The Oklahoma Senate

Week In Review
Monday, Feb. 25 to Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013

Monday, February 25

• The Senate met Monday, approving the following legislation:

-SB 1015 by Sen. Dan Newberry, prohibits the use of foreign law in Oklahoma courts.

-SB 70 by Sen. Gary Stanislawski, permits highways, bridges and other facilities that are part of the state highway system to be considered for dedication in honor of individuals deserving of commendation for their active involvement in the project or for outstanding service to the nation, this state, or their community.

-SB 659 by Sen. Ron Justice, provides that if any service or transaction which a motor license agent is authorized by law to provide is administered through any state agency by means of an electronic transaction or online system, such agency shall include a step where the individual must select between any motor license agent in the state and the agency for processing the service or transaction.

-SB 848 by Sen. Ron Justice, amends language pertaining to the Commission on County Government Personnel Education and Training.

-SB 343 by Sen. Mike Mazzei, eliminates outdated language related to tax credits for investments in qualified clean-burning motor vehicle fuel property.

-SB 387 by Sen. Mike Mazzei, eliminates Surviving Spouse License Plates and adds them to the Gold Star Surviving License Plates category.

-SJR 32 by Sen. Greg Treat, directs the Department of Human Services to use potential savings from the closure of the Southern Oklahoma Resource Center and the Northern Oklahoma Resource Center to reduce the size of the Development Disabilities Service Division waiting list.

-SB 330 by Sen. Clark Jolley, modifies language related to the Compete with Canada Film Act.

-SB 844 by Sen. Greg Treat, authorizes the Oklahoma Tax Commission to design and issue Crossings Christian School license plates.


• Senate committees approved the following measures on Monday:

-SB 1001 by Sen. David Holt, creates the Parent Empowerment Act.

-SB 501 by Sen. Frank Simpson, provides that cities and towns shall be authorized to enact laws restricting smoking on properties owned by the respective governing boards.

-SB 1026 by Sen. Brian Bingman, creates the CompSource Mutual Insurance Company Act.

-SB 372 by Sen. Susan Paddack, removes the requirement that a copy of Form 990 be filed by a charitable organization for the most recently completed fiscal year.

-SB 500 by Sen. Clark Jolley, modifies language related to cities and towns.

-SB 598 by Sen. Greg Treat, modifies statutory references related to the Executive Branch Reform Act of 1986.

-SB 670 by Sen. A.J. Griffin, modifies the time period for processing county purchase orders from five business days to three business days.

-SB 767 by Sen. Bryce Marlatt, modifies language related to the Production Revenue Standards Act.

-SB 865 by Sen. Anthony Sykes, permits district attorneys to create within their office a Delinquent Sales Tax Restitution Program and assign sufficient staff and resources for the efficient operation of the program.

-SB 924 by Sen. Bryce Marlatt, expands the duties of the Oklahoma Motor Vehicle Commission to include the licensing and regulation of powersports vehicle dealers.

-SB 1009 by Sen. Bryce Marlatt, removes from the objectives of circuit engineering districts to provide assistance to county governments in performing functions delegated by law.

-SB 1012 by Sen. Rob Johnson, updates statutory references related to cities and towns.

-SB 1074 by Sen. Dan Newberry, recreates the Construction Industries Board.

-SB 734 by Sen. Rick Brinkley, updates statutes relating to the Teachers Retirement System.

-SB 27 by Sen. Josh Brecheen, expresses legislative findings that the Oklahoma Medicaid False Claims Act is an existing and underutilized system in place to give incentive to the public to report public assistance fraud.

-SB 200 by Sen. A.J. Griffin, establishes a program of foster care for children in the custody of the Office of Juvenile Affairs.

-SB 298 by Sen. Al McAffrey, amends language pertaining to licensure requirements for physicians.

-SB 301 by Sen. Rob Standridge, creates the State Council for Interstate Juvenile Supervision.

-SB 302 by Sen. Clark Jolley, authorizes the Board of Podiatric Medical Examiners to use certain examinations for licensing exams.

-SB 451 by Sen. Susan Paddack, requires chiropractic physicians to obtain informed, written consent from a patient prior to performing any procedure that involves treatment of the patient’s cervical spine and requires the informed consent to include the risks and possible side effects of such treatment including the risk of chiropractic stroke.

-SB 456 by Sen. Josh Brecheen, modifies language related to the Department of Human Services.

-SB 592 by Sen. David Holt, permits an assisted living center to participate in an informal dispute resolution panel to be offered by the State Department of Health as an alternative to the informal dispute resolution process outlined in statute.

-SB 688 by Sen. A.J. Griffin, requires the Department of Human Services to develop an electronic online system of referrals for the purpose of allowing multidisciplinary child abuse team members to submit referrals from the child abuse reporting hotline.

-SB 802 by Sen. Rob Johnson, amends language relating to tobacco products.

-SB 915 by Sen. Anthony Sykes, creates the Nondiscrimination in Treatment Act.

-SB 929 by Sen. Kim David, modifies the definition of “juvenile detention facility.”

-SB 182 by Sen. Kim David, adds rehabilitation counselors performing services for the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services to the list of professionals that will not be included in the Licensed Professional Counselors Act.

-SB 37 by Sen. Patrick Anderson, amends language related to the transportation of dead bodies.

-SB 587 by Sen. Ron Justice, requires licensed nursing facilities to place electronic monitoring devices throughout the nursing facility in areas including, but not limited to, entrances and exits; hallways; dining areas; nurses’ stations; and residents’ rooms.

-SB 726 by Sen. David Holt, amends language pertaining to public health.

-SB 156 by Sen. Jim Halligan, requires the State Regents for Higher Education to annually submit a report to the Legislature with information concerning all baccalaureate programs offered in the Oklahoma State System of Higher Education.

-SB 171 by Sen. John Ford, modifies membership to the State Board of Career and Technology Education.

-SB 244 by Sen. Clark Jolley, provides that any person who has been employed as a full-time teacher by a school district in Oklahoma who applies for employment as a full-time teacher in another school district in this state may not be required to have a national criminal history record check under certain circumstances.

-SB 251 by Sen. Earl Garrison, amends language pertaining to the Achieving Classroom Excellence Act of 2005.

-SB 280 by Sen. Gary Stanislawski, amends language pertaining to student transfers.

-SB 419 by Sen. Gary Stanislawski, clarifies the definition of “educationally appropriate” in language related to schools.

-SB 426 by Sen. John Ford, requires every probationary teacher to receive formative feedback from the evaluation process once during the fall semester and once during the spring semester.

-SB 431 by Sen. Ron Sharp, allows the board of education of each school district in the state to adopt a procedure regarding fines.

-SB 559 by Sen. John Ford, updates statutory references to the Oklahoma School Code.

-SB 631 by Sen. Clark Jolley, creates a task force to study technological integration into academic standards.

-SB 638 by Sen. Clark Jolley, allows the State Board of Education to adopt alternative tests by which students may demonstrate mastery of the desired levels of competencies and allows students who demonstrate mastery on alternative tests to be promoted to the next grade level or graduate regardless of any instructional time requirements placed on the student.

-SB 682 by Sen. Don Barrington, requires the delivery, development, support, evaluation of training, education and professional certification programs for fire service in the state by Oklahoma State University Fire Service and Training.

-SB 683 by Sen. John Ford, allows charter schools to be sponsored by a community foundation exempt from taxation.

• The House convened Monday, approving the following legislation:

-HB 1426 by Rep. Scott Biggs, adds a requirements for hunters taking deer.

-HB 1112 by Rep. Wade Rousselot, clarifies language related to the theft of motor vehicles.

-HB 2219 by Rep. Tom Newell, adds requirements to the Administrative Procedures Act stating the Department of Human Services will issue a family impact statement of every proposed rule prior to or within 15 days after the date of publication of the notice of proposed rule adoption.

-HB 1104 by Rep. Earl Sears, eliminates gold and silver from the specified reporting requirements by the Oklahoma Tax Commission and eliminates language regarding the release of information on production and repeals language related to notices to sales tax vendors.

-HB 1241 by Rep. Steve Martin, amends language pertaining to crimes and punishments.

-HB 1265 by Rep. Lewis Moore, amends language relating to revenue and taxation.

-HB 1325 by Rep. Randy McDaniel, clarifies the definition of “final average compensation” in language related to the Oklahoma Public Employees Retirement System.

-HB 1599 by Rep. Scott Martin, amends language relating to banks and trust companies.

• House committees met Monday, and approved a number of bills, including the following:

-HB 1598 by Rep. Scott Martin, amends language related to revenue and taxation.

-HB 2032 by Rep. T.W. Shannon, reduces the top individual income tax rate.

-HB 1018 by Rep. Weldon Watson, creates the Class 1 Groundwater Aquifer Designation Preemption Act.

-HB 1673 b Rep. Gus Blackwell, requires students who have an American College Testing test score of 18 or above in a subject area that correlates with certain subject areas to be exempt from end of instruction testing in that subject area.

-HB 1706 by Rep. Ann Coody, creates the Oklahoma School Safety and School Facility Fortification Act.

-HB 1918 by Rep. T.W. Shannon, amends language relating to the computation of Oklahoma adjusted gross income and Oklahoma taxable income.

-HB 1789 by Rep. Gus Blackwell, amends language relating to foster children.

-HB 2146 by Rep. Jeff Hickman, would appropriate funds for correctional officers.

-HB 2240 by Rep. Jason Nelson, directs the Department of Human Services to develop and implement a plan to create a workforce improvement program for child welfare workers.

-HB 2279 by Rep. Anastasia Pittman, creates the Health Education for Middle Schools Act of 2013.

-HB 2099 by Rep. Jason Nelson, creates the Children with Disabilities Comprehensive Systems of Services Fund Act.

-HB 1915 by Rep. T.W. Shannon, creates the Teacher Incentive Pay Program Revolving Fund.

Tuesday, February 26

• The Senate met Tuesday, approving the following legislation:

-SB 8 by Sen. Harry Coates, prohibits the Oklahoma Insurance Department from purchasing and utilizing law enforcement style vehicles and shotguns.

-SB 5 by Sen. Gary Stanislawski, defines “good cause” relating to temporary help firms.

-SB 50 by Sen. Harry Coates, permits the Oklahoma Historical Society to hold a statewide contest to designate an official state cowboy song.

-SB 79 by Sen. Brian Bingman, modifies rural fire protection coordination districts by moving Creek County from District 5 and placing it in District 6.

-SB 404 by Sen. Clark Jolley, creates the Personal Injury Trust Fund Transparency Act.

-SB 495 by Sen. Clark Jolley, modifies language related to the Oklahoma State Regents’ Endowment Trust Fund.

-SB 557 by Sen. Clark Jolley, removes language requiring the Oklahoma Ethics Commission to be under the Merit System.

-SB 630 by Sen. Clark Jolley, requires any bid submissions made by a state agency or any political subdivision that substitute an item with one that is alike in quality and design or which meets the required specifications of the bid be considered and not be prohibited.

-SB 646 by Sen. Clark Jolley, creates the Recovery Audits for Government Overpayments of Tax Dollars Act.

-SB 863 by Sen. Clark Jolley, authorizes the governor to seek proposals for the privatization of the Oklahoma Education Lottery.

-SB 955 by Sen. Clark Jolley, requires all lottery prize tickets to include the toll free telephone number and other contact information for the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services programs for the treatment of compulsive gambling disorder.

-SB 322 by Sen. Mike Mazzei, modifies the tax levy on production of oil.

-SB 648 by Sen. Mike Schulz, modifies the apportionment of income tax revenue.

-SB 661 by Sen. Mike Schulz, creates the Task Force for the Study of Rural Housing Development.

-SB 751 by Sen. Mike Schulz, directs the Commissioner of Public Safety to establish an Endangered Missing Person Advisory for high-risk missing persons.

-SB 520 by Sen. Dan Newberry, amends language regarding supervised lenders.

-SB 1022 by Sen. Dan Newberry, modifies statutory references to the Construction Industries Board.

-SB 877 by Sen. Greg Treat, authorizes the State Board of Education to waive the retention grade point average requirement for applicants seeking to teach mathematics or science if the Board has determined that a shortage of mathematics and science teachers exists.

-HB 1646 by Rep. Fred Jordan, modifies provisions related to corporate boards of directors.

-SB 41 by Sen. Harry Coates, modifies language related to wetlands management.

-SB 294 by Sen. Harry Coates, amends language related to voluntary emergency services.

-SB 919 by Sen. Ron Justice, removes big game commercial hunting licenses as a requirement for the issuance of a permit.

-SB 854 by Sen. Brian Crain, requires all collective bargaining agreements to include a provision specifying the agreement will not apply to police officers that were found to have used excessive force in performing their duties and were terminated for that act.

-SB 1000 by Sen. Clark Jolley, modifies language relating to car rental.

-SB 323 by Sen. Mike Mazzei, modifies language relating to tax credits.

-SB 788 by Sen. Dan Newberry, establishes a study consisting of a series of open meetings to discuss business opportunities and ways to attract future business.

-SB 1025 by Sen. Dan Newberry, exempts a person working on his or her residential farm property from the definition of “roofing contractor.”

-SB 1060 by Sen. Dan Newberry, requires an independent appraiser recertify his or her completed appraisal upon request and payment of the fee, and an AMC to require an appraiser to recertify a completed appraisal under certain conditions.


• Senate committees took no action on Tuesday.

• The House convened Tuesday, approving the following measures:

-HB 1341 by Rep. Glen Mulready, authorizes a brewer license holder to serve free samples of beer produced by the licensee to visitors 21 years of age or older.

-HB 1422 by Rep. Tommy Hardin, adds intimidation and bullying as a basis for an emergency transfer for students.

-HB 1423 by Rep. Scott Biggs, adds any person who attempts to prevent another person from giving testimony or producing any record, document or other object, who has been duly summoned or subpoenaed or, endorsed on the criminal information or juvenile petition as a witness or who makes a report of abuse or neglect be guilty of a felony punishable by not less than one year nor more than 10 years in the custody of the Department of Corrections.

-HB 1921 by Rep. Dale DeWitt, amends language relating to municipal ordinances regulating amateur radio antenna and support structures.

-HB 2079 by Rep. Randy McDaniel, clarifies language related to the Teachers’ Retirement System of Oklahoma.

-HB 1614 by Rep. Ed Cannaday, requires application for disinternment to include proof of notice to the owner of the interment lot of burial space.

-HB 2097 by Rep. Mike Jackson, modifies requirements for tobacco taxes.

-HB 1547 by Rep. Mark McCullough, increases the value of an estate eligible for summary administration to $200,000.

-HB 2190 by Rep. Colby Schwartz, modifies language relating to assisted living centers.

• House committees approved many bills Tuesday, including the following:

-HB 1412 by Rep. Sally Kern, prohibits the state from implementing recommendations of the United Nations Agenda 21.

-HB 1502 by Rep. Curtis McDaniel, requires each board of education to adopt policy establishing an appeal process for students who have been denied a standard diploma by the school district in which the student is or was enrolled.

-HB 1556 by Rep. Paul Wesselhoft, creates the Oklahoma Unmanned Aerial Surveillance Act.

Wednesday, February 27

• The Senate approved the following measures Wednesday:

-SB 105 by Sen. Josh Brecheen, would allow for covenant marriage in the state.

-SB 12 by Sen. Josh Brecheen, designates the bridge over Clear Boggy Creek on State Highway 48 south of the municipal limits of Tupelo as the “Specialist Howard Lee Jones Memorial Bridge.”

-SB 25 by Sen. Bryce Marlatt, indicates that a fee is to be charged to waste producers in addition to any charges specified in any contract or elsewhere.

-SB 30 by Sen. John Ford, increases from 13 to 18 years the age of a victim of certain sex offenses for which the person convicted of perpetrating the offense is required to register under the Sex Offenders Registration Act.

-SB 33 by Sen. Ron Justice, eliminates the prohibition on the burning of any hazardous waste having a heating value of less than 5,000 British Thermal Units.

-SB 169 by Sen. John Ford, provides that a virtual education provider that offers full-time virtual education to students who are not residents of the school district with which the provider is contracted shall be considered a site within each school district.

-SB 207 by Sen. John Ford, allows teachers who receive a “superior” or “highly effective” rating to be evaluated every two years.

-SB 263 by Sen. Rob Standridge, amends language related to sidearms and badges.

-SB 282 by Sen. John Ford, amends language relating to voter identification.

-SB 292 by Sen. Brian Crain, amends language pertaining to property and county treasurers.

-SB 315 by Sen. Brian Crain, requires CLEET to include in its required training course a minimum of two hours of training on how to recognize a person with Alzheimer’s disease.

-SB 970 by Sen. Brian Crain, permits a member of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee to receive annual updates on the progress of the 2009 Final Report of the Task Force on the Effect of Alzheimer’s Disease in Oklahoma.

-SB 355 by Sen. Patrick Anderson, modifies language relating to letters of guardianship.

-SB 440 by Sen. Rob Johnson, clarifies language related to judgements.

-SB 450 by Sen. Patrick Anderson, permits a defendant released upon personal recognizance to enter a plea electronically under certain circumstances.

-SB 454 by Sen. John Sparks, provides that the denial of a drug court offender’s driver license and driver privilege will be at the discretion of the court.

-SB 455 by Sen. Patrick Anderson, modifies the language of the oath taken by general panel jury members.

-SB 535 by Sen. John Sparks, modifies language relating to the Teacher Due Process Act.

-SB 536 by Sen. John Sparks, allows a public school to disclose information regarding an employee’s job performance to another state agency.

-SB 678 by Sen. John Sparks, exempts from the excise tax any vehicle on which ownership is transferred by a repossessor to the owner.

-SB 668 by Sen. Rob Johnson, modifies signature requirements for forming a political party.

-SB 738 by Sen. John Sparks, amends language relating to public finance.

-SB 754 by Sen. Rob Johnson, creates the Rational Use of a Product Act.

-SB 770 by Sen. John Sparks, repeals statutory language related to wildlife tags.

-SB 780 by Sen. Josh Brecheen, raises the fine on any person convicted of killing an animal, and removing a part with the intent to abandon the body.

-SB 891 by Sen. John Sparks, allows any public or private institution of higher education that is a member of a governing authority to bring a cause of action against a third party who engages in conduct in violation of the rules of the governing authority that causes the educational institution to incur sanctions by the governing authority or other economic penalties or losses.

-SB 900 by Sen. Rob Standridge, modifies procedure for investigations under the Oklahoma Hospice Licensing Act.

-SB 927 by Sen. Greg Treat, provides that in no event will an employer required to garnish wages be personally liable for any debt or obligation of the employee.

-SB 961 by Sen. Rob Standridge, modifies language relating to divorce proceedings.

-SB 1062 by Sen. Brian Bingman, creates the Administrative Workers’ Compensation Act.

-SB 402 by Sen. Ron Justice, states that it is unlawful for the owner of any animal of the family canidae to permit such animal to run at large under certain conditions.

-SB 283 by Sen. Josh Brecheen, amends language relating to school district employees.

• Senate committees met Wednesday, approving the following bills:

-SB 573 by Sen. Clark Jolley, creates the Public Charter School Commission.

-SB 89 by Sen. Roger Ballenger, increases the fine for deliberately dumping trash on public property.

-SB 106 by Sen. Roger Ballenger, increases the penalty for violations by persons who knowingly provide false information under the Oklahoma Scrap Metal Dealers Act.

-SB 162 by Sen. Patrick Anderson, removes the ability of the director of the Department of Corrections to transfer any prisoner who appears to be mentally ill to a state hospital for care and treatment.

-SB 266 by Sen. Gary Stanislawski, amends language relating to schools and the State Department of Education.

-SB 267 by Sen. Gary Stanislawski, allows the State Board of Education to sponsor the applicant of a charter school from the Statewide Virtual Charter School Board that is for the purpose of establishing a full-time statewide virtual charter school.

-SB 268 by Sen. Constance Johnson, increases the amount of time schools must actually be in session and classroom instruction offered from 1,080 hours to 1,110 hours.

-SB 316 by Sen. John Ford, provides a bonus for highly effective teachers.

-SB 367 by Sen. Patrick Anderson, allows the sponsorship of a charter school when the applicant is the Oklahoma Department of Human Services.

-SB 436 by Sen. Gary Stanislawski, authorizes the board of education of any school district which is contiguous to any other school district located in an adjacent state for the purpose of providing shared administrative services.

-SB 511 by Sen. Greg Treat, requires the Oklahoma Historical Society to operate the Native American Cultural and Educational Authority and the NACEA transfer its authority to the OHS.

-SB 521 by Sen. Greg Treat, directs the Department of Human Services to develop and implement a plan to create a workforce improvement program for child welfare workers.

-SB 596 by Sen. David Holt, requires the director of the Office of Management and Enterprise Services to develop a method of accountability for performance and efficiency to be used by state governmental agencies.

-SB 688 by Sen. A.J. Griffin, requires the Department of Human Services to develop an electronic system of referrals for the multidisciplinary child abuse response team.

-SB 708 by Sen. John Sparks, creates a misdemeanor for any person who cuts or damages a fence used for the containment of livestock.

-SB 765 by Sen. Greg Treat, requires any health benefit plan that provides coverage and benefits for cancer treatment provide coverage of prescribed orally administered anticancer medications on a basis no less favorable than intravenously administered or injected cancer medications.

-SB 907 by Sen. Greg Treat, authorizes the Joint Committee on Accountability to have certain powers and duties for the purpose of conducting performance audits.

-SB 932 by Sen. Anthony Sykes, provides that any person who operates a vehicle or combination of vehicles 700 pounds or more in excess of the gross axle weight limitations will upon conviction be punished by a fine of three cents per pound overweight.

-SB 1008 by Sen. Greg Treat, creates the Oklahoma Office of Privatization Act.

• The House met Wednesday, approving the following measures:

-HB 1359 by Rep. Brian Renegar, creates the Commercial Pet Breeders and Animal Shelter Licensing Act.

-HB 1002 by Rep. Jason Murphey, creates the Cost Reduction and Savings Act of 2013.

-HB 1039 by Rep. Dennis Casey, amends language relating to revenue and taxation.

-HB 1449 by Rep. Jason Murphey, permits a defendant released upon personal recognizance to enter a plea of guilty or nolo contendere to the violation charged at any time before the defendant is required to appear for arraignment by using an electronic method provided by the court for such purposes, either through the court’s website or otherwise.

-HB 1461 by Rep. Pat Ownbey, requires the Oklahoma Board of Nursing to appoint a Registered Nurse to serve as Executive Director and to fix compensation within pay grade 11 of the Office of Management and Enterprise Services’ pay group’s study.

-HB 1464 by Rep. Jason Murphey, states that no agency will make an acquisition for an amount exceeding $50,000 or the limit determined by the State Purchasing Director.

-HB 1481 by Rep. Jason Murphey, repeals the Oklahoma Linked Deposit Review Board.

-HB 1511 by Rep. Pam Peterson, prohibits registration information of minors collected by any library which is supported in whole or in part by public funds including but not limited to public, academic, school or special libraries from disclosure to any person except, persons acting only within the legitimate scope of their duties in the administration of the library.

-HB 1594 by Rep. Steven Vaughn, exempts the Department of Wildlife Conservation from keeping confidential information provided by people applying for or holding any permit or license as long as the information was voluntarily provided by the persons for promotional purposes by the Department.

-HB 1624 by Rep. Charles Ortega, modifies language relating to insurance claims on residential real property.

-HB 2003 by Rep. Skye McNiel, clarifies language related to municipal waste collection.


• House committees met Wednesday, approving many bills, including the following:

-HB 1887 by Rep. Harold Wright, amends language relating to elections and election dates.

-HB 1907 by Rep. Bobby Cleveland, creates the Common Core Task Force.

-HJR 1007 by Rep. Marian Cooksey, proposes a constitutional amendment requiring no former member of the Legislature to be employed by or receive any form of compensation, payment or expense reimbursement from any state governmental entity regardless of the source of revenue for a period of two years after the end of the term to which the member was elected.

-HB 1794 by Rep. Mike Christian, creates the Oklahoma State Government Act of 2013.

-HB 2055 by Rep. Mike Jackson, creates the Repeal of the Administrative Procedures Act.

-HB 2037 by Rep. T.W. Shannon, creates the Oklahoma Public Pension Plan Review and Analysis Act of 2013.

-HB 2038 by Rep. T.W. Shannon, creates the Oklahoma Public Pension Plan Review and Analysis Act of 2013.

-HB 1062 by Rep. Mark McCullough, would allow teachers to carry handguns in Oklahoma schools.

Thursday, February 28

• The Senate met Thursday, approving the following measures:

-SB 635 by Sen. Clark Jolley, directs the State Board of Education to establish testing sample size.

-SB 574 by Sen. Clark Jolley, mandates all children enrolled in pre-kindergarten undergo reading skill screenings.

-SB 429 by Sen. Clark Jolley, directs the Oklahoma Education Television Authority to create the OPEN network to increase public access to the Oklahoma Legislature.

-SB 425 by Sen. Clark Jolley, awards college scholarships to early graduating high school students.

-SB 396 by Sen. Clark Jolley, transfers all powers and duties of the Human Rights Commission to the Attorney General.

-SB 231 by Sen. Clark Jolley, prohibits the Office of Management and Enterprise Services to transfer monies to or from agency disbursing funds or accounts without specific authorization of the Legislature.

-SB 755 by Sen. Tom Ivester, ensures the confidentiality between a physician or psychotherapist and a consumer with regards to mental health and drug or alcohol abuse treatment information.

-SB 581 by Sen. Tom Ivester, removes people able to file petitions to determine whether an individual is a person requiring treatment at a mental health facility.

-SB 369 by Sen. Tom Ivester, requires advanced directives and power of attorney documents to be provided to staff when a mental health evaluation is to be conducted.

-SB 1024 by Sen. Anthony Sykes, states that vehicles being offered for sale or salvage as junk vehicles must be accompanied by sufficient ownership documents and a photo ID of the seller.

-SB 1027 by Sen. Anthony Sykes, creates a safe zone around schools.

-SB 1031 by Sen. Anthony Sykes, relates to contract provisions involving solicitation of employees to other businesses.

-SB 398 by Sen. Susan Paddack, authorizes reserve peace officers who have completed training to attend a basic training academy to become certified as full-time police or peace officers and requires all peace officers to maintain updated residential information.

-SB 87 by Sen. Susan Paddack, creates the Task Force on Unnecessary Governmental Regulation.

-SB 52 by Sen. Susan Paddack, designates a portion of State Highway 59 beginning at US 177 and extending east to St. Louis municipal limits as the "Sergeant Bret Isenhower Memorial Highway".

-SB 629 by Sen. Frank Simpson, exempts any state-run veterans' health care facility from certain fees.

-SB 237 by Sen. Frank Simpson, exempts facilities operated by the Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs from paying the Nursing Facilities Quality of Care Fee.

-SB 228 by Sen. Frank Simpson, authorizes Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs to establish training programs for positions critical to quality care of veterans living in Dept. institutions.

-SB 920 by Sen. Ron Justice, creates the Oklahoma Cottage Food Law.

-SB 233 by Sen. A.J. Griffin, requires additional deposits for elections in which the first place and second place candidates are separated by a margin of 10% or more.

-SCR 8 by Sen. Constance Johnson, recognizes March 2013 through March 2014 as the centennial celebration year of the life and work of Ralph Waldo Ellison.

-SB 208 by Sen. A.J. Griffin, allows every district board of education to choose if they wish to require students guilty of bullying to complete intervention programs.

-SB 175 by Sen. A.J. Griffin, modifies rape to include a victim that is between 16 and 20 years old and participates in a youth program or church service and engages in sexual intercourse with an employee or volunteer, who is older than 18 years, of the same church.

-SB 88 by Sen. Don Barrington, creates the National Day of the Cowboy on the fourth Saturday of July.


Other News

• The Oklahoma Commission on School Security listened to a last round of ideas from state leaders Wednesday as the group prepared to wrap up its work. The panel is expected to announce legislative recommendations at its last meeting, which is set for March 5. This week, the commission heard recommendations from two state agencies – the state Department of Mental Health and the Oklahoma Office of Homeland Security.

• The Senate approved Senate Concurrent Resolution 8 Thursday recognizing March 2013 through March 2014 as the Centennial Celebration Year of the life and work of internationally renowned writer and Oklahoma native Ralph Waldo Ellison. Ellison was born in Oklahoma City on March 1, 1913.

• Oklahoma wireless companies, TerraCom LLC and YourTel America, agreed this week to pay a total of more than $1 million to the federal government to resolve claims of improper reimbursements for the wireless phone program, Lifeline, for low-income and homeless residents.

• The largest genetic study of mental illnesses to date finds five major disorders may not look much alike but they share some gene-based risks. The disorders - autism, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder or ADHD, bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder and schizophrenia - are considered distinct problems. But findings published online Wednesday suggest they're related in some way. The Psychiatric Genomics Consortium, a collaboration of researchers in 19 countries, analyzed the genomes of more than 61,000 people, some with one of the five disorders and some without. They found four regions of the genetic code where variation was linked to all five disorders.
Of particular interest are disruptions in two specific genes that regulate the flow of calcium in brain cells, key to how neurons signal each other. That suggests that this change in a basic brain function could be one early pathway that leaves someone vulnerable to developing these disorders, depending on what else goes wrong. For patients and their families, the research offers no immediate benefit. These disorders are thought to be caused by a complex mix of numerous genes and other risk factors that range from exposures in the womb to the experiences of daily life. The research was funded by the National Institute on Mental Health.

• A report released Thursday by the Department of Health and Human Services’ inspector general found that Medicare paid about $5.1 billion in taxpayer dollars to nursing homes nationwide for patients to stay in skilled nursing facilities that failed to meet federal quality of care rules in 2009, in some cases resulting in dangerous and neglectful conditions. One out of every three times patients wound up in nursing homes that year, they landed in facilities that failed to follow basic care requirements laid out by the federal agency that administers Medicare, investigators estimated. Not only are residents often going without the crucial help they need, but also the government could be spending taxpayer money on facilities that could endanger people's health, the report concluded. The findings come as concerns about health care quality and cost are garnering heightened attention as the Obama administration implements the nation's sweeping health care overhaul. The Office of Inspector General's report was based on medical records from 190 patient visits to nursing homes in 42 states that lasted at least three weeks, which investigators said gave them a statistically valid sample of Medicare beneficiaries' experiences in skilled nursing facilities. That sample represents about 1.1 million patient visits to nursing homes nationwide in 2009, the most recent year for which data was available, according to the review. Overall, the review raises questions about whether the system is allowing homes to get paid for poor quality services that may be harming residents.