The Oklahoma Senate

Week In Review
Monday, March 4 to Thursday, March 7, 2013

Monday, March 4

• The Senate met Monday, approving the following legislation:

-SB 959 by Sen. Rob Standridge, requires that an arresting peace officer upon the arrest of any person for a drug-related offense ask the arrested person if they are receiving public assistance.

-SB 72 by Sen. Mark Allen, would make it a felony to kill a police dog.

-SB 16 by Sen. Mark Allen, requires persons who hunt and take black bear to attach a tag to a killed black bear.

-SB 80 by Sen. Brian Crain, permits county election boards to begin the process of opening and examining absentee ballots prior to 10 a.m. on the Thursday preceding the election at an earlier date and time with the written approval of the Secretary of the State Election Board.

-SB 216 by Sen. Eddie Fields, requires a person who is a hunting guide to have a license.

-SB 235 by Sen. Frank Simpson, modifies language relating to military veterans.

-SB 357 by Sen. Eddie Fields, repeals the Oklahoma Beef Improvement and Market Development Act.

-SB 489 by Sen. Frank Simpson, modifies language related to records maintained by the Department of Environmental Quality.

-SB 487 by Sen. Ron Sharp, modifies language of the Anti-Drug Diversion Act.

-SB 519 by Sen. Rob Standridge, requires all resident and nonresident contractors to have in their possession a workers’ compensation insurance identification number.

-SB 527 by Sen. Brian Crain, authorizes the Advisory Committee on Medical Care for Public Assistance Recipients to establish a pilot program for training caregivers providing assistance to Oklahoma National Guard members suffering from PTSD.

-SB 578 by Sen. Brian Crain, creates the Oklahoma Department of Health Civil Monetary Penalty Revolving Fund.

-SB 716 by Sen. Eddie Fields, creates the Oklahoma Honey Sales Act.

-SB 838 by Sen. Ron Justice, modifies language relating to county commissioners.

-SB 1036 by Sen. Anthony Sykes, clarifies language related to the conduct of a separate sentencing proceeding to determine whether the defendant should be sentenced to death.

-SB 1068 by Sen. Dan Newberry, modifies language relating to general contractors.

-SB 1080 by Sen. Rob Johnson, requires post-judgment interest be calculated at the contractual rate.

-SB 1083 by Sen. Rob Johnson, modifies language related to civil procedure.

-SB 1102 by Sen. Mike Mazzei, modifies the process for applying for retirement with the Teachers Retirement System.

-SB 7 by Sen. Mark Allen, modifies the requirements for the annual report of the Office of Management and Enterprise Systems concerning state-owned assets.

-SB 71 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 solely for the movement of oversize portable buildings.

-SB 667 by Sen. Rob Standridge, prohibits the use of welfare cash cards in strip clubs, casinos and liquor stores.

-SB 1053 by Sen. Dan Newberry, modifies the information that must be provided to register as a roofing contractor.

-SB 486 by Sen. Frank Simpson, creates the 9/11 GI Bill.

-SB 374 by Sen. Bill Brown, requires that boat rental businesses operating in a state park must have a valid contract with the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department.

• Senate committees took no action on bills Monday.

• The House convened Monday, approving the following legislation:

-HB 1721 by Rep. Leslie Osborn, raises the income cap for OHLAP participation.

-HB 1740 by Rep. Harold Wright, clarifies language related to scrap metal dealers.

-HB 1050 by Rep. Dustin Roberts, extends the number of days at which a petition for a protective order will, upon the request of the petitioner, renew from 20 days to 60 days.

-HB 1245 by Rep. Steve Martin, amends language pertaining to real estate brokers.

-HB 1083 by Rep. Pat Ownbey, amends language relating to public health and safety.

-HB 1244 by Rep. Steve Martin, creates a one-day fishing license for non-residents.

-HB 1745 by Rep. Harold Wright, requires a resident of an assisted living center or the family or legal representative of the resident to be required to disclose any third party provider of medical services or supplies prior to service delivery.

-HB 1871 by Rep. Lisa Billy, modifies the definition of a peace officer.

-HB 1882 by Rep. Todd Russ, creates the Flight Liability and Immunity Act.

-HB 1920 by Rep. Dustin Roberts, allows the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry to issue a permit to a person who holds a big game commercial hunting area license pursuant to the bill, to any landowner or to any person who has contracted with a landowner to manage depredating animals to engage in the management of depredating animals by use of aircraft.

-HB 2045 by Rep. Katie Henke, requires that nothing in the Oklahoma Computer Crimes Act is to be construed to prohibit the monitoring of computer usage of, or the denial of computer or Internet access to, a child by a parent, legal guardian, legal custodian, or foster parent.

• The House Calendar Committee met Monday, and advanced a number of proposals to the floor agenda.

Tuesday, March 5

• The Senate met Tuesday, approving the following legislation:

-SB 56 by Sen. Brian Crain, prohibits the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education from issuing any waivers or otherwise allowing a student to graduate with a baccalaureate degree in accounting without having satisfied the minimum standards when the regents have established a minimum number of hours that will be taught by faculty in order to earn on the degree.

-SB 58 by Sen. Brian Crain, eliminates the existing requirement that Langston University establish a campus in the Tulsa metropolitan area.

-SB 59 by Sen. Brian Crain, requires the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education to establish a baccalaureate degree program in accounting at Oklahoma State University in Tulsa.

-SB 76 by Sen. Eddie Fields, increases the filing fee for declarations of candidacy.

-SB 1 by Sen. Cliff Branan, modifies procedure for peace officers and emergency medical personnel.

-SB 35 by Sen. Mike Schulz, extends the sunset on the Oklahoma Sorghum Commission.

-SB 91 by Sen. Eddie Fields, requires school board members to receive instructions on education issues.

-SB 107 by Sen. Roger Ballenger, requires precious metal and gem dealers to have proof of business location.

-SB 143 by Sen. Don Barrington, modifies language related to the Board of Tests for Alcohol and Drug Influence.

-SB 177 by Sen. Harry Coates, amends language relating to fraud or bogus checks.

-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 408 by Sen. Susan Paddack, removes the specification that 100 hours of refresher training be completed by every certified peace officer who has been inactive for over five years.

-SB 498 by Sen. Mike Mazzei, modifies language related to the County Home Rule Charter Act.

-SB 508 by Sen. Greg Treat, prohibits any person who has filed a declaration of candidacy for a state office or any immediate family member from directly or indirectly taking things valued at more than $100 from a lobbyist.

-SB 542 by Sen. Jerry Ellis, designates the section of U.S. highway 70 beginning at the municipal limits of Garvin and extending southeast to the municipal limits of Idabel as the “Wayne Crusoe Memorial Highway.”

-SB 549 by Sen. Greg Treat, modifies the language of the Oklahoma Racketeer-Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.

-SB 584 by Sen. Mike Schulz, creates the Oklahoma Tourism and Passenger Rail Revolving Fund.

-SB 624 by Sen. Susan Paddack, establishes that refusal to testify against the defendant concerning a petition for a protective order will not constitute grounds for assessing costs and fees against the plaintiff.

-SB 640 by Sen. Brian Crain, amends language in the Medicaid Program Reform Act of 2003.

-SB 653 by Sen. Clark Jolley, relieves the Regents for Higher Education of bonded indebtedness obligations and authorizes the Oklahoma Capitol Improvement Authority to issue obligations for the construction of an office building for the Office of the State Medical Examiner.

-SB 655 by Sen. Mike Mazzei, clarifies the location of a bridge in Tulsa constructed by the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority.

-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 682 by Sen. Don Barrington, requires the development of education and professional certification programs for fire service.

-SB 684 by Sen. Clark Jolley, prohibits dentists from having more than the equivalent of three full-time dental hygienists for each practicing dentist.

-SB 745 by Sen. Anthony Sykes, amends language relating to election emergencies.

-SB 847 by Sen. Clark Jolley, creates the Oklahoma Pension Stabilization Act.

-SB 861 by Sen. Clark Jolley, exempts from sales tax sales of admissions tickets to hospitality packages for certain national championship sports events.


-SB 865 by Sen. Anthony Sykes, permits district attorneys to create a Delinquent Sales Tax Restitution Program.

-SB 867 by Sen. Clark Jolley, transfers OETA to the Regents for Higher Education.

-SB 869 by Sen. Brian Bingman, requires that names appearing on ballots be rotated.

-SB 817 by Sen. Dan Newberry, amends language relating to the Consumer Credit Code.

-SB 899 by Sen. Brian Bingman, grants OMES control over 1,865 square feet in the basement of the Capitol.

-SB 908 by Sen. Brian Bingman, modifies person authorized to accept gifts to the state.

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

-SB 933 by Sen. Anthony Sykes, increases the punishment for certain violations of the Sex Offenders Registration Act.

-SB 986 by Sen. Anthony Sykes, defines unauthorized practice of law.

-SB 988 by Sen. Anthony Sykes, removes “retained attorney” from the list of attorneys required to complete at least six hours of education and training annually in courses relating to juvenile law.

-SB 995 by Sen. Brian Crain, creates a felony for conspiring to commit a crime of mass violence at a school.

-SB 996 by Sen. Ron Justice, creates the Emergency Drought Protection Special Fund.

-SB 997 by Sen. Mike Schulz, adds licensed trainer in the act of training service dogs to those entitled to have a service dog without being required to pay an additional charge by passenger carriers.

-SB 1011 by Sen. Eddie Fields, removes the authority of the State Board of Agriculture to establish an Apiary Advisory Committee.

-SB 1037 by Sen. Brian Crain, provides that a bondsman is authorized to write bonds on up to 10 defendants per year in each county outside his or her resident county.

-SB 853 by Sen. Greg Treat, Allows the State Commissioner of Health to request reports from medical facilities offering diagnostic or treatment services for cancerous diseases and precancerous conditions to report any or all data information requested.

-SB 1002 by Sen. Dan Newberry, establishes a $10 fee to be deposited into revolving funds supporting child abuse prevention efforts.

-SB 431 by Sen. Ron Sharp, allows the board of education of each school to adopt a procedure allowing teachers to issue fines for violating the district’s policies.

-SB 942 by Sen. Anthony Sykes, adds fatalities caused by meth fires to the murder in the first degree statute.

-SB 433 by Sen. Ron Sharp, exempts from liability where no prior contractual relationship exists any person who in good faith renders or attempts to render emergency care by administering an opioid antagonist based on a reasonable belief or actual knowledge that the victim is experiencing an opioid drug overdose.


• Senate committees took no action on Tuesday.

• The House convened Tuesday, approving the following measures:

-HB 2077 by Rep. Richard Morrissette, modifies language relating to the Oklahoma Public Employees Retirement System.

-HB 1658 by Rep. Lee Denney, modifies the A-F grading system formula for Oklahoma public schools.

-HB 1082 by Rep. Pat Ownbey, amends language relating to drivers licenses and expiration.

-HB 1092 by Rep. Jadine Nollan, removes daylight operation restrictions on golf carts.

-HB 1331 by Rep. James Lockhart, modifies language relating to boards of trustees for library systems.

-HB 1347 by Rep. Dan Kirby, creates Fayelen’s Law.

-HB 1351 by Rep. Marian Cooksey, creates the Deer Creek School District License Plate.

-HB 1431 by Rep. Mike Turner, creates the Electronic Resource Act of 2013.

-HB 1509 by Rep. Pam Peterson, modifies language relating to juvenile proceedings.

-HB 1526 by Rep. Gary Banz, changes the name of the Aerospace Development Act of 2008 to the Aerospace and Defense Development Act of 2013.

-HB 1641 by Rep. Fred Jordan, requires the State Board of Health to amend its rules regarding the notification of communicable disease exposure.

-HB 1718 by Rep. Leslie Osborn, authorizes the Corporation Commission to have access to and inspect any equipment used to make certain modifications to motor vehicles.

-HB 1719 by Rep. Leslie Osborn, requires the State Board of Education to develop a program for school districts in operational efficiency.

-HB 2217 by Rep. David Derby, defines anhydrous ammonia.

-HB 2232 by Rep. Joe Dorman, requires each individual income tax return to contain a provision to allow a donation to the Attorney General for the purpose of defending constitutional challenges to Oklahoma Statutes.

-HB 2062 by Rep. David Derby, updates language related to technology.

-HB 1910 by Rep. T.W. Shannon, creates the Asset Management Board.

-HB 2077 by Rep. Randy McDaniel, creates the Sooner Save Special Act.

-HB 1717 by Rep. Leslie Osborn, creates the State Employee Compensation Act.

-HB 1067 by Rep. Lee Denney, modifies language relating to the crime of prostitution.

-HB 1313 by Rep. John Enns, requires each school to develop a grading policy for the purpose of instructing various virtues.

-HB 1314 by Rep. John Enns, raises the limit of instructor to student ration in required firearms safety and training courses from ten students to one instructor to 20 students to any one instructor.

-HB 1316 by Rep. John Enns, requires each individual income tax form to contain a provision allowing a donation to the General Revenue Fund.

-HB 1352 by Rep. Marian Cooksey, creates the Legion of Merit Medal Recipient License Plate.

-HB 1434 by Rep. Mike Turner, creates the Modern Student Personal Budgeting Act.

-HB 1087 by Rep. Randy Grau, provides for lien filing to include payment of profits and overhead costs by mechanics materialmen.

-HB 1098 by Rep. Jerry Shoemake, amends language related to motor vehicles.

-HB 1103 by Rep. Earl Sears, combines Gold Star Survivor license plates with Surviving Spouse license plates.

-HB 1247 by Rep. Mike Christian, amends language pertaining to motor vehicles and wrecker services.

-HB 1294 by Rep. Ben Sherrer, requires the State Board of Education to provide information on school dropouts to the Military Department of the State of Oklahoma.

-HB 1303 by Rep. Chuck Hoskin, modifies language relating to reading proficiency testing.

-HB 1385 by Rep. Ann Coody, modifies references in the Oklahoma Charter Schools Act.

-HB 1399 by Rep. Dennis Johnson, modifies eligibility requirements relating to medical equipment.

-HB 1402 by Rep. Dennis Johnson, modifies population requirements for elections under the Oklahoma Town Meeting Act.

-HB 1403 by Rep. Dennis Johnson, creates the Nondiscrimination in Treatment Act.

-HB 1465 by Rep. Jason Murphey, creates the Qualification of State Government Performance Act of 2013.

-HB 1720 by Rep. Leslie Osborn, creates the Joint Legislative Committee on Accountability.

-HB 1762 by Rep. Tommy Harris, amends language relating to burn bans.

-HB 1826 by Rep. Don Armes, amend language relating to embalmers.

• The House Calendar Committee met Tuesday, and advanced a number of bills to the floor agenda.

Wednesday, March 6

• The Senate approved the following measures Wednesday:

-SB 170 by Sen. John Ford, allows a teacher who is certified to teach at the secondary level to teach fifth grade for the subject area in which the teacher has received certification or endorsement.

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

-SB 181 by Sen. Kim David, extends the life of the Oklahoma

-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 226 by Sen. John Ford, allows students who fail to achieve the requirements necessary for a high school diploma to re-enroll in the school district that denied the student a diploma for remediation.

-SB 249 by Sen. Brian Bingman, amends language pertaining to the liability of state or political subdivisions relating to discharge and termination of group insurance.

-SB 250 by Sen. Brian Bingman, amends language pertaining to workers’ compensation provider reimbursement.

-SB 254 by Sen. Kim David, modifies language related to the Oklahoma Medicaid Program Reform Act of 2003.

-SB 285 by Sen. Kim David, amends language related to district attorneys.

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

-SB 394 by Sen. Kim David, allows a district attorney to wear a sidearm under certain circumstances.

-SB 426 by Sen. John Ford, requires that every probationary teacher receive formative feedback during the fall and spring semesters of each school year.

-SB 432 by Sen. John Ford, creates the Oklahoma’s Career Promise Act.

-SB 550 by Sen. David Holt, creates the Legend Drug Products Sales Act.

-SB 551 by Sen. Don Barrington, modifies the definition of funeral director.

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

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

-SB 691 by Sen. Cliff Aldridge, modifies language related to insurance.

-SB 700 by Sen. Gary Stanislawski, modifies language related to insurance.

-SB 725 by Sen. Kim David, clarifies language and statutory references related to licensed mental health professionals.

-SB 789 by Sen. Rob Johnson, modifies language related to low-point beer.

-SB 792 by Sen. Rob Johnson, creates the Oklahoma Crusher Act.

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

-SB 820 by Sen. Bryce Marlatt, amends language relating to courts.

-SB 878 by Sen. Don Barrington, designates the bridge over the South Canadian River on State Highway 4 south of the municipal limits of Mustang as the Pikey’s Crossing Memorial Bridge.

-SB 886 by Sen. Don Barrington, modifies language related to the removal of abandoned vehicles.

-SB 917 by Sen. Kim David, modifies definitions for child care center and child care facilities.

-SB 929 by Sen. Kim David, allows a child to have access to the OJA agency records at a certain age.

-SB 975 by Sen. Rob Johnson, modifies statutory references concerning the Oklahoma Insurance Department.

-SB 986 by Sen. Anthony Sykes, defines unauthorized practice of law.

-SB 1001 by Sen. David Holt, adds that a school district that has received a sufficient petition, as defined in the Parent Empowerment Act, requesting transition to a charter school is subject to the provisions of the Parent Empowerment Act in addition to the provisions of the Charter School Act.

-SB 1034 by Sen. Kim David, requires the education and training programs in juvenile law, child abuse and neglect required for any court-appointed special advocate available for appointment to include information related to confidentiality of records.

-SB 1056 by Sen. Rob Standridge, creates the Professional Services Acquisition Act.

-SB 1101 by Sen. Don Barrington, modifies references to the Internal Revenue Code concerning the Oklahoma Firefighters Pension and Retirement System.

-SB 1118 by Sen. Mike Mazzei, increases the years of credited service from 20 years to 25 years for the purposes of determining the normal retirement date for the Oklahoma Firefighters Pension and Retirement Act.

-SB 652 by Sen. Don Barrington, provides a definition for driver’s license.

-SB 884 by Sen. Kim David, allows any person who is on active military duty and a legal resident of the state to use their military identification card in lieu of a handgun license.

-SB 272 by Sen. Kim David, authorizes the Oklahoma Health Care Authority to create a pilot program in one community within the state for a fully capitated managed care program in one community.

-SB 345 by Sen. Susan Paddack, requires tanning facilities to have an operator present during operating hours who is sufficiently knowledgeable in the correct operation of tanning devices.


• Senate committees took no action on Wednesday.

• The House met Wednesday, approving a number of measures including the following:

-HB 1553 by Rep. Mark McCullough, creates the Statutory Rule Against Perpetuities Act.

-HB 2160 by Rep. Jason Nelson, provides that if a school district board of education initiates any civil action or proceeding against a current or former student enrolled in the school district or the parent or guardian of a student and the student or parent is the prevailing party, the court shall enter an order awarding court costs and reasonable attorney fees to the current or former student or parent.

-HB 1060 by Rep. Sally Kern, voids foreign law contracts if they violate the constitutionally protected rights of the individuals involved.

-HB 1908 by Rep. T.W. Shannon, creates a public service announcement campaign to promote marriage as a tool against poverty.

-HB 1109 by Rep. Ann Coody, authorizes the Commissioner of the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services to commission certified employees as peace officers.

-HB 1113 by Rep. Wade Rousselot, authorizes county commissioners to provide incentive awards to employees for participating in voluntary wellness programs.

-HB 1229 by Rep. Marty Quinn, creates the Oklahoma Driver Examination Modernization Act.

-HB 2066 by Rep. Mike Jackson, states it is the intent of the Legislature to support the control of invasive plants.

-HB 2072 by Rep. Dan Fisher, creates Rachel’s Law.

-HB 2198 by Rep. Tommy Hardin, modifies language relating to agricultural exemption permit.

-HB 1451 by Rep. Ken Walker, allows the electronic transmission of statutes and session laws.

-HB 2227 by Rep. Joe Dorman, directs OBNDDC to implement a statewide Runaway Child Alert System.

-HB 1922 by Rep. Dale DeWitt, amends language relating to water and water rights.


• The House Calendar Committee met Wednesday, and moved a number of proposals to the floor agenda.


Thursday, March 7

• The Senate met Thursday, approving the following measures:

-SB 1115 by Sen. Bill Brown, deletes sections requiring Oklahoma Law Enforcement Retirement System Board to adopt a cost of living adjustment actuarial assumption in annual report.

-SB 1096 by Sen. Bill Brown, updates statutory references relating to health insurance premiums.

-SB 696 by Sen. Bill Brown, clarifies citations relating to the Insurance Department.

-SB 374 by Sen. Bill Brown, modifies requirements for boat rental businesses in state parks.

-SB 765 by Sen. Greg Treat, provides coverage and benefits for cancer treatments.

-SB 954 by Sen. Ron Justice, creates the County Government Modernization Fund.

-SB 621 by Sen. Ron Justice, consolidates the duties and functions of the Oklahoma Bioenergy Center.

-SB 456 by Sen. Josh Brecheen, allows for the five percent of the maximum number of full time equivalent positions to be permitted by law to the Department of Human Services.

-SB 97 by Sen. Josh Brecheen, allows the issuance of provisional driver licenses to those who had them suspended or revoked that allow the person to drive between their place of residence and other designated areas.

-SB 27 by Sen. Josh Brecheen, requires the posting of signs at each county office for the Department of Human Services requesting individuals to report on people who have fraudulently obtained public assistance.

-SB 688 by Sen. A.J. Griffin, develops a multidisciplinary child abuse investigation team.

-SB 928 by Sen. Rick Brinkley, authorizes reissuance of certificates of marriage under certain circumstances.

-SB 734 by Sen. Rick Brinkley, clarifies references relating to the Oklahoma Public Employees Retirement System.

-SB 697 by Sen. Rick Brinkley, clarifies language relating to the Insurance Department.

-SB 613 by Sen. Rick Brinkley, increase the annual gross payroll for new jobs to $2.75 million for applicants to the Quality Jobs Program.

-SB 580 by Sen. Rick Brinkley, states that prior to a forfeiture hearing there must be a report from the Oklahoma State Bureau of Narcotics or the electronic methamphetamine precursor tracking service provider, if applicable.


Other News

- The Federal Reserve released a report Wednesday that said strong auto sales, better hiring and a continued housing recovery helped the U.S. economy grow in January and February throughout the country. The report, called the Beige Book, provides anecdotal information on economic conditions through Feb. 22. The information will be discussed along with other economic data during the Fed’s next policy meeting on March 19-20.

- Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez died Tuesday of Cancer. While Chavez claimed to be fighting for Venezuela’s poor, he used the nation’s oil wealth to divert attention from the serious damage his inept policies were doing to the economic infrastructure. Inflation is soaring out of control. The murder rate is among the world’s highest. Crime is rampant. The currency is plummeting in value despite the windfall that the country should be enjoying from high world oil prices. Chavez squandered his nation’s vast oil wealth on socialist gimmickry.

- Republicans pushed legislation through the House on Wednesday to prevent a government shutdown this month while easing the short-term impact of $85 billion in spending cuts - at the same time previewing a longer-term plan to erase federal deficits without raising taxes. For now, the divided government's immediate objectives are to prevent a shutdown of federal agencies on March 27, at the same time lawmakers and the White House look for ways to ease the impact of across-the-board spending cuts that kicked in Friday. The legislation that cleared the House on a bipartisan vote of 267-151 would do both, ensuring funding through the Sept. 30 end of the budget year while granting the Pentagon and the Department of Veterans Affairs greater flexibility in implementing their share of spending cuts.

- Improving water quality and rebuilding wildlife populations are the ultimate goals behind a fish and aquatic insect study on Tar Creek that began last summer. Thirteen species of aquatic insects and four species of small fish were collected from the impaired stream and identified. This summer the study will establish a baseline population of the fish and insect species to see if existing, planned and future remediation efforts on Tar Creek result in any long-term improvement.Mark Grigsby, chairman of the math and science department at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College and NEO freshman intern Chance Turley are working on the study. It is believed to be the first of its kind on Tar Creek, which was contaminated by runoff from the largest lead and zinc mining field in the world.
The $3,000 study was funded by the National Great Rivers Research and Education Center.

- Gov. Mary Fallin signed an executive order Tuesday authorizing the formation of a blue-ribbon panel for developmental disabilities. The panel is assigned with developing a comprehensive plan to support people with developmental disabilities and their families. It is also to address the state's growing waiting list of thousands of people hoping to receive services from the developmental disabilities service division of the state Department of Human Services, according to the governor's order. The group also is to research and analyze best practices for the comprehensive delivery of high quality services. Further, the panel is to act in an advisory capacity to the governor on all issues related to providing community services for individuals with developmental disabilities.