The Oklahoma Senate

Week In Review
Monday, Feb. 16 - Thursday, Feb. 19, 2015

Monday, February 16

• The full Senate met on Monday and approved three bills.

-SB 144 by Sen. David Holt, R- Oklahoma City, creates the Oklahoma Educational Television Authority License Plate.

-SB 71, by Sen. Mark Allen, R-Spiro, adds chicken egg production to the definition of basic industry in the Quality Jobs program.

-SB 147 by Sen. Frank Simpson, R-Ardmore, modifies the use of funds in the Patriot License Plate Revolving Fund.

• Senate committees met and approved the following measures on Monday:

-SB 668 by Sen. Clark Jolley, R–Oklahoma City, would place the State Treasurer on the OPERS Board of Directors.

-SB 640 by Sen. Greg Treat, R-Oklahoma City, requires the Oklahoma Health Care Authority to make payments to the nursing facilities under the state Medicaid plan for individuals who meet applicable financial requirements and are determined to require certain services and supports.

-SB 762 by Sen. Randy Bass, D-Lawton, modifies the requirement for the Department of Human Services to provide youth in its custody an annual credit report to only include those 16 years and older.

-SB 269 by Sen. AJ Griffin, R-Guthrie, permits community intervention centers to transfer juveniles to detention centers if it is determined that detention is appropriate and available.

-SB 308 by Sen. Nathan Dahm, R-Tulsa, requires agencies exempt from the Administrative Procedures Act to publish its exempt rules on its website. The bill requires an agency to respond within 30 days to a request from the Governor, House or Senate to review its rules and respond to a small business within 90 days.

-SB 127, by Sen. Kim David, R-Porter, removes the power of the Health Care Authority Board to hire an executive director and grants that power to the Governor.

-SB 640, by Sen. Greg Treat, R-Oklahoma City, requires the Oklahoma Health Care Authority to make payments to nursing facilities under the state Medicaid plan for individuals who meet applicable financial requirements and are determined to require certain services and supports.

-SB 150, by Sen. Ervin Yen, R-Oklahoma City, corrects a reference to the Oklahoma Funeral Board as the appointing authority of a funeral director as a member of the Board of Medicolegal Investigations. The bill provides that no Board of Medicolegal Investigations member may serve as chair or vice chair for more than two consecutive years. The bill clarifies that it is the board's central office that will be located in close proximity to the University of Central Oklahoma. The bill adds the requirement that the board provide for an eastern, in addition to a central, office.

-SB 327, by Sen. Nathan Dahm, R- Broken Arrow, updates statutory language related to the disposal of bodies at Department of Corrections facilities, repeals statutory language related to cemeteries and rural communities and townships and state institutions except references to powers of the district, and also repeals language related to deposit of funds and County Cemetery Associations except references to invalidity clause and acceptance and use of monies and other items.

-SB 346, by Dahm, creates the Governor's Transparency Act of 2015.

-SB 386, by Sen. John Sparks, D-Norman, reduces the population requirement of a county to build a county-owned parking lot from 300,000 to 250,000.

-SB 719, by Sen. Anthony Sykes, R-Moore, allows the office of the State Fire Marshal to administer the Rural Fire Coordinator Program.

-SB 609, by Sen. Clark Jolley, R-Oklahoma City, and Rep. Jason Nelson, R-Oklahoma City, creates the Oklahoma Education Empowerment Scholarship Act.

-SB 5, by Sen. Ron Sharp, R-Shawnee, exempts education employees and people volunteering for a school from liability for the use of necessary and reasonable force to control and discipline a student during the time the student is in attendance at the school or in transit to or from the school, or any other function authorized by the school district.

-SB 418, by Sen. Eddie Fields, R-Wynona, authorizes the Department of Public Safety to issue an annual hay permit for the movement of round baled hay that is greater than 13 feet 6 inches but no more than 14 feet 6 inches in height.

• House committees met and approved the following measures:

-HB 1773, by Rep. Charles McCall, R-Atoka, modifies and adds definitions related to secure transactions under the Uniform Commercial Code. The bill establishes standards for determining control of electronic chattel paper and modifies how control is obtained.

-HB 1027, by Rep. Edward Cannaday, D-Porum, modifies dates for implementation of the Oklahoma Teacher and Leader Effectiveness Evaluation System.

-HB 1685, by Rep. Lee Denney, R-Cushing, establishes the 24/7 Tobacco-free Schools Act.

-HB 1823, by Rep. Scott Martin, R-Norman, directs the State Board of Education to not calculate school site grades or determine school performance designations during the 2015-2016 school year using the accountability system reports.


• The following bills were passed by the House Monday:

- HB 1275, by Rep. Josh Cockroft, R-Tecumseh, states the Primary Election of members of the board of education of every school district and technology center school district will be conducted on the second Tuesday in February of each year, except when there is a Presidential Preferential Primary in February, in which case, it will be the same day as that primary.

-HB 1033, by Rep. Dan Kirby, R-Tulsa and Sen. John Sparks, D-Norman, requires applicants for a professional bondsman license submit to the Insurance Commissioner an audited financial statement prepared in accordance to the Statements on Auditing Standards put into effect by the Auditing Standards Board of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

-HB 1806, by Rep. Gary Banz, R-Midwest City, authorizes the testing of a conscious person for the purpose of determining blood alcohol levels if a search warrant is issued.


Tuesday, February 17

• The Senate met Tuesday and approved the following bills:

-SB 11, by Sen. Don Barrington, R-Lawton, adds to the powers, duties and responsibilities of the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigations' director. The bill permits the director to enter into local cooperative agreements with local law enforcement agencies for the purpose of appointing affiliate task force agents to assist the bureau in the investigation of major crimes under its jurisdiction. The bill requires affiliate task force agents to be employees and commissioned law enforcement officers of the local law enforcement agency entering into agreement with the bureau and not be employees of the bureau. The bill passed 43 to 3.

• SB 206, by Sen. Frank Simpson, R-Ardmore, modifies language related to the National Guard Relief Program, limiting the scope of the program to financial support only. The bill passed 44 to 0.

• SB 567, by Sen. Simpson, creates the Veterans Benefits Assistance Act. The bill provides for certain requirements for individuals providing assistance in applying for VA benefits. The bill requires the individual to provide a disclosure containing certain information and requires the form to be signed by all parties and retained for three years. The bill requires the Director of the Department of Veterans Affairs to establish procedures for processing complaints related to assistance regarding a claim for benefits and for accreditation violations. The bill and its emergency clause passed 46 to 0.

• The House of Representatives convened Tuesday and heard the following bills:

-HB 1006, by Rep. Sally Kern, R-Oklahoma City adds the trafficking of humans for labor or for commercial sex, the pandering of humans for sex and the prostitution of a child to the list of crimes for which the Attorney General may seek an order authorizing the interception of wire, oral or electronic communications by any law enforcement agency of the state or any political subdivision having responsibility for the investigation of the offense for which the application is made.

-HB 1494, by Rep. Mike Ritze, R-Broken Arrow, modifies sunset date for the Board of Tests for Alcohol and Drug Influence from 2015 to 2022. The bill modifies membership to include the Dean of the Oklahoma State University College of Osteopathic Medicine or a designee. The bill requires the chair and vice-chair to be elected for membership of the Board every two years. The bill requires the board to promulgate rules relating to adopting uniform standards for the screening of any intoxicating substances. The bill and its emergency clause passed 89-3.

-HB 1001, by Randy McDaniel, creates the Oklahoma Employment Security Amendments Act of 2015. The bill passed 93-4.

-HB 1293, by Rep. Dan Kirby, R-Tulsa, modifies various provisions of the Oklahoma Insurance Code. The bill passed 95-2.

-HB 1010, by Rep. George Faught, R-Muskogee, extends the sunset date for the Capitol-Medical Center Improvement and Zoning Commission to July 1, 2022. The bill passed 80-18.


• The following bills were passed by House committees Tuesday:

-CS for HB 1822, by Rep. Scott Martin, R-Norman, creates the Teacher Retention and Compensation Act of 2015. The bill makes changes to the teacher salary schedule, extending it from 25 years to 30 and adds a $2,000 raise for fiscal year 2016. It adds a six percent increase in pay for support personnel. The bill also makes changes to the school calendar and the minimum number of school days in a calendar year

-HB 1786, by Rep. Mike Shelton, D-Oklahoma City, eliminates the lottery net proceeds minimum requirement.

-HB 1035, by Rep. Johnny Tadlock, D-Idabel, provides for the admissibility of evidence of the commission of another offense in a criminal case in which the defendant is accused of domestic abuse. The bill requires that the evidence being used must be disclosed to the defendant at least 15 days before the trial.

-HB 1149, by Rep. Randy Grau, R-Edmond, creates the An Act to Preserve Testamentary and Marital Intent. The bill requires the burden of proof in any action or claim by a party to invalidate any instrument intended to dispose of the property of a descendent or person subsequently adjudged incompetent, such as a will or prenuptial agreement, to be on the party seeking relief and by convincing evidence of the grounds asserted for said relief.

• The following bills were passed by Senate committees Tuesday:

-SB 626 by Sen. Patrick Anderson R-Enid, changes to a felony from a misdemeanor violations of any of the provisions of the Odometer Setting Act with intent to misrepresent the true mileage driven of a motor vehicle.

-SB 145, by Sen. Robert Standridge, R-Norman, and Rep. Claudia Griffith, D-Norman, designates the section of State Highway 9 beginning at the intersection of 120th Avenue SE and extending west to the intersection of 84th Avenue SE within the municipal limits of Norman as the "Sgt. Daniel M. Eshbaugh Memorial Highway."

-SB 389, by Sen. Dan Newberry, R-Tulsa, specifies that the location where the photo-monitoring system captured a vehicle's image be included in a notice for a toll evasion violation. The bill specifies that the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority will not sell or make available the names and addresses of video toll collection system account holders.

-SB 764, by Sen. Anthony Sykes, R-Moore, allows a community sentencing planning council, in regards to the Oklahoma Community Sentence Act, to employ a local director and other personnel to perform the duties of the local community sentencing system, contingent on available funds. The bill allows the council to contract with a county to provide benefits and payroll services. The bill requires the employee to be considered state employees.

-SB 726, by Sen. Brian Crain, R- Tulsa, allows any county with a population over 500,000 to administer a five-year pilot program of a Family Safety Center to provide certain domestic violence program services, contingent on funding. The bill establishes the services to include assistance obtaining emergency protective orders, assistance and resources to children exposed to domestic and family violence, forensic medical documentation, basic medical assessments and legal support.

-SB 449, by Sen. Corey Brooks, R-Washington, declares a hiring freeze for a five year period following the effective date of the bill as a further control on human resource costs. The bill exempts the State Department of Corrections, the Department of Public Safety, the Department of Education, the State Senate, and the House of Representatives from the provisions of the bill.

-SB 806, by Sen. Brian Bingman, R-Sapulpa, requires all economic incentive provisions enacted after Jan. 1, 2016, to include a measurable goal or goals. The bill defines "incentive" as any provision available to be used by a business entity in the form of a credit, exemption, deduction or rebate pertaining to a state tax liability of any kind; any grant, loan or financing program offered by the state or a state-beneficiary public trust; or any program for incentive payments from the state.


Wednesday, February 18

• Several bills were approved in Senate committee, including:

-SB 320, by Sen. Mark Allen, R-Spiro, modifies the apportionment of fines and fees collected by the Corporation Commission. The bill deletes the Weigh Station Improvement Revolving Fund and replaces it with the Building and Facility Revolving Fund.

-SB 29, by Sen. Josh Brecheen, R-Coalgate, requires the State Department of Education to provide written notice by Oct. 1 of each year to the last known address of any individual who held any license or certificate issued by the State Board of Education which expired on June 30 of that year.

- SB 126, by Sen. Kim David, R-Porter, removes language related to administrative rules under the Oklahoma Advance Directive. The bill allows the State Department of Health to enter into contracts with private vendors to obtain the services necessary to meet the requirements of the Oklahoma Advance Directive Act. It adds that any costs to the public to access the registry are to be negotiated in the contracts.

-SB 112, by Sen. Wayne Shaw, R-Grove, permits offenders convicted of crimes that require that they serve 85 percent of their sentence to receive and accumulate earned credits while serving the sentence. The bill requires the Department of Corrections to apply the credits after the offender has served 85 percent of the sentence. The bill provides the offender will be eligible for immediate discharge if the sum of earned credits and service time equals the total sentence length. The bill also provides that the granting of credits will be at the discretion of the DOC director based on statutory criteria.

-SB 172, by Sen. Kyle Loveless, R-Oklahoma City, requires the Office of Management and Enterprise services to propose a plan design which incentivizes participants to purchase health services from providers which post transparent pricing through web-based technology platforms. The bill requires OMES to provide documentation regarding the most affordable provider. The bill prohibits the reimbursement to a health care provider in excess of the amount of service.

-SB 358, by Shaw, provides for biannual compensation of unclassified employees of the Grand River Dam Authority.

-SB 504, as amended, by Sen. Clark Jolley, R-Edmond, relates to the Oklahoma Higher Learning Access Program. The bill modifies eligibility for said program to include admission to nonprofit universities offering online, competency-based degree programs located in the state as well as allowing awards for the program to be allocated to nonprofit universities. The amendment removes the term "nonprofit" and replaces it with the term "accredited.

-CS for SB0637, by Sen. Greg Treat, R-Oklahoma City, adds where the victim is at least 16 years of age and less than 19 years of age and is in the legal custody of a state agency, federal agency or tribal court and engages in sexual intercourse with a person who resides in the same household as the victim and who is 18 years of age or older and is a foster parent, foster parent applicant or other household member of the foster parent or foster parent applicant to the definition of the term "rape." The committee substitute incorporates changes adopted by the Senate Public Safety Committee.

-SB 656, by Jolley, requires the Statewide Circuit Engineering Board to expend funds for the purpose of financing counties to purchase or convert to compressed natural gas vehicles.

-SB 658, by Sen. Ron Justice, R-Chickasha, designates the Labor Commissioner as the primary authority on asbestos abatement and regulation.

• The Senate convened on Wednesday afternoon and approved several bills, including the following:

- SB 2, by Sen. Brian Crain, R-Tulsa creates until Sept. 1, 2015, the 18-member Advisory Council on the Effect of Alzheimer's Disease in Oklahoma to review and revise the state plan developed by the 2009 Advisory Council on the Effect of Alzheimer's Disease in Oklahoma and to update the strategy to mobilize a state response to Alzheimer's disease. It also permits the Alzheimer's State Plan to be reviewed every five years contingent on the approval of enabling legislation by the Legislature. The bill clause passed 44 to 0 with its title stricken.

- SB 178, by Crain prohibits consumption, possession, purchase of any intoxicating beverage and entry by juveniles into places that sell intoxicating beverages. The bill passed 45 to 0.

- SB 136, by Sen. Gary Michael Stanislawski, R-Tulsa, provides the Statewide Virtual Charter School Board with administrative duties, including decisions on supplemental online courses. The bill authorizes the board to establish a review and certification process for supplemental online courses. The bill and its emergency clause passed 44 to 0.

- SB 417, by Eddie Fields, R-Wynona, authorizes the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food, and Forestry to take possession of, store, and dispose of certain abandoned and stolen property. The bill passed 29 to 15 with its title stricken.

-SB 140, by Sen. Robert Standridge, R-Norman, adds designated employees of the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Control to the list of those who can access certain investigative information. The bill passed 45 to 0 with its title and emergency clause restored.

- SB 247, by Sen. Mike Mazzei, R-Tulsa, removes language related to addition to income tax returns by reason of the recapture or restoration of credits under the Internal Revenue Code. The bill passed 46 to 0 with its title restored.

-SB 248, by Mazzei, removes the requirement for Tax Commission to exchange damaged cigarette stamps given to cigarette wholesalers. The bill deletes the authority of wholesalers to sell cigarette stamps to distributers. The bill modifies procedures regarding stamps returned to a manufacturer, requiring certain proof to be given to the Tax Commission. The bill passed 46 to 0 with its title restored.


• Several bills were passed in House committees on Wednesday, including:

-HB 2180, by Rep. Jeff Hickman, R-Fairview, adds a requirement of enrollment in a minimum of 30 credit hours per academic year to maintain eligibility in the Oklahoma Higher Learning Access Program. It also changes the grades during which a student can enter into the program from fifth through ninth grade to fifth through eleventh grade and the age from 15 to 18.

-HB 2040, by Rep. George Young, D-Oklahoma City, encourages the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education to use funds to support entrepreneurship with special emphasis upon providing such support to minority communities in the state.
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-HB 2081, by Rep. Jason Nelson, R-Oklahoma City, states intent of the Oklahoma State Regents of Higher Education to establish a comprehensive transition and postsecondary program for students with intellectual disabilities which shall be offered by institutions. The bill specifies the parameters of the degree program.

-HB 1511, by Rep. Emily Virgin, D-Norman, permits a document issued by a state educational institution that is a member of The Oklahoma State System of Higher Education or a private higher educational institution within the State of Oklahoma to be used for voter identification.

-HB 2182, by Rep. Jeff Hickman, R-Fairview, creates the Incentive Evaluation Act and establishes a commission. The bill establishes membership for the commission and establishes appointing authority, and directs the Office of Management and Enterprise Services, the Oklahoma Department of Commerce, Oklahoma Tax Commission and Office of the State Treasurer to provide staff and administrative support to the Incentive Evaluation Commission. The bill creates the Incentive Approval Committee as a subcommittee of the Incentive Evaluation Commission and specifies the committee's membership.

-HB 1032, by Rep. Dan Kirby, R-Tulsa, allows those with an existing agreement to represent a public body to be present or participate in an executive session for the purpose of discussing the purchase or appraisal of real property. These sessions are otherwise limited to members of the public body, the attorney for the public body, and the immediate staff of the public body.

-HB 1037, by Rep. George Faught, R-Muskogee, exempts any test from, question banks, and answer keys developed for state licensure examinations from the Open Records Act, excluding test preparation materials or study guides.

-HB 1054, by Rep. David Perryman, D-Chickasha, modifies a reference to which section of the state statutes, if the Oklahoma Education Lottery Act ceases to have force and effect, in which lottery ticket issuing regulations would not apply.

-HB 2181, by Rep. Jeff Hickman, R-Fairview, changes from 5 percent to 1 percent the required percentage of registered voters needed to establish a political party.

-HJR 1009, by Rep. Dan Fisher, R-El Reno, proposes a vote of the people on a constitutional amendment clarifying the manner in which citizens may keep and bear arms. It adds that any regulation of these rights is subject to strict scrutiny and the state will be obligated to uphold these rights and is, under no circumstances, decline to protect against their infringement.

• The House met on Wednesday and the following bills were heard:

-HB 1749, by Rep. Tom Newell, R-Seminole prohibits a state agency from making payroll deductions on behalf of an employee for membership dues in any public employee association or professional organization that collectively bargains on behalf of its membership.

-HB 1430, by Rep. James Leewright, R-Bristow, modifies the definition of consumer in the Telemarketer Restriction Act to include and business association, partnership, firm, corporation and its affiliates or subsidiaries located in this state.


Thursday, February 19

• The Senate met briefly Thursday morning and approved two bills:

-SB 322 by Sen. Gary Stanislawski, R- Tulsa, authorizes temporary reduction of speed limit. Passed 43-0.

-SB 763 by Sen. Randy Bass, D- Lawton, requires Department of Human Services to provide certain information as related to the Independent Living Act. Passed 42-0.

• Senate committees met on Thursday and heard several bills, including:

- SB 219 by Sen. Corey Brooks, R - Washington, modifying certain requirements for off-duty police officers.

-SB 234 by Sen. Ron Justice, R-Chickasha, modifies certain conditions pertaining to where off duty police officers can carry firearms.

-SB 525 by Sen. Ralph Shortey, R-Oklahoma City, making certain exceptions pertaining to employees carrying firearms onto certain property.

SB 638 by Sen. Mike Schultz, R- Altus, modifies formula for gross weight and authorizes special permits for certain loads for overweight truck limits.

Other news this week

• After the Board of Equalization revised the upcoming fiscal year’s revenue collection downward this week, the state has $611 million less to work with when creating the fiscal year 2016 budget, representing an 8.5 percent decrease from the current year. Governor Fallin and legislative leaders were initially told in December the difference in funds available for appropriation would be closer to $300 million. Much of the decline is attributed to a significant drop in oil prices


• Rep. Dan Fisher, R-El Reno, said HB 1380 was being re-worked this week. The original measure was approved earlier this week in a party-line vote of the House Education Committee and sent to the full House. It ordered the board to adopt a new program and test to replace the current AP U.S. history program and test offered by the College Board, a not-for-profit organization that developed the new course framework. The re-work was in response to being widely interpreted as seeking to do away with the courses, was poorly worded and is being rewritten. Republican House Floor Leader Jason Nelson said the re-written bill will not call for elimination of AP history, but will merely ask the state Board of Education to conduct a review.