Monday, February 6
• With attention focused on committee work, the Senate approved one resolution on Monday.
-SR 29 by Sen. Brian Bingman, honors the life and career of State Senator David Myers.
-SB 1433 by Sen. Brian Crain, creates the Personhood Act.
-SB 1002 by Sen. Tom Adelson, creates the Empowering Patient Decision Act.
-SB 1095 by Sen. Charlie Laster, authorizes the chair of the State Board of Examiners of Psychologists, upon the concurrence of the vice chair that an emergency exists, to conduct a hearing to temporarily suspend the license of any person under the board’s jurisdiction.
-SB 1161 by Sen. Gary Stanislawski, authorizes the Oklahoma Health Care Authority to employ one program integrity auditor for every $100 million of state and federal funds expended if the return on investment, excluding cost avoidance, is greater than the total direct and indirect costs of the employee.
-SB 1183 by Sen. Sean Burrage, requires that a Department of Public Safety motor vehicle report be obtained for adoptive parents when a child is in the legal custody of the Department of Human Services.
-SB 988 by Sen. Mike Schulz, creates a misdemeanor for planting, nurturing or otherwise commercially producing castor beans containing the toxin ricin.
-SB 989 by Sen. Mike Schulz, creates a misdemeanor for transporting castor beans containing the toxin ricin in the state.
• The House met Monday but considered no legislation.
• The Senate approved the following bills on Monday:
-SR 31 by Sen. Cliff Aldridge, congratulates Morris Claiborne, winner of the 2011 Jim Thorpe Award.
-SB 1406 by Sen. Susan Paddack, prohibits a man from being presumed to be the father of a child if the man presents documentation from the Department of Defense proving he was not physically present during the time period of conception of the child.
-SB 1239 by Sen. Greg Childers, allows a district attorney to appoint any attorney that is a full-time state employee to serve as a special assistant district attorney on a case-by-case basis upon approval of the executive director or chair of the governing body of a state agency.
-SB 1196 by Sen. Sean Burrage, increases the amount that may be recovered under small claims procedures from $6,000 to $10,000.
-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.
-SB 1316 by Sen. Ron Justice, prohibits the state or a political subdivision from being liable if a loss or claim results from use of a public facility opened to the general public during an emergency.
-SB 1321 by Sen. Rick Brinkley, authorizes the attorney general to enter into contracts with retired police officers for investigative services to carry out the responsibilities given to the Workers’ Compensation Fraud Unit.
-SB 1019 by Sen. Earl Garrison, expands to public housing authorities the ability to collect unpaid fines or debts of at least $50 from those who have filed state income tax returns by filing a claim with the Oklahoma Tax Commission.
-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 1071 by Sen. Kim David, reauthorizes the income tax checkoff for Court Appointed Special Advocates.
-SB 1138 by Sen. Earl Garrison, authorizes the issuance of Prisoners of War and Missing in Action license plates to any person wishing to increase awareness of those who are currently prisoners of war or missing in action and provide financial support for current veterans.
-SB 1159 by Sen. Tom Adelson, reduces the amount of tax credits transferred to the Oklahoma Capital Investment Board from the Oklahoma Development Finance Authority from $100 million to $50 million.
-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 1231 by Sen. Mike Mazzei, changes the day of the month by which a person that has made a delivery sale, mailed or shipped cigarettes must file a memorandum or copy of the invoice with the Tax Commission from the 10th day of the month to the 20th day of the month.
-SB 1232 by Sen. Mike Mazzei, eliminates language related to the Surviving Spouse License Plates and adds “Surviving Spouse” to the Gold Star Survivor License Plate.
-HB 2566 by Rep. Harold Wright, modifies language regarding the State Board of Health’s rules implementing the Continuum of Care and Assisted Living Act.
-HB 2640 by Rep. Colby Schwartz, prohibits a licensed health care facility from referring a client for personal care services or for companion or sitter services except to an agency licensed to provide such services.
-HB 2494 by Rep. Lee Denney, modifies language regarding the A-through-F grading system for schools.
-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.
• The Senate met Wednesday, but took no action on bills.
-SB 1649 by Sen. Bryce Marlatt, modifies the funds that may be deposited in the Commissioners of the Land revolving fund.
-SB 1296 by Sen. Brian Crain, creates an individual and corporate income tax credit for each qualified veteran employed or contracted with during the year.
-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 1408 by Sen. Randy Bass, requires a $15 fee for the registration of a vehicle to apply to any member of the Oklahoma National Guard or the member’s spouse, whether or not the member is on active duty.
-SB 1301 by Sen. Frank Simpson, extends a portion of the sales tax exemption allowed for 100 percent disabled veterans to their widows as long as they don’t remarry.
-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, no contest or was convicted 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.
-SB 1554 by Sen. Ralph Shortey, removes language limiting the State Fire Marshal Revolving Fund to $550,000.
-SB 1187 by Sen. Susan Paddack, permits the Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training to waive all or part of any money due to the council if deemed uncollectable by the council.
• House committees approved the following measures on Wednesday:
-HJR 1071 by Rep. Marian Cooksey, would limit employment opportunities for legislators after their terms of service.
-HB 2669 by Rep. Al McAffrey, repeals language requiring cemetery corporations to have its land surveyed into lots, plots, avenues and walks.
-HB 2211 by Rep. Pam Peterson, allows a board of county commissioners chair to designate another county commissioner to serve in place of the chair on the city-county library commission.
-HB 2188 by Rep. Dale DeWitt, creates a misdemeanor for transporting castor beans 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 2325 by Rep. Dale DeWitt, removes current language regarding the commissioner of public safety’s authority to issue permits to persons engaged in the transportation of overwidth or overheight equipment used in soil conservation work.
-HB 2579 by Rep. Glen Mulready, modifies language regarding the unlawful act of setting a fire to any forest, grass, range, crop or other wildlands.
-HB 2353 by Rep. Steve Kouplen, modifies language regarding training of employees of licensed managed feeding operations.
-HB 2356 by Rep. Lisa Billy, modifies the jurisdictional areas of environmental responsibility under the Department of Environmental Quality.
-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 2918 by Rep. Phil Richardson, relates to records received, maintained or generated by the Department of Environmental Quality.
-HB 2320 by Rep. Randy McDaniel, modifies language related to deferred option plans of the Oklahoma Firefighters Pension and Retirement System.
-HB 2392 by Rep. Guy Liebmann, decreases from 12 to 9 the membership of the Long-Range Capital Planning Commission.
-HB 2623 by Rep. Randy McDaniel, clarifies language directing any state or county officer or employee to vacate office or employment after conviction of or pleading guilty or nolo contendere to a felony for bribery, corruption, forgery or perjury or any other crime related to the duties of his or her office of employment.
-HB 2746 by Rep. Dan Kirby, adds definitions of “amateur combative sports event” and “combative sports practitioner” to the Oklahoma State Athletic Commission Act.
-HB 2748 by Rep. Dan Kirby, allows an appraiser licensed by and residing in another state who is not licensed in Oklahoma and does not obtain an Oklahoma temporary practice permit to apply for and obtain a reciprocal license if the appraiser licensing and certification program of the appraiser’s state is in compliance with reciprocity provisions and the nonresident appraiser holds a valid certification from a state whose requirements for licensure or certification meet or exceed those of Oklahoma.
-HJR 1075 by Rep. Jason Murphey, proposes a constitutional amendment granting the state auditor and inspector the authority to conduct performance audits.
-HJR 1082 by Rep. Sean Roberts, proposes a constitutional amendment removing the restriction on state officers from serving on active duty in the National Guard or Reserves.
-HB 2525 by Rep. Steve Martin, allows law enforcement to use online verification of compulsory insurance as the primary cause for law enforcement to stop a motor vehicle.
-HB 2583 by Rep. Jeannie McDaniel, requires every operator and every passenger of a car operated in the state to wear a properly adjusted and fastened safety seat belt.
-HB 2519 by Rep. Jason Nelson, modifies the definition of “child pornography” to include any visual depiction or individual image stored or contained in any format on any medium and it states that each visual depiction or individual image constitutes a separate item.
-HB 2364 by Rep. Lisa Billy, modifies language related to contraband in jails or prisons, allowing any electronic communication device that has no identifiable owner and that has been seized to be disposed of or sold by the agency that seized the device.
-HB 2547 by Rep. Jadine Nollan, prohibits a person from being issued an identification card while the driver license of the person is still valid.
-HB 2966 by Rep. Todd Thomsen, allows a peace officer to arrest a person when the officer has probable cause to believe that the person was driving or in actual physical control of a motor vehicle involved in an accident in a parking lot or any other public place.
Thursday, February 9
• The Senate met Thursday, approving the following resolution:
• The Second Session of the 53rd Legislature convened on Monday, February 6. Governor Mary Fallin delivered her second State of the State address during a joint session of the State Legislature. The Executive Budget was also delivered to legislators, which contained $6.7 million in appropriations for the FY2013 budget year beginning on July 1, 2012.
• On Monday, the governor also issued an executive order effective July 1 banning tobacco products at all state-owned and leased properties, buildings and vehicles.
• In one of its first orders of business for the 2012 Legislative Session, the State Senate unanimously approved Senate Resolution 29, by Senators Bingman, Schulz and Anderson. The resolution honored the life and career of State Senator David Myers who passed away last November. Myers family was in the chamber during the presentation, and his wife, Sarah, thanked members for the resolution.
• Senate Republicans unveiled their 2012 legislative agenda on Tuesday and said it represented a continuation of priorities first outlined in the 2011 session. The agenda continues to focus on job creation, tax reduction, improving efficiency in government and protecting core areas such as education, public safety, transportation and health and human services.
• 2011 Jim Thorpe Award winner Morris Claiborne was honored on the floor of the state Senate on Tuesday. The Senate unanimously approved Senate Resolution 31 congratulating the cornerback from Louisiana State University. As a junior, Claiborne recorded six interceptions and 173 interception return yards. His 274 career interception return yards ranks second in school history. He was a unanimous first-team All-American selection in 2011, and was selected as Defensive Player of the Year by Southeastern Conference coaches.
• Chickasaw and Choctaw nations announced they would not end their water rights lawsuit filed against the state of Oklahoma last year. Governor Fallin had sent a letter to the tribes last week asking them to drop their lawsuit, saying “If you are truly interested in mediation over litigation, you will dismiss your lawsuit.” In a letter responding to the Governor, Chief Greg Pyle of the Choctaw Nation and Gov. Bill Anoatubby of the Chickasaw Nation claimed that there had been a lack of negotiations or meaningful engagement until their lawsuit had been filed, and that if they dropped the case, court-ordered mediations would end.
• Attorney General Scott Pruitt is seeking a preliminary injunction against the Kialegge Tribal Town and developers to stop further work on a planned casino in Broken Arrow. The land is actually owned by members of the Muscogee Nation. The owners are leasing the land to the Kialegge. Pruitt claims the planned casino violates state compact requirements for Indian gaming because the Wetumka-based tribal town doesn’t have federal approval for the proper lease and doesn’t have legal jurisdiction over it.
• Shaken, not stirred—Tuesday was “Earthquake
Awareness Day” in the Sooner State. One planned event was a “ShakeOut”
drill sponsored by the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management and
the Oklahoma Geological Survey to teach Oklahomans the proper way to
take cover in the event of an earthquake. Oklahomans quickly had an
opportunity to put what they’d learned to use. Less than 15 minutes
after the drill, the U.S. Geological Survey reported a 3.1 magnitude
earthquake in Okfuskee County. There were no reports of damage or injury.