipality beginning July 1, 2012.

-HB 2367 by Rep. Lisa Billy allows the Department of Public Safety to waive the written examination and driving examination for a motorcycle upon verification that the person has successfully completed a certified Motorcycle Safety Foundation rider course approved by DPS.

-HB 2390 by Rep. Guy Liebmann, modifies language related to the Petroleum Storage Tank Indemnity Fund, stating that costs incurred as a result of the release from a storage tank system owned or operated by the state are reimbursable.

-HB 2392 by Rep. Guy Liebmann, decreases from 12 to nine the membership of the Long-Range Capital Planning Commission.

-HB 2577 by Rep. Pat Ownbey, removes language authorizing the surviving spouse license plates and modifies the Gold Star Survivor license plate.


• House committees approved numerous measures this week, including the following:

-HB 2649 by Rep. David Brumbaugh, reduces the top Oklahoma state income tax rate.

-HB 2155 by Rep. Kris Steele, modifies language related to the Workers’ Compensation Act.

-HB 3137 by Rep. Jason Nelson, creates the Department of Human Services Agency Reform Act of 2012.

-HB 3133 by Rep. Jason Nelson, creates the Oklahoma Commission on Children and Youth Reform Act of 2012.

-HB 3134 by Rep. Jason Nelson, creates the DHS Restructuring Task Force Act of 2012.

-HB 3135 by Rep. Jason Nelson, creates the Department of Human Services Transparency Act of 2012.

-HB 1748 by Rep. Jason Nelson, modifies language related to the Oklahoma Adoption Code.

-HB 1848 by Rep. Mike Shelton, requires all child care facilities to maintain liability insurance coverage of at least $200,000 for each occurrence of negligence, regardless of financial situation.

-HB 2300 by Rep. Pam Peterson, creates the Department of Human Services Reform Act of 2012.

-HB 2840 by Rep. Scott Martin, states the Oklahoma Child Care Facilities Act shall not apply to care provided to one child by an adult other than a parent or relative.

-HB 2388 by Rep. Guy Liebmann, requires drug testing of recipients of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.

-HB 2341 by Rep. Skye McNiel, extends through June 30, 2014, the ability for schools to not meet media material and equipment standards without being penalized or losing accreditation.

-HB 2421 by Rep. John Enns, extends the deadline for the Department of Health in collaboration with a private blood donor or private blood bank organization, to establish, operate and maintain a public umbilical cord blood bank or cord blood collection operation.

-HB 2469 by Rep. Richard Morrissette, creates the Oklahoma Transportation Infrastructure Bank Act.

-HB 2477 by Rep. Seneca Scott, states that a brewer license authorizes the holder to serve free samples of beer produced on the licensed premises to visitors 21 or older.

-HB 2478 by Rep. Seneca Scott, allows the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services to establish a law enforcement behavioral health emergency dispatch system.

-HB 2585 by Rep. Jeannie McDaniel, directs the Oklahoma Commission on Children and Youth to establish services for the children of incarcerated parents.

-HB 2638 by Rep. Colby Schwartz, exempts an entity from being required to file the Business Activity Tax report if the gross revenue of the entity was $5,000 or less or 12 months preceding the date the Business Activity Tax would otherwise be payable.

-HB 2652 by Rep. Lee Denney, creates the Oklahoma Innocence Collaboration Act.

-HB 2725 by Rep. Scott Inman, makes it unlawful for any licensee or permittee authorized to sell low-point beer for off-premises consumption to offer low-point beer for sale in any manner that allows the public to purchase the beer using a computer-assisted checkout system.

-HB 2928 by Rep. Don Armes, removes references related to the Oklahoma Tuition Scholarship Revolving Fund and replaces them with language referencing the Oklahoma Student Aid Revolving Fund.

-HB 3052 by Rep. Kris Steele, clarifies that those convicted of certain crimes for which they are required to serve 85 percent of any imprisonment sentence must do so prior to becoming eligible for consideration for parole or for receiving earned credits or any other type of credits that reduce the length of the imposed sentence.

-HB 3090 by Rep. Jason Nelson, states that the amount of the Lindsey Nicole Henry Scholarship be prorated to reflect the number of remaining days in the current school year, if the scholarship request is granted after the beginning of the school year.

-HB 1224 by Rep. Mark McCullough, changes reference from the Workers’ Compensation Court to the Workers’ Compensation Court of Existing Claims and decreases its number of judges from eight to four.

-HB 1597 by Rep. Steve Martin, creates a felony for those who commit any assault, battery or assault and battery upon a security guard or private investigator who are performing their services.

-HB 2439 by Rep. Josh Cockroft, creates the Volunteer Firefighter Protection Act.

-HB 2466 by Rep. Aaron Stiles, creates the Offer of Settlement Act.

-HB 2944 by Rep. David Derby, states nothing shall prohibit any municipality from establishing a drug court for municipal ordinance violations.

-HB 3049 by Rep. Mike Sanders, makes it unlawful for a registered aggravated sex offender to reside with a minor child or establish any other living accommodation where a minor resides.

-HB 3051 by Rep. Mike Sanders, makes any Department of Human Services child welfare worker, supervisor or other employee who knowingly reunites or places a child in a home in which an adult with a criminal conviction for a violent crime, drug abuse or public record that indicates risk of imminent harm to the child without notifying all parties involved with the case and addressing all issues of concern subject to prosecution for negligent homicide or other criminal or civil consequences deemed appropriate in cases resulting in the death or near death of a child.

Tuesday, February 28

• The Senate approved the following measures on Tuesday:

-HCR 1030 by Rep. Lisa Billy, disapproves the plan submitted by DHS regarding state administered resource centers.

-SB 992 by Sen. Eddie Fields, renames the section of highway from the junction of State Highway 99 and State Highway 11 extending south to the Pawhuska municipal limits the Sergeant Bucky Eisenberger Memorial Highway.

-SB 1008 by Sen. Mark Allen, designates the bridge over Big Lee Creek on State Highway 101 southwest of Short as the Arthur and Gladys Baker Memorial Bridge.

-SB 1009 by Sen. Mark Allen, designates the bridge over the Poteau River on State Highway 9 west of Pocola as the Sergeant Vincent L.C. Owens Memorial Bridge.

-SB 1036 by Sen. Gary Stanislawski, modifies eligibility for an additional ad valorem exemption from an income not to exceed $20,000 to the greater of $22,000 or 50 percent of the amount determined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to be the estimated median income for the preceding year for the county or metropolitan statistical area including the county in which the claimant’s property is located.

-SB 1164 by Sen. Bryce Marlatt, establishes the process for the Corporation Commission to prescribe specifications for the quality of synthetic diesel.

-SB 1314 by Sen. Brian Crain, allows a deponent to have his or her attorney present to counsel and render advice during deposition.

-SB 1325 by Sen. Brian Crain, creates a Infrastructure Financing Task Force.

-SB 1464 by Sen. Brian Bingman, adds oil and gas drilling to the list of qualified industries under the Oklahoma Quality Jobs Programs Act.

-SB 1465 by Sen. Brian Bingman, exempts from taxation a holder of a direct payment permit on tangible personal property intended solely for use in another state but which is stored in Oklahoma pending shipment to other states or which is temporarily retained in Oklahoma for the purpose of fabrication, repair, testing, alteration, maintenance or other services.


• Senate committees approved the following bills on Tuesday:

-SB 1959 by Sen. Clark Jolley, provides supplemental funding to four agencies.

-SB 1517 by Sen. Rob Johnson, creates the Oklahoma Public and Private Facilities and Infrastructure Act.

-SB 1031 by Sen. Roger Ballenger, removes language directing that municipal road mileage constructed, improved, repaired or maintained by a county is not included in the computation of mileage for the purposes of any state tax revenue apportioned to the county.

-SB 1471 by Sen. Patrick Anderson, requires the Tax Commission to provide to the Department of Human Services in an agreed electronic format the amount withheld from an individual’s tax refund to offset a claim by a state agency, municipal or district court, the home address and social security number of the taxpayer.


• The House met Tuesday, approving the following measures:

-HB 2440 by Rep. Dale DeWitt, increases from four to five the number of district judges to be nominated for District No. 21, which includes Garvin, McClain and Cleveland counties.

-HB 2277 by Rep. Randy Grau, modifies language related to attorney-client privilege.

-HB 2285 by Rep. Emily Virgin, extends the deadline for certified elementary education teachers to meet the statutory requirements and successfully complete the subject area portion of the examination.

-HB 2419 by Rep. John Enns, exempts from liability for civil damages the owner of a storm shelter that provides access to his or her storm shelter in times of severe weather if the owner was acting in good faith and the damage or injury sustained was not caused by the willful or wanton negligence or misconduct of the owner.

-HB 2467 by Rep. Aaron Stiles, modifies language related to the Oklahoma State Government Business Licensing One-Stop Program.

-HB 2619 by Rep. Dennis Johnson, allows counties to participate in any competitively bid nationwide purchasing program.

-HB 2738 by Rep. Ron Peters, modifies language related to disbursement from the Oklahoma Universal Service Fund.

-HB 2841 by Rep. Scott Martin, authorizes the Oklahoma Tax Commission to design and issue the Military Multi-Decoration license plate that may be issued to any honorably discharged or present member of the U.S. armed forces who qualifies for more than one military decoration license plate.

-HB 3000 by Rep. Tom Newell, states that failure by a school district board member to satisfy continuing education requirements shall result in the ineligibility of the member to be reappointed for or run for reelection to that respective board seat on the board of education for a three-year period for three-member boards, four-year period for four-member board or for a five-year period for five-member boards.


• House committees met Tuesday and approved the following measures:


-HB 2689 by Rep. Gary Banz, makes a student eligible for in-state tuition status regardless of the residency of the student if he or she is the dependent child of a person currently serving as a member of the actively uniformed military services of the United State on full-time active duty status of more than 30 days and for whom Oklahoma is the home of record or a person currently serving as a member of the military reserve on active duty orders of more than 30 days and for whom Oklahoma is the home of record.

-HB 3113 by Rep. Jeff Hickman, clarifies language relating to the Oklahoma School Code.

-HB 2677 by Rep. Jabar Shumate, clarifies language prohibiting private education institutions from receiving financial aid out of legislative appropriations.

-HB 2999 by Rep. Tom Newell, modifies language related to the Regional University System of Oklahoma.

-HB 2516 by Rep. Sally Kern, removes language stating that if a student is found not to be reading at the appropriate grade level and teachers are concerned that undiagnosed health problems are involved, the school district may make a recommendation to the parents or legal guardians for medical evaluation.

-HB 2676 by Rep. Jabar Shumate, clarifies language related to school services to be provided to children with disabilities.

-HB 2790 by Rep. Charles Ortega, modifies eligibility criteria for a superintendent of schools.

-HB 3119 by Rep. Jeff Hickman, removes language requiring the State Board of Education to provide from the School Assistance Consolidation Fund a severance allowance to employees dismissed from employment due to annexation or consolidation of a school district.

-HB 2418 by Rep. John Enns, modifies language regarding licensed motor vehicle dealers and used motor vehicle dealers.

-HB 2260 by Rep. T.W. Shannon, modifies language regarding the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority.

-HB 2250 by Rep. T.W. Shannon, directs any officer weighing a vehicle by means of portable scales to allow the driver of the vehicle to move the vehicle to the most level weighing area within 2 miles of the stop.

-HB 2673 by Rep. Jabar Shumate, modifies language related to the Oklahoma Public Health Code.

-HB 2942 by Rep. David Derby, modifies the list of Schedule I controlled substances.


Wednesday, February 29

• The Senate met Wednesday, approving the following measures:

-HB 2658 by Rep. Fred Jordan, states that if prior to Sept. 1, 2010, the shareholders of a domestic corporation approved the annual election of directors, incorporated approval into the certificate of incorporation or bylaws and the approval was still incorporated on Aug. 31, 2010, then a requirement regarding the division of the board of directors into two or three classes shall not apply in any event and the terms of office of any director of the corporation, regardless of whether elected before or after Sept. 1, 2010, shall be determined by the bylaws or certificate of incorporation as if the requirement was never enacted.

-SB 1065 by Sen. Gary Stanislawski, modifies language related to the confidentiality of information under the Anti-Drug Diversion Act.

-SB 1142 by Sen. Josh Brecheen, authorizes the Department of Public Safety to enter into agreements with people whose license to operate a motor vehicle has been suspended or revoked in order to issue provisional licenses that would allow the person to drive between their place of residence and place of employment.

-SB 1152 by Sen. Bill Brown, prohibits any insurer, agent, broker, soliciter or other person to provide any prizes, goods, wares, merchandise or tangible property of a value in excess of $100 as an inducement to insurance or in connection with any insurance transaction.

-SB 1159 by Sen. Tom Adelson, reduces the amount of tax credits transferred to the Oklahoma Capital Investment Board from the Oklahoma Development Finance from $100 million to $50 million.

-SB 1213 by Sen. Bill Brown, allows any assets of the Oklahoma Law Enforcement Retirement Board to be invested in a collective investment fund or group trust.

-SB 1228 by Sen. Gary Stanislawski, removes language requiring the State Board of Education to adopt rules for the implementation of supplemental online courses which include an electronic student transfer to another district for enrollment in an online course to personally appear in the district to which the transfer is sought.

-SB 1230 by Sen. Mike Mazzei, clarifies language related to the Oklahoma Tax Commission’s authority regarding the suspension, cancellation or revocation of a license or refusal to issue, extend or reinstate a license or permit.

-SB 1254 by Sen. Mark Allen, provides an original or a transfer certificate of title will be issued without payment of the excise tax for any used utility vehicle that is being traded-in as part of another transaction if the vehicle is being traded-in to a person or entity operating a business that sells utility vehicles but is not a licensed dealer of used motor vehicles, travel trailers or commercial trailers.

-SB 1299 by Sen. Brian Crain, permits a transfer-on-death deed or an instrument revoking such a deed to be executed by an attorney-in-fact of the owner of record or by a guardian of a minor legally incompetent owner of record in addition to the owner of record.

-SB 1380 by Sen. Tom Ivester, modifies eligibility requirements for certain students in the Oklahoma Higher Learning Access Program.

-SB 1457 by Sen. Jerry Ellis, designates the bridge over the Kiamichi River on U.S. Highway 271 located 1 mile south of the municipal limits of Clayton the “Aaron Harrison Scot Memorial Bridge.”

-SB 1715 by Sen. Mike Mazzei, modifies statutory references and language related to credits against the insurance premium tax.

-SB 1817 by Sen. Gary Stanislawski, creates a Task Force on Creating Administrative Efficiencies.

-SR 33 by Sen. Sean Burrage, welcomes visiting dignitaries from Turkey.

-SR 34 by Sen. Cliff Branan, welcomes visiting dignitaries from Azerbaijan.


• Senate committees approved the following measures Wednesday:

-SB 1818 by Sen. Jim Halligan, increases the units of mathematics students must complete in order to graduate high school from three to four.

-SB 1072 by Sen. Don Barrington, modifies the offense of wearing body armor while committing a felony to include wearing a helmet.

-SB 1179 by Sen. Gary Stanislawski, permits the electronic prescribing of Schedule II, III, IV and V drugs under certain conditions.

-SB 1222 by Sen. Frank Simpson, creates the Oklahoma Veterans Treatment Act.

-SB 1280 by Sen. Mike Schulz, creates the Oklahoma Hospital Residency Training Program Act.

-SB 1297 by Sen. Brian Crain, creates the Administrative Tax Hearings Act.

-SB 1328 by Sen. Brian Crain, requires the Legislature to appropriate an additional $2,235,000 annually to the Oklahoma Water Resources Board.

-SB 1336 by Sen. Cliff Branan, requires the administrator of the Petroleum Storage Tank Indemnity Fund to notify the Oklahoma Tax Commission if the fund falls below the required maintenance level on or before Dec. 31, 2022.

-SB 1381 by Sen. Judy Eason McIntyre, requires the State Board of Edcuation to adopt a social studies core curriculum with courses of instruction in Oklahoma history for all students enrolled in public schools that incorporates information about the Tulsa Race Riots of 1921.

-SB 1386 by Sen. Brian Crain, states that nothing contained in the Oklahoma Medicaid Program Integrity Act prohibits the attorney general from pursuing cases of suspected Medicaid fraud without a referral from the Oklahoma Health Care Authority if there is credible evidence of fraud.

-SB 1389 by Sen. Brian Crain, requires the Department of Human Services to evaluate all people currently in or applying for the state Medicaid program who are categorically eligible as aged, blind or disabled individuals to determine if such persons are dually eligible for the Medicare program in consulation with the Oklahoma Health Care Authority.

-SB 1390 by Sen. Brian Crain, requires the Oklahoma Health Care Authority to evaluate various methods of reducing unnecessary emergency room visits and develop a written plan to encourage the timely and appropriate use of primary care services in lieu of emergency room services.

-SB 1397 by Sen. Brian Crain, requires the Oklahoma Health Care Authority to create a sliding scale for premium assistance where the premium assistance provided to an employee is reduced as the employee’s salary is increased in administering a premium assistance program.

-SB 1398 by Sen. Sean Burrage, requires the Department of Human Services to privatize all types of community-based out-of-home placement, including traditional foster car and kinship care on or before July 1, 2013.

-SB 1409 by Sen. John Ford, requires the State Board of Education to develop criteria for the approval of full-time statewide virtual education instruction providers.

-SB 1419 by Sen. Ralph Shortey, authorizes a professional medical licensing board to have the authority to share, split or enter into mutual contracts for the purposes of discounts on specialized medical related services, law enforcement equipment and office equipment.

-SB 1439 by Sen. Jonathan Nichols, allows a series of offenses of embezzlement to be aggregated into one offense when the offenses are the result of the formulation of a plan or scheme or the setting up of a mechanism which results in the taking or diversion of money or property on a recurring basis when put into operation.

-SB 1523 by Sen. Rob Johnson, clarifies the requirement for every domestic limited liability company and every foreign limited liability company registered to do business in Oklahoma to pay an annual certificate fee of $25 to the Secretary of State.

-SB 1543 by Sen. Rob Johnson, modifies statutory references to robbery with a dangerous weapon.

-SB 1582 by Sen. Rob Johnson, allows the executive director of the Office of Juvenile Affairs to appoint and commission campus police for secure juvenile facilities and their adjacent grounds under the jurisdiction of the OJA in the same manner and with the same powers as campus police appointed by governing boards of state institutions for higher education.

-SB 1603 by Sen. Eddie Fields, requires the Oklahoma Water Resource Board to organize nine Regional Water Planning Groups, or RWPGs, to advise the board as requested an advocate to the Legislature any recommendations the groups deem appropriate relating to water use and planning under the jurisdiction of the board.

-SB 1694 by Sen. Anthony Sykes, modifies the definition of “claim” under the Oklahoma Medicaid False Claims Act to exclude requests or demands for money or property that the government has paid to an individual as compensation for federal employments or as an income subsidy with no restrictions on the individual’s use of the money or property.

-SB 1716 by Sen. John Sparks, establishes a felony for a person who maliciously and knowingly cuts or damages a fence used for the production or containment of cattle, bison, horses, sheep, swine, goats, domestic fowl, exotic livestock, exotic poultry or any game animals or domesticated game and resulting in a loss or damage to the property.

-SB 1797 by Sen. Clark Jolley, changes the name of the Education Oversight Board to the Commission for Education, Instruction Quality and Accountability.

-SB 1816 by Sen. Gary Stanislawski, creates a Charter School Sponsoring Commission and grants it the authority to sponsor a full-time statewide virtual school.

-SB 1862 by Sen. Ron Justice, changes the names of the Elevator Safety Act to the Elevator Safety and Inspection Act.

-SB 1863 by Sen. Steve Russell, creates the Post-Military Service Occupation, Education and Credentialing Act.

-SB 1866 by Sen. Dan Newberry, transfers all powers, duties, responsibilities, employees, records and equipment of the State Board of Health, the State Department of Health and the state commissioner of health relating to the regulation of locksmiths, closed circuit televisions, access controls, burglar alarms, fire alarms and sprinkler and nurse calls to the Department of Labor and the commissioner of labor.

-SB 1879 by Sen. John Ford, removes the requirement for the Oklahoma Commission for Teacher Preparation and the State Board of Education to
provide scholarships for teachers seeking National Board certification.

-SB 1890 by Sen. Randy Bass, exempts from the Trip Optimizer system employees of agencies, boards and commissions where the place of employment is located in a municipality with a population of less than 250,000 according to the latest federal decennial census.

-SB 1903 by Sen. Steve Russell, directs officers entitled to receive copies of statutes and session laws to receive them in electronic or digital version, not printed copies.


• The House met Wednesday, approving several bills, including the following:

-HJR 1091 by Rep. Randy McDaniel, proposes a constitutional amendment prohibiting the Legislature from enacting legislation conflicting with federal law that prohibits the use of retirement plan assets for something other than benefit payments.

-SJR 25 by Sen. Josh Brecheen, proposes a constitutional amendment granting the Pardon and Parole Board by majority vote the authority to grant parole for all offenses after conviction, except for persons sentenced to death, life without parole or a violent offense.

-HB 2255 by Rep. Ben Sherrer, creates the Patriot Guard Funeral Procession Act.

-HB 2746 by Rep. Dan Kirby, adds definitions of “amateur combative sports event” and “combative sports practitioner” to the Oklahoma State Athletic Commission Act.


• House committees approved the following measures on Wednesday:

-HB 2522 by Rep. Steve Martin, removes reference to concealed handgun licenses and provides a definition of “unconcealed handgun” under the Self-Defense Act.

-HB 3004 by Rep. Chuck Hoskin, requires one cabinet area appointed by the governor to consist of all the functions of all executive agencies, boards, commissions and institutions related to Native American issues and state and tribal relations.

-HB 2645 by Rep. David Brumbaugh, requires members of the county excise board to attend and successfully complete a course of instruction consisting of at least six hours once each two years.

-HB 2862 by Rep. Chuck Hoskin, exempts state employees from using the Trip Optimizer System in computing the optimum method and cost for travel by state vehicle.

-HB 2509 by Rep. Aaron Stiles, modifies the Roofing Contractor Registration Act.

-HB 2366 by Rep. Lisa Billy, modifies language related to the powers of the Board of Governors of the Licensed Architects, Landscape Architects and Registered Interior Designers of Oklahoma.

-HB 2686 by Rep. Gary Banz, allows the State Board of Licensure for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors to deny the restoration or renewal of a place a probation for a period of time and subject to such condition as the board may specify on a license.

-HB 2724 by Rep. Scott Inman, makes it unlawful for an employer or his or her agent to advertise employment positions that include current employment as a qualification for employment or indicate in any way that applications for employment will only be accepted from currently employed individuals or that applications from unemployed individuals will not be accepted.

-HB 2952 by Rep. Randy McDaniel, requires the Department of Public Safety and other agencies to contribute to the Oklahoma Law Enforcement Retirement System an amount equal to 11 percent of the actual paid base salary of each member.

-HB 3061 by Rep. Kris Steele, creates the Tax Reform Act of 2012.

-SB 327 by Sen. Rob Johnson, directs elections for county sheriff to be conducted on a nonpartisan basis.

-HB 2822 by Rep. Sean Roberts, requires any county with a population greater than 45,000 to make available a website with the ability for residents to pay ad valorem taxes online.

-HB 2422 by Rep. John Enns, modifies language related to school district and technology center school district board elections.

-SB 1959 by Sen. Clark Jolley, reapportions revenue from gross production taxes on oil for fiscal year 2012.

-HB 2441 by Rep. Emily Virgin, creates the Alimony Guidelines Task Force.

-HB 2806 by Rep. Sean Roberts, creates the Local Tax Rate Election Amendments Act of 2012.

-HJR 1072 by Rep. Charles Key, creates the Support for the American Sovereignty Restoration Act.

-HJR 1085 by Rep. Phil Richardson, proposes a constitutional amendment clarifying language related to the Statewide Water Development Revolving Fund and monies in the Water Resources Fund.

-HB 2914 by Rep. Phil Richardson, creates the Regional Water Planning Council Act.

-HB 2808 by Rep. Sean Roberts, creates the Oklahoma Public Safety Act of 2012.

Thursday, March 1

• The Senate met Thursday, approving the following measures:

-SB 1191 by Sen. Susan Paddack, creates a State Highway Modification Task Force.

-SB 1935 by Sen. Mike Schulz, requires motor vehicles used to transport cotton modules to be licensed.

-SB 1834 by Sen. Josh Brecheen, amends the Firearms Act of 1971.

-SB 1664 by Sen. Don Barrington, allows Oklahoma State University Center for Local Government Technology to administer the computer-assisted mass appraisal program.

-SB 1959 by Sen. Clark Jolley, provides supplemental funding for state agencies.

Other News


• State leaders applauded TransCanada’s announcement Monday that it would be proceeding with the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline between Cushing, Oklahoma and the Texas Gulf Coast. The project is projected to create more than 1,000 jobs.

• An organization called “Americans Elect” delivered 90,000 signatures of Oklahomans to the State Election Board on Tuesday. The organization, which has the support of former Governor, U.S. Senator and current OU President, David Boren, is seeking the creation of a bipartisan presidential ticket. The organization needed at least 51,739 signatures in order to have their candidates placed on the November general election ballot. The State Election Board has 30 days to determine the sufficiency of the petitions. If there are enough, county election boards will then have the task of comparing the signatures from their counties with voter registration records.

• Several hundred protestors, mostly women, gathered on the north steps of the State Capitol on Tuesday to protest SB 1433, known as the personhood bill, which states that life begins at conception. Those attending the rally felt the measure could negatively impact options for birth control and access to legal abortion. Supporters of the bill insist it will do neither, but is an important policy statement for the State of Oklahoma on behalf of the unborn.

• OKC—Less Rubenesque. Five years ago, Men’s Fitness magazine ranked Oklahoma City No. 8 on its list of fattest cities. That prompted Mayor Mick Cornett to kick off “This city is going on a diet,” and challenged residents to drop a collective one million pounds. That goal was met in January, and Men’s Fitness magazine’s newest rankings list the capital city as the 23rd fittest city in America.