The Oklahoma Senate

Week In Review
Monday, March. 19 to Thursday, March 21, 2012

Monday, March 19

• The Senate approved the following bill on Monday:

-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, upon restrictions and limitations deemed proper by the board or required by law, except for persons sentenced to death.

• Senate committees approved the following bills on Monday:

-HB 2188 by Rep. Dale DeWitt, creates a misdemeanor for transporting castor beans in quantities of more than 50 pounds containing the toxin ricin in the state.

-HB 2189 by Rep. Dale DeWitt, creates a misdemeanor for planting, nurturing or otherwise commercially producing castor beans containing the toxin ricin.

-HB 2264 by Rep. Doug Cox, transfers from the State Board of Health to the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry the duty to issue licenses for an establishment maintained and operated by public funds for the confinement, care and disposal of animals seized by public authority, or a dog pound.

-HB 2768 by Rep. R.C. Pruett, directs the State Board of Agriculture to meet a minimum of eight times per year rather than monthly.

-HB 2917 by Rep. Phil Richardson, modifies language related to the Oklahoma Registered Poultry Feeding Operations Act.

-HB 2700 by Rep. William Fourkiller, directs the school board of each district to amend the policy governing self-administration of inhaled asthma medication and self-administration of anaphylaxis medication to allow the district to inform the parent or guardian in writing that a school nurse or trained school employee may administer an Epinephrine injector to a student.

-HB 2244 by Rep. Lee Denney, modifies language related to alternative placement teaching certification, requiring that a candidate for alternative certification receive a retention, rather than a cumulative, grade point average of not less than 2.5 on a 4.0 scale.

-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 to be certified in early childhood education from July 1, 2012, to July 1, 2014.

-HB 2306 by Rep. Ann Coody, removes language regarding the State Board of Education’s authority to review preliminary plans for new construction and major alteration of public school buildings where structural changes are proposed.

-HB 2443 by Rep. Dale DeWitt, directs the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education to make educational program resources at institutions within the State System of Higher Education available to the people of the Ponca City area to be known as the University Center at Ponca City.

-HB 2494 by Rep. Lee Denney, modifies language regarding the A through F grading system for schools.

-HB 2727 by Rep. Scott Inman, directs school districts to adopt policies that set forth the maximum number of days a substitute teacher may be employed for the same assignment if he or she does not hold a valid certificate.

-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.

• The House met Monday, approving the following measures:

-SB 91 by Sen. Clark Jolley, prohibits a special election from being called if a vacancy occurs in the Congress, Oklahoma Senate, Oklahoma House of Representatives or an office of a county commissioner in an even-numbered year if the term of the office expires the following year.

• House committees took no action on bills Monday.

Tuesday, March 20

• The Senate considered no legislation on Tuesday.

• Senate committees approved the following measures Tuesday:

-HJR 1001 by Rep. David Dank, proposes a constitutional amendment removing the gross household income limitations for homestead exemptions for people 65 or older.

-HB 2242 by Rep. Lee Denney, requires the license fee of a wrecker or tow vehicle to be based on the gross weight of the wrecker or tow vehicle alone without any inclusion of weight for a vehicle towed by the wrecker or tow vehicle.

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

-HB 2575 by Rep. Pat Ownbey, modifies language under the Oklahoma Vehicle License Registration Act.

-HB 2576 by Rep. Pat Ownbey, requires the excise tax levied on low-point beer to be due and payable on or before the 20th day of the month rather than the 10th day.

-HB 2577 by Rep. Pat Ownbey, authorizes the surviving spouse license plates and modifies the Gold Star survivor license plate to become the Gold Star survivor/surviving spouse license plate.

-HB 2648 by Rep. David Brumbaugh, allows county assessors to provide photocopies of taxpayer rendition forms and photocopies of any other documents filed by the taxpayer that are directly related to and necessary for appraisers to assist in this capacity.

• The House did not consider bills Tuesday.

• House committees took no action on Tuesday.

Wednesday, March 21

• The Senate met Wednesday, approving the following resolution:

-SR 44 by Sen. Susan Paddack, proclaims March 21, 2012, as Girl Scout Day at the Capitol.

• Senate committees took no action on Wednesday.

Other News

• President Barack Obama arrived in Oklahoma on Wednesday on a tour focused on domestic energy production and the Keystone Pipeline issue. The President plans to visit a pipe yard in Cushing on Thursday. The President in January rejected a permit for a section of the Keystone Pipeline, but has approved a segment of the pipeline stretching from Cushing to Port Arthur, Texas.

• The price of oil has risen to nearly $107 a barrel this week on news that inventories of gasoline have fallen to 1.4 million barrels.

• Rainfall totals in parts of the state exceeding four inches this week, easing lingering drought conditions. Sporadic rain is expected to continue through Thursday.