The Oklahoma Senate


Week In Review
Monday, April 6, to Thursday, April 10, 2015

Monday, April 6

• The Senate convened on Monday and approved several bills.

-HB 1006, by Rep. Sally Kern, 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. The bill passed 43 to 0.

-HB 1042, by Rep. Jerry Shoemake, prohibits parents who participate in shared parenting time from paying an increased amount of child support. The bill passed 44 to 0.

-HB 1330, by Rep. Ann Coody, requires the State Board of Education to adopt rules by Dec. 1, 2015, requiring school district boards of education to waive the Oklahoma history high school graduation requirements for children of military families as defined in the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children, who transition with the military from another state and who have satisfactorily completed a similar state history class in another state. The bill and its emergency clause passed 44 to 0.

-HB 1438, by Rep. Chad Caldwell, requires hospice programs to be managed by administrators. The bill requires administrators to complete eight hours of continuing educational courses each year. The bill requires the State Board of Health to promulgate rules concerning the qualifications of the courses. The bill require the courses to consist of a minimum of 45 minutes in length and two of the eight courses to be composed of ethics either in-person or online. The bill allows the Board to collaborate with organizations specializing in hospice care. The bill requires the hospice program to maintain records demonstrating the completion of the required courses. The bill passed 43 to 1.

-HB 1450, by Rep. Kevin Calvey, authorizes the chief engineer of the Department of Environmental Quality to issue or deny certain permits. The bill passed 44 to 0.

-HB 1612, by Rep. Katie Henke, modifies the definition of the Interlocal Cooperation Act. The bill passed 40 to 0.

-HB 1772, by Rep. Charles McCall, allows a minor to make a request for the account-holding financial institution to intervene to the extent the custodial property consists of deposit accounts held at a financial institution, if the minor reaches the age for release and the custodian does not make a timely transfer of the property to the minor. It requires the request from the minor to be signed, dated and in writing, and to state that the minor has reached the age for release and the custodian has refused to distribute the remaining funds to the minor after being asked to do so by the minor after the minor was entitled to them. The bill allows the financial institution to send a written demand to the custodian to transfer to the minor the funds in any Oklahoma Uniform Transfers to Minors Act deposit account. It authorizes the institution to close the account and pay out the funds directly to the minor without any liability or recourse from any parties if the custodian does not make the distribution within 30 days from the date of the financial institution's demand. The bill passed 44 to 0.

-The Senate also adopted SR22, by Sen. Stephanie Bice on Monday recognizing April 6, 2015, as Tartan Day in the State of Oklahoma.

• Several House bills passed out of various Senate committees on Monday, including:

-HB 1005, as amended, by Rep. Randy McDaniel, changes the treatment of Teachers Retirement System contributions of a comprehensive university group established before July 1, 1998, from picked up to not picked up. The amendment clarifies language related to Internal Revenue Service provisions.

-HB 1052, with title stricken, Rep. Randy McDaniel, expands the membership of the Oklahoma State Pension Commission from seven members to nine to include the Commissioner of Labor. The bill also adds that the Senate and House appointee will be an ex officio, nonvoting member.

-HB 2154, by Rep. Jon Echols, creates Katie and Cayden’s Law. It modifies the definition of marijuana to exclude cannabidiol derived from the seeds of the marijuana plant or cannabidiol derived from mature stalks. With no debate, the bill, as amended, received a unanimous do pass recommendation from the committee.

-The committee substitute for HB 1409, by Rep. Lisa J. Billy, increases the time period of voluntary and informed consent prior to an abortion to 72 hours. It requires printed materials concerning abortion to contain the statement, "Abortion shall terminate the life of a whole, separate, unique, living human being." The bill requires any facility performing abortions that has a website to publish an easily identifiable link on the homepage of such a website that directly links to the State Board of Medical Licensure and Supervision's website that provides informed consent material under the Woman's Right-to-Know Act. It specifies how the link must look and what it should say.

-HB 1124, by Rep. Todd Russ, exempts any child care facility employee who has already completed a national criminal history record check conducted by the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation from the requirement to obtain a national criminal history records search based upon submission of fingerprints. The bill requires the Department of Human Services to work with the Office of Management and Enterprise Services to contract with a statewide vendor that can provide electronic fingerprint services to support the national criminal history records searches required for employment.

-HB 1326, with its title stricken, by Rep. Scott Biggs, requires every physician, surgeon or other health care professional, and every teacher, administrator or other school personnel to promptly report suspected child abuse or neglect to the law enforcement agency with jurisdiction over the report.

-CS for HB 2180, as amended with its title stricken, by Rep. Jeff Hickman, requires a minimum enrollment 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. The committee substitute adds exemptions for working students and adds a one year probationary period for students who fail to meet the 30 hour requirement. The amendment removes an exemption for two year colleges due to the addition of the probationary one year period in the committee substitute.

• The following Senate bills were passed this week in House committees, including:

-SB 370, by Sen. Jim Halligan, requires an office used for public accounting to continue its accounting practice during the pendency of its sale or transfer. The bill requires the sale or transfer to be completed within 60 days. The bill defines terms sale and transfer. The bill requires notice be given to the executive director of the Oklahoma Accountancy Board within 10 days of sale or transfer. The bill establishes the purpose and ability of the executive director of the Board.

-SB 375, by Sen. Dan Newberry, requires licenses received by the Department of Consumer Credit to be paid in full by Dec. 31 of any year. The bill establishes late fees and grounds for revocation of certain licenses.

-SB 376, by Sen. Dan Newberry, applies the Uniform Consumer Credit Code to leases and loans entered between a resident of this state and a seller or lender via the Internet or other electronic means. The bill allows those aggrieved by an agency order of the Administrator of Consumer Credit to seek judicial review. This bill states the Consumer Credit Advisory Committee may advise the Commission of Consumer Credit regarding matters pertaining to the Department of Consumer Credit and provide recommendations.

-SB 377, by Sen. Dan Newberry, adds loan serving and mortgage lending to the conditions of the Oklahoma Mortgage Secure and Fair Enforcement Licensing Act. The bill removes certain requirements for mortgage licensees regarding inactive status. This bill adds one hour of Oklahoma law and regulations instruction to the requirements for pre-licensing education.

• The House passed several bills on the House floor Monday, including the following:

-SB 5, by Sen. Ron Sharp, exempts education employees 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. The bill passed by a vote of 79 to 10. The bill's emergency clause failed 49 to 38.

-SB 23, by Sen. Marty Quinn, removes outdated language from the Open Records Act. The bill adds higher education institutions to a list of entities exempt from disclosing certain business information. The bill passed by a vote of 93 to 0.

-SB 64, by Sen. Susan Paddack, permits the Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training, notwithstanding any other provision of law pertaining to confidentiality of hospital or other medical records to subpoena records necessary to assure compliance with requirements concerning certain mental evaluations. The bill provides that information obtained by CLEET for such purposes will retain its confidential character while in the possession of CLEET and permits them to be released only in compliance with the Open Records Act. The bill requires that any medical or other confidential records concerning certain acts not be made part of a report by the executive director. The bill passed by a vote of 91 to 0.

-SB 126, by Sen. Kim David, 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. The bill passed by a vote of 88 to 3.

-SB 763, by Sen. Randy Bass, requires the Department of Human Service, in conjunction with the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, to provide parents and legal guardians of foster youth with information on the Oklahoma Higher Learning Access Program (OHLAP) including, but not limited to, eligibility, application guidelines, academic requirements, and any other information required by the Oklahoma Higher Learning Access Act for participation in the Program. The bill passed by a vote of 93 to 0.

-SB 831, by Sen. Anthony Sykes, amends, merges, consolidates and repeals duplicative
sections of law. The bill and its emergency passed by a vote of 85 to 4.


Tuesday, April 7


• The Senate met Tuesday afternoon and approved the following legislation:

- HB 1066, by Rep. Jadine Nollan, adds sexual exploitation to the information to be reported in the Department of Human Services central registry. The bill passed 45 to 0.

-HB 1079, by Rep. Pat Ownbey, allows the foster parents of a child to submit a report to the court for presentation at a review hearing to assist the court in reviewing the placement or status of a child. The bill passed 44 to 0.

-HB 1331, by Rep. Ann Coody, defines the term "military student identifier." The bill permits student data for those with a military student identifier to be transferred to any federal, state or local agency or other organization/entity outside of the state for purposes of assisting the Department of Defense in developing policy and military child education initiatives. The bill requires a military student identified to be included in the state student data system by July 1, 2016. The bill and its emergency clause passed 45 to 0.

-HB 1903, by Rep. Dennis Johnson, exempts children engaged in voluntary service for a charitable organization recognized exempt under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as
amended, Section 501(c) from the prohibition on working for children under 16 years of age. The bill passed 44 to 0.


• The House met Tuesday with a lengthy agenda and passed the following legislation:

-SB 726, by Sen. Brian Crain, allows a county 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. The bill passed by a vote of 54 to 33.

-SB 38, by Sen. Wayne Shaw, modifies the conditions under which the Department of Corrections director may recommend an offender for medical parole by changing the requirement that an inmate no longer be a threat to public safety to that inmate no longer be "an unreasonable" threat. The bill also provides the parolee will be subject to parole revocation in the event it is determined that changes in their medical condition or for other reasons that the continuation of the medical parole presents an increased risk to the public. The bill requires the Department of Corrections to follow the statutory procedures for the revocation of parole. The bill passed by a vote of 92 to 0.

-SB 195, by Sen. Frank Simpson, creates the Voluntary Veterans' Preference Employment Policy Act. This bill allows private employers to have a voluntary preference for hiring, promoting or retaining a veteran over another qualified applicant or employee. The bill requires the policy to be in writing and applied uniformly to employment decisions. The bill passed by a vote of 85 to 0.

-SB 239, by Sen. Ervin Yen, creates the Chase Morris Sudden Cardiac Arrest Prevention Act. The bill requires the State Department of Health and the State Department of Education to jointly develop and post on their websites certain materials to inform individuals about the nature and warning signs of sudden cardiac arrest. The bill requires students and student's parent or guardian to sign and return to the school an acknowledgment of receipt and review of the information. It states the State Board of Health and the State Board of Education will establish rules for the implementation of this act. The bill and its emergency passed by a vote of 88 to 0.

-SB 474, by Sen. John Sparks, requires each state individual income tax return form for tax years beginning after Dec. 31, 2015, to contain a provision allowing a donation from a tax refund to be made as a contribution to a specified Oklahoma College Savings Plan account. The bill permits the Tax Commission to release necessary taxpayer data to permit the transaction. The bill was passed by a vote of 80 to 0.

-SB 571, by Sen. Ralph Shortey, exempts roadside stand and farmers from the tax levied by the Oklahoma Sales Tax Code. The bill passed by a vote of 92 to 1.

-SB 663, by Sen. Corey Brooks, creates the Own Risk and Solvency Assessment (ORSA) Act. It requires that an insurer maintain a risk management framework to assist the insurer with identifying, assessing, monitoring, managing, and reporting on its material and relevant risks. The bill passed by a vote of 91 to 1.

-SB 808, by Sen. Brian Bingman, requires the evidence of financial security for a wind energy facility or portion thereof which commences construction prior to Jan. 1, 2016, to be filed after the fifteenth year of operation of the facility. The bill requires a wind energy facility or portion thereof that reaches the commercial generation date after Dec. 31, 2016, the evidence of financial security to be filed by the fifth year of operation of the facility. The bill requires the evidence of financial security for a wind energy facility which commences construction on or after Jan. 1, 2016, to be accompanied by an estimate of the total cost of decommissioning prepared by a professional engineer licensed in this state. The bill passed by a vote of 78 to 9.


• The following legislation was approved by Senate committees on Tuesday:

-HB 1653, by Rep. Steven Vaughan, modifies language relating to mounted specimens and expands the scope of mounted specimens from deer and turkey to all wildlife. The bill modifies penalties for violations to include the seizure and forfeiture of certain property if it is the second or subsequent violation.

-HB 1774, by Rep. Charles McCall, allows the Wildlife Conservation Commission to establish an Annual wildlife Conservation Passport and a Three-Day Wildlife Conservation Passport. The bill establishes a $15 fee for the Three-Day passport.

-HB 1857, by Rep. Harold Wright, requires that a nonresident fur dealer to provide advance notice of each and every place where business is transacted. It prohibits any person to trap upon the land of another without first procuring from the owner or occupant of the land written permission to do so.

-HB 1007, by Rep. David Ralph Brumbaugh, provides that no regularly licensed, ordained or authorized official of any religious organization will be required to solemnize or recognize any marriage that violates the official's conscience or religious beliefs. It also provides that a regularly licensed, ordained or authorized official of any religious organization will be immune from any civil claim or cause of action based on a refusal to solemnize or recognize any marriage that violates the official's conscience or religious beliefs. The bill passed by a vote of 7-2.

-HB 1449, by Rep. Kevin Calvey, removes the requirement for the sheriff or private process to post a summons for the restitution of property from a landlord to a tenant and allow any person over the age of 18 to do so if the individual is directed by the attorney of the property owner. The bill allows the posting of a notice without the attorney to enter an appearance in the action. It makes language gender neutral and prohibits judicial determinations to be made regarding security deposits in certain circumstances. The bill narrowly passed committee with a 5-4 vote.

-HB 1046, by Rep. Scott Biggs, requires that if the court cancels all or part of restitution owed, the court must also apply the same percentage reduction to any court-ordered monetary obligation owed by the defendant.

-HB 1123, by Rep. Todd Russ, reduces from 50 days to 30 days the time period required that a mortgage on real estate be released from the date of the payment of the debt secured by the mortgage and the holder of the mortgage is required to file the release of the mortgage with the county clerk where the mortgage is recorded.

-HB 1274, by Rep. Ken Walker, permits any relevant information to the ability of an individual to perform tasks requiring direct contact with children to be released to another child care facility in response to a request from the child care facility that is considering employing or contacting with said individual unless deemed confidential by state and federal laws. It also requires requirements for confidentiality and recordkeeping with regard to the information to be the same for the child care facility receiving the information in response to a request as those provided in the bill for the child care facility releasing such information.

-HB 1320, by Rep. Jadine Nollan, relates to the termination of parental rights by changing the provision to the age of the child at the time of placement instead of the age of the child at the time of the petition filing.

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

-HB 2165, with its enacting clause stricken, by Rep. Mark McCullough, assesses against the party demanding a jury trial all court costs including reasonable attorney if the party demanding the jury trial does not receive a verdict that is at least 10 percent more than the assessment award of the appraisers.


• House committees met on Tuesday and approved the following legislation:

-SB 456, by Sen. Clark Jolley, permits each county to assess on any civil case filed in district court, upon approval by the board of county commissioners, a sum not to exceed $10 to be credited to the Sheriff's Service Fee Account for the purpose of enhancing existing or providing additional courthouse security.

-SB 379, by Sen. Dan Newberry, establishes the Real Estate Owner's Rights Act. The act lists the rights of an owner of real property in the state, including the right to construct, install and repair; and the right to manage, rent, lease and sell. The bill states an owner of residential real property is not required to obtain or hold a valid real estate broker license to manage, rent, lease or sell his or her real property. This bill states those who perform plumbing, electrical or mechanical work on residential or farm property they own may do so without being subject to certain licensing rules.

-SB 90, by Sen. Gary Michael Stanislawski, permits agencies authorized by statute to conduct national criminal history background checks for individuals to participate in the Federal Rap Back Program administered by the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation. It authorizes the OSBI to collect all Federal Rap Back Program fees from eligible agencies wishing to participate and remit such fees to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

-The CS for SB 116, by Sen. Don Barrington, amends the responsibilities of the Department of Corrections regarding the housing of inmates in county jail. The bill requires, prior to contracting with a private prison operator to provide housing, the DOC to send notification to all county jails which have requested in writing to be notified that bed space is required to house the overflow population of state inmates. The bill allows the sheriff to enter into agreements with the DOC to provide housing for the inmates.

-SB 383, by Sen. Stephanie Bice, allows a retail package store to store and sell beer at below room temperature. The bill allows for the sale of beer and wine in incorporated cities and towns to be available to the public through qualified ABLE Commission licensed retail stores. The bill requires the retail sales of alcoholic beverages to be the original sealed package by licensed privately owned and operated retail stores in cities and towns having a population over 200 persons. The bill allows for the sale of goods, wares or merchandise to be sold on the same premises on which retail alcoholic beverages are sold. The bill requires the space in which retail alcoholic beverages are sold or displayed to be secured by a door or closure approved by the ABLE Commission during times that sales are prohibited.

SB 720, by Sen. Dan Newberry, prohibits the use or sale of powdered alcohol for any person or licensee. The bill defines certain terms. The bill establishes fine for violation of the provisions in the act.

-SB 313, by Sen. David Holt, allows eligible citizens to register to vote online. The bill establishes citizens to be eligible if they possess a valid Oklahoma driver license or identification card, is registering to vote at the address provided on the card and is a qualified elector and entitled to become a registered voter.

-SB 465, by Sen. Marty Quinn, permits an insurer or salvage pool authorized by the insurer when the insurer makes a total loss settlement on a vehicle to provide the Tax Commission or a motor license agency a copy of the letter of guarantee signed by the lienholder and proof of payment by the insurer of the amount specified in the letter of guarantee in lieu of a lien release, accompanied by a statement from the insurer that payment in the referenced amount has been remitted to the lienholder in satisfaction of the lien.

• Gov. Mary Fallin signed 17 measures Tuesday.

Wednesday, April 8

• The Senate convened on Wednesday and approved several bills.

- An amendment to HB 1965, by Rep. Terry O'Donnell, would make texting while driving a primary offense primary, in contrast to the original authored version which would have established it as a secondary offense. The amendment narrowly passed the Senate by a vote of 23-20 and the bill passed by a vote of 38-6. It will now return to the House to consider the amended language.

- HB 1148, by Rep. Randy Grau, requires two or more adjoining counties or jurisdictions to bear the cost of the construction of a bridge, or bridges, over any stream forming a boundary line between such counties, in manner that is agreed by said counties. It requires all county highways on county lines in the state to be maintained and constructed by the adjoining counties, and permits county commissioners of each of the counties between which such roads are located to enter into agreements to provide for said maintenance and construction. The bill passed and its emergency clause passed 44 to 0.

-HB 1273, by Rep. Jadine Nollan, modifies scope of the definition of "sexual exploitation." The bill passed 42 to 0.

-HB 1268, by Rep. Dennis Ray Casey, grants certain students who have an Individualized Education Program an alternative method of demonstrating satisfactory knowledge on the personal financial literacy education test by meeting a set of criteria. The bill also requires the State Department of Education to provide resources and materials designed to enable students identified as English language learners to understand and use the personal financial literacy information presented. The bill and its emergency clause passed 44 to 0.

-HB 1321, by Rep. Jadine Nollan, adds alternative methods for satisfactorily demonstrating mastery of state academic content standards in certain subject areas listed within the bill in relation to the end-of-instruction criterion-reference tests. The bill and its emergency clause passed 44 to 0.

-HB 1521, by Rep. Katie Henke, provides that teacher compensation does not include one-time incentive pay that is provided by the school district to a teacher nor one-time retention incentive pay for returning a second year and exempts the pay from a negotiated agreement. The bill passed 42 to 0.

-HB 1562, by Rep. Elise Hall, expands the list of licensed health care providers permitted to determine if mechanical restraint is required by the medical needs of the consumer. It also requires that the consumer receives a face-to-face examination with one hour with an approved health care provider after the restraint is applied. The bill passed 30 to 12.

-HB 1721, by Rep. Pam Peterson, establishes the Oklahoma Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act. The bill makes it unlawful to perform or attempt a dismemberment abortion unless necessary to prevent serious health risk to the mother. The bill states only a physician or someone acting as a physician may be liable for performing a dismemberment abortion. The bill specifies who may maintain a cause of action for injunctive relief or civil damages against someone who has performed such an abortion. It states violators will be fined $10,000 and/or imprisoned for not more than two years. The bill passed 37 to 4.

-HB 2021, by Rep. Jeff Coody, requires the Insurance Commissioner to be authorized to participate in a supervisory college for any domestic insurer that is part of an insurance holding company system with international operations. The bill states the power of the Commissioner with respect to the supervisory colleges. The bill requires each registered insurer to be liable for and pay reasonable expenses of the Commissioner's participation in a supervisory college. The bill passed 34 to 9.

-HB1721, by Rep. Pam Peterson, establishes the Oklahoma Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act. The bill makes it unlawful to perform or attempt a dismemberment abortion unless necessary to prevent serious health risk to the mother. The bill states only a physician or someone acting as a physician may be liable for performing a dismemberment abortion. The bill specifies who may maintain a cause of action for injunctive relief or civil damages against someone who has performed such an abortion. It states violators will be fined $10,000 and/or imprisoned for not more than two years.

The Senate also adopted a House amendment on SB 637, by Sen. Greg Treat. The bill 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 bill passed 44 to 0.

• Senate committees considered several measures on Wednesday, passing the following:

-HJR 1012, by Rep. Scott Biggs, received a do pass recommendation as amended. The resolution proposes a vote of the people on a constitutional amendment to guarantee the rights of farmers and ranchers to engage in farming and ranching practices. It prohibits the Legislature from approving any law which abridges the right of farmers and ranchers to employ agricultural technology and livestock production and ranching practices without a compelling state interest. It specifies that nothing in this measure should be construed to modify any provision of common law or statues relating to trespass, eminent domain, or any other property rights. On a voice vote, the proposed amendment appeared to have no supporters and almost unanimous opposition. The resolution now goes to the full Senate for its consideration. If approved by the Senate, the resolution will have to return to the House for acceptance or rejection of the amendment adopted by the committee. If rejected, the bill will be assigned to a conference committee.

-HB 1037, by Rep. George Faught, 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 1275, by Rep. Josh Cockroft, specifies that 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, when it will be the same day as that primary. The bill requires the names of all school board candidates to appear on the Primary Election ballot if there are more than two qualified candidates. This bill states the two receiving the highest number of votes at the Primary Election will appear on the General Election ballot to be held on the first Tuesday in April of that year. It states if only two names qualify, those names will appear on the General Election ballot.

-HB 1442, by Rep. Chad Caldwell, requires the members on a board of education to appoint members if, after the filing period closes, no candidate has filed and a vacancy is created. The bill allows appointment of members outside the board or election district but requires the individual to reside in the school district and to meet other eligibility qualifications.

-HB 1484, by Rep. Randy Grau, modifies language relating to the initiative and referendum petition process. The bill requires the individual circulating the petition to be at least 21 years of age. The bill eliminates the requirement for the Secretary of State to print certain information when publishing to a newspaper of general circulation in the state. The bill modifies dates in which protests to the petitions must be filed. The bill requires all signed signatures supporting a referendum petition to be filed not later than 90 days after the adjournment of the legislative session.

-HB 2181, as amended, by Rep. Jeff Hickman, changes from 5 percent to 1 percent the required percentage of registered voters needed to establish a political party. The amended changes the required percentage of registered voters needed to establish a political party to 3 percent.

-HJR 1002, with title stricken, by Rep. Dan Kirby, proposes a vote of the people on a constitutional amendment that would allow wineries either within or without this state that are licensed by the Oklahoma Alcoholic Beverage Laws Enforcement Commission to receive orders for, sell and ship wine directly to consumers over the age of 21 years either within or without this state who have visited the winery in person.

-HJR 1018, with its resolving clause stricken and as amended, by Rep. Gary Banz, applies to Congress, under the provisions of Article V of the Constitution of the United States, for the calling of a convention of the states limited to proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States requiring that in the absence of a national emergency the total of all federal appropriations made by the Congress for any fiscal year may not exceed the total of all estimated federal revenues for that fiscal year, together with any related and appropriate fiscal restraints. The resolution directs the Secretary of State to distribute the resolution to certain federal officials. The amendment corrects the lists of states that have and have not issued a call for a constitutional convention.

-HJR 1019, with title stricken, by Rep. Gary Banz, proposes a vote of the people on a
Constitutional amendment that would provide voters would cast one vote for both the office of Governor and Lieutenant Governor.

-HJR 1020, with title stricken, by Rep. Gary Banz , calls a Constitutional Convention for the purpose of altering, revising, or amending the current Constitution, or to propose a new Constitution for the State of Oklahoma, to be submitted to the people for their approval or rejection. The resolution establishes procedures for the convention.

-HJR 1025, with title stricken, by Rep. Jeff Hickman, proposes a vote of the people on a constitutional amendment that would prohibit a former legislator from being employed by a state governmental entity until July 1 of the year following the end of the term of office. It would also prohibit a former legislator from receiving any form of compensation, payment or reimbursement from any state governmental entity until July 1 of the year following the end of the term of office. It would provide that former legislators could be appointed to the Governor's cabinet. It would provide former legislators could receive retirement money and money paid into a retirement plan. The amendment would allow former legislators to be paid if elected to another state.

-HB 1047, as amended by Rep. Scott Biggs, requires individuals convicted of aggravated child pornography to serve not less than 85 percent of any sentence of imprisonment. The bill repeals language relating to the penalty of the purchase, procurement or possession of obscene material. It corrects self-referential language. The amendment clarifies references to violent crimes.

-HB 1065, as amended and with its enacting clause stricken, by Rep. Jadine Nollan,
requires the State Board of Education to administer a valid and reliable criterion-referenced test that measures only reading proficiency and not proficiency in the language arts to determine the promotion and retention of third grade students pursuant to the Reading Sufficiency Act. The amendment adds language that provides vocabulary be included in the assessment.

-HB 1083, with title stricken, by Rep. Pat Ownbey, establishes the Criminal Justice Information Systems Center for Excellence. The bill requires the Center to collaborate with agencies subject to criminal justice information system requirements. The bill requires the Chief Information Officer and the Commissioner of Public Safety to establish an appropriate governance model for priorities, shared services and systems for the Center.

-HB 1350, with title stricken, by Rep. Wade Rousselot, clarifies language related to stalking. The bill also makes it unlawful for a person who has a prior conviction of stalking and, after being served with a protective order that prohibits contact with an individual, knowingly makes unconsented contact with the same individual. It also modifies the penalty for a person who commits an act of stalking within ten years of the completion of execution of sentence for a prior conviction. The bill defines certain terms. The bill expands the list of crimes to which a person of a victim of to include a sex offense, kidnapping or assault and battery with a deadly weapon for which a person may request may request a petition for an emergency temporary order of protection when the court is not open for business. The bill adds, modifies, and clarifies definitions used therein.

-HB 1353, with title stricken, by Rep. Wade Rousselot, creates the Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise Act. The bill requires a three-point bonus preference be given to service-disabled veteran businesses doing business in Oklahoma. The bill specifies conditions and goals for awarding of contracts. The bill authorizes the Director of the Office of Management and Enterprise Services to promulgate rules.

-CS for HB 1630, by Rep. Lisa J. Billy, requires the Department of Corrections to send notification to all county jails in this state that bed space is required to house the overflow population of state inmates prior to contracting with a private prison operator to provide housing for state inmates.

-CS for HB 1672, by Rep. Steve Kouplen, modifies the qualifications required to participate in the Oklahoma Higher Learning Access Program to include a child in the permanent custody of the Department of Human Services at the time the student enrolls in the program or after completing the 10th grade or reaching the age of 16. The committee substitute includes changes made by the Senate Public Safety Committee.

-HB1735, with title stricken, by Rep. Sean Roberts, establishes the Oklahoma Pension Systems Retirement Dividend Funding Act and the Oklahoma Pension Systems Retirement Dividend Fund within the State Treasury for the retirement systems of the state. It states the fund will be a continuing fund consisting of all monies received and placed in the fund for the benefit of retired members of the retirement systems of the State of Oklahoma from sources as determined by law. The bill specifies who may be included in the fund, including The Oklahoma Firefighters Pension and Retirement System; The Oklahoma Police Pension and Retirement System; The Uniform Retirement System for Justices and Judges; The Oklahoma Law Enforcement Retirement System; The Teachers' Retirement System of Oklahoma; and The Oklahoma Public Employees Retirement System.

• House committees heard several bills on Wednesday and approved the following measures:

-SB 494, by Sen. David Holt, requires the Oklahoma Health Care Authority to coordinate with domestic violence sexual assault programs certified by the Office of the Attorney General who provide counseling services for victims of domestic violence to ensure that any explanation of benefits and billing information provided, maintained, monitored, or otherwise handled by the authority or any other state agency, including, but not limited to, services rendered by such facilities, is not sent by paper mail to the actual physical address of persons receiving such services.

-SB 236, by Sen. Ervin Yen, permits the Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner to conduct on-site inspections of operations of health insurance navigators and navigator entities and to provide summary reports requested by the commissioner that are prohibited from including personally identifiable information. The bill requires a health insurance navigator and navigator entities, upon inquiry by the commissioner to verify the name, contact information, and date of contact for an individual or group assisted in enrolling on the health insurance exchange. The bill defines the term personally identifiable information.

-SB 155, by Sen. Wayne Shaw, provides exemption for members of the Oklahoma Scenic Rivers Commission from restrictions relating to dual office holding.

-SB 562, by Sen. Kimberly David, modifies the exemption of the Grand River Dam Authority and its Board members from the provisions of the Oklahoma Open Records Act to include security plans and procedures related to its role as an electric utility regulated by the federal government.

SB 592, by Sen. Patrick Anderson, requires all used and motor vehicles dealer licenses, beginning Jan. 1, 2016, to be issued for a period of two years and the appropriate fees will be assessed and specifies when licenses will expire and the timeframe for renewal. The bill establishes other certain renewal fees. The bill states someone convicted of violating the Odometer Setting Act will be punished by a fine of not more than $15,000 and/or imprisonment for not more than one year.

-SB 549, by Sen. Anthony Sykes, modifies the annual salaries of the Governor to $147,000, Lieutenant Governor to $114,713, Attorney General to $132,825, State Superintendent to $124,373, each member of the Corporation Commission, State Treasurer, and State Insurance Commissioner to $114,713 and the Commissioner of Labor to $105,053.

-SB 753, by Sen. Kimberly David, modifies language related to the Physician Assistant Act and modifies the composition of membership on the Physician Assistant Committee. The bill permits the supervising physician to be available to a physician assistant by telemedicine. The bill requires supervising physicians to review sample of certain records. The bill deletes the requirement that physician assistants obtain approval prior to practicing in remote patient care settings.

• The House met Wednesday and approved the following bills:

-SB 387, by Sen. Dan Newberry, allows manufacturing facilities the option to exclude from its payroll any nonrecurring bonuses, exercise of stock option or stock rights or other nonrecurring items included in total payroll numbers. The bill passed by a vote of 85 to 8.

-SB 128, by Sen. Kim David, makes all requests for medical records subject to the fees regardless of where the copies or electronic versions of such records are actually produced. The bill passed by a vote of 52 to 45 with Rep. Jason Nelson serving notice to reconsider the vote by which the bill passed.

-SB 132, by Sen. Kim David, deletes language related to salaries of employees of the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigations. The bill requires the annual salaries for Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation employees to be in accordance and conformity with the findings of the State of Oklahoma Total Remuneration Study of 2013, exclusive of longevity pay, as authorized by the findings of state or agency salary, compensation, and remuneration studies or surveys approved by the Human Capital Management Division of the Office of Management and Enterprise Services. It adds that nothing in the text is to be construed to prohibit a reduction in pay or salary due to involuntary leave without pay. The bill and the emergency passed by a vote of 89 to 8.

-SB 137, by Sen. Corey Brooks, prevents a student's disability compensation from being considered for purposes of the Oklahoma Higher Learning Access Program. The bill and emergency passed by a vote of 94 to 0.

Thursday, April 9

• The Senate met Thursday morning and considered several bills before adjourning for the weekend.
-HB 1879, by Rep. Mike Christian, provides an alternative method for inflicting the death penalty. The measure passed 41-0.
-HB 1072, by Rep. Bob Cleveland, pertains to studies of higher education employee benefit programs, salary and other benefits. The bill passed 41-0.
-HB 1375, by Rep. Chuck Strohm, repeals the minimum wage on public works. Bill passed 40-0.
-HB 1396, by Rep. Jason Murphey, would direct applicants to complete and submit applications online under certain circumstances. The measure passed 39-0.
-HB 1969, by Rep. Terry O’Donnell, creates the Oklahoma Employment First Act. The measure passed 37-3.
-HB 2130, by Rep. Bob Cleveland, addresses the calculation of instruction costs and total compensation to certified personnel for certain school years. Measure passed 40-0.

Other news this week

• State Treasurer Ken Miller said this week revenue collections would have to fall dramatically to trigger a General Revenue Fund failure this fiscal year. Miller noted collections through the first eight months of the 2015 fiscal year had exceeded the estimate and only a few months remain in the fiscal year.

Total GRF collections for the first eight months of FY2015 were $3.7 billion, which is $71.5 million, or 2 percent, above the estimate and $205.2 million, or 5.9 percent, above the prior year, the Office of Management and Enterprise Services reported March 10. That office will issue a new report on General Revenue Fund collections next week.


• Governor Mary Fallin announced this week the White House denied the state's request for assistance to aid individuals and businesses in Tulsa and Cleveland counties that were hit hard by last month's deadly tornadoes. The governor said she is disappointed in the decision, but the state is continuing to work to bring assistance to those affected by the storm.

However, on Tuesday, following a request from the governor, the U.S. Small Business Administration Tuesday announced that low-interest federal disaster loans are available to businesses and residents in Tulsa and Cleveland counties who were affected by the tornadoes, severe storms, straight-line winds and flooding that occurred March 25-26.
The disaster declaration also makes SBA assistance available in the contiguous counties of Canadian, Creek, Grady, McClain, Oklahoma, Okmulgee, Osage, Pawnee, Pottawatomie, Rogers, Wagoner and Washington.


Businesses of all sizes and private nonprofit organizations may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory, and other business assets. SBA can also lend additional funds to businesses and homeowners to help with the cost of improvements to protect, prevent or minimize the same type of disaster damage from occurring in the future.


• Gov. Mary Fallin vetoed a bill Monday that would require state agencies to provide legislative committees and the public with detail documentations of any Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) or Agreement they enter into when the Legislature is in session. A similar bill to SB 346 was vetoed by the governor last year. Fallin maintained the same concerns she had last session.

Under The Governor's Transparency Act of 2015, which SB 346 would have created, state agencies would be required to publish a detailed accounting regarding every MOU within 15 days of an MOU's effective date on the agency's website and through documents.ok.gov.

The bill was unanimously passed by the Senate 39 to 0 and received overwhelming support in the House by a vote of 90 to 4.


• State Rep. Kevin Matthews won the Senate District 11 seat during a special election, giving the chamber's Democratic Caucus an additional member. Three Democratic candidates filed for the seat, which became vacant when Sen. Jabar Shumate, D-Tulsa, resigned from the Senate in January.

In addition to Matthews, Heather Nash and Regina Goodwin also were on the ballot. The district includes 31 precincts in Tulsa County and four precincts in Osage County.

• Attorney General Scott Pruitt recently filed a workers' compensation fraud charge in Oklahoma County against Robert Christopher Owen. The 27 year old was employed by Grace Living Center when he filed a claim for compensation after allegedly injuring his right shoulder while lifting a bucket. In July 2014 Owen went to an emergency room where he received an arm sling and claimed he was not able to lift or carry anything since the incident, which occurred a week earlier. Owen visited a doctor in August for an evaluation, that doctor said Owen guarded his right arm and shoulder limiting the examination. In October, Owen told another doctor it still hurt to elevate his right arm and could not use his right shoulder at all.

An investigation revealed Owen performing what appeared to be construction work such as lifting a large bucket and ladder as well as using a power-saw for an extended period of time. He was also observed pushing a lawn mower, using his right arm to pull the start cord and at times pushing the mower with just his right arm. The doctor confirmed Owen was able to perform all the activities he had previously said he could not perform.

Owen is charged with one count of workers’ compensation fraud. If convicted, he could face up to two years in prison and pay a fine of up to $1,000.

• State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister Wednesday announced she had completed forming her leadership team with two additional hires, completing a group of Cabinet-level leaders for the Oklahoma State Department of Education (OSDE). Hofmeister tapped Weatherford Public Schools Superintendent Matt Holder to serve as chief operations officer and Heather Griswold, an Oklahoma City nonprofit director with considerable experience in the business community, to serve as deputy chief of staff.