The Oklahoma Senate


Week In Review
Monday, April 4, to Thursday, April 7, 2016


Monday, April 4, 2016


• Without discussion or debate, the Senate approved three bills Monday and sent another to conference.

-HB 2315, by Rep. Jadine Nollan and Sen. Ron Sharp, authorizes instruction completed by the school district treasurer or encumbrance clerk within three years prior to employment to count toward satisfying the requirements of continuing education. The bill and its emergency clause passed 46 to 0. The bill goes to Gov. Mary Fallin for her consideration.

-HB 2492, with title restored, by Rep. Gary Banz, Sen. Jack Fry, and Sen. Jason Smalley, expands the list of tax-exempt or nonprofit license plates to be designed for any vehicle owned
and operated by the Civil Air Patrol, a congressionally chartered corporation that also serves an auxiliary of the United States Air Force and which is exempt from taxation pursuant to the provisions of Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, 26 U.S.C., Section 501(c)(3), and is used exclusively for its corporate missions of aerospace education, cadet programs and emergency services. It requires the plates be permanent in nature and designed in such a manner as to remain with the vehicle for the duration of the life span of the vehicle or until the
title to such vehicle is transferred to an owner who is not subject to this exemption. It requires such vehicles be exempt from the registration fees except that an initial registration fee of $25.00 which applies to each vehicle. The bill passed 46 to 0. With its title restored, the bill now goes to Fallin for her review.

-HB 2621, by Rep. Leslie Osborn and Sen. Ron Justice, provides siblings may be separated when a court determines custody or placement of a child if the court and the Department of Human Services (DHS) find one sibling has resided in a foster family home for six or more months and has established a relationship with the foster family, the siblings have never resided in the same home together or there is no established relationship between the siblings, it is in the best interests of the child to remain in the current foster family home placement or that the placement of siblings together is contrary to the safety or well-being of one or both of said siblings. The bill passed 44 to 1.

• The Senate and Human Services Committee passed several bills on Monday afternoon, including the following:

-HB 3016, with title stricken, by Rep. Randy Grau and Sen. Nathan Dahm, creates the Parental Rights Immunization Act and requires each health care provider who administers a vaccine set forth in the Vaccine Injury Table, as established by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, obtain informed consent from the legal representative of any child or other adult authorized by law to consent on behalf of a minor. It requires the health care provider to provide relevant information regarding benefits and risks of the vaccine as well as information concerning the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. The bill also adds that providing a copy of the Vaccine Information Statement, the source of which is clearly identified, and making available for review the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's "Epidemiology and Prevention of
Vaccine-Preventable Diseases: Vaccine Excipient and Media Summary" (also known as the "Pink Book", Appendix B), shall constitute a minimum standard of relevant information.

-Amended CS for HB 2797, by Rep. Ann Coody, Rep. Lisa J. Billy, Rep. Pam Peterson, and Sen. AJ Griffin, requires the State Department of Health to develop, update annually and maintain an electronic form containing information concerning public and private agencies and services available to assist a woman through pregnancy, upon childbirth and while the child is dependent. It provides required information to provide on said list. It requires the Department to index this form geographically and readily accessible on its website. It provides a statement required to be included on said website. It requires said statement to include a hyperlink to the department's website containing the aforementioned information and available in a downloadable format appropriate for display. It requires that the department make available to each facility in Oklahoma which is open to the public, containing a restroom available to the public and licensed by the department to post signage in its restroom containing the aforementioned statement on or before January 1, 2018. Sen. AJ Griffin's amendment allows for businesses to display the aforementioned posting while Sen. Brian Crain's amendment to the amendment requires all efforts made by the department in implementing the provisions of the bill be reported annually to the Chair and Vice Chair of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee and
the House Public Health Committee. He said his bill simply "piggy-backs" on Griffin's amendment in ensuring the department provide proper educational materials and report back to the appropriate chairs as a method of accounting. The amendment, as amended, was unanimously taken up by the committee.

-HB 1471, with title stricken, by Rep. Justin Wood and Sen. Ervin Yen, prohibits minors from using a tanning device in a tanning facility. The bill defines applicable terms. The bill exempts any physician who is duly licensed to practice medicine in Oklahoma and in is in the practice of medicine, use or prescribes to be used a phototherapy device with respect to a patient of any age. The bill requires the owner, lessee or operator of a tanning facility to post in a conspicuous place a notice developed and made available by the State Department of Health. The bill specifies what the notice must state. The bill requires the owner, lessee or operator to also give to each of its customers a written statement which must be signed by the customer before initial use of the facility and each year thereafter. It directs the statement to be developed by the State Department of Health and specifies its contents. The bill directs the facility operator to require proof of age via a driver license or other government-issued identification containing the date of birth and photograph of the individual. The bill outlines a series of requirements for each facility. The bill prohibits any person from using a tanning device of a tanning facility unless he or she
complies with the provided requirements. The bill creates a civil penalty of not more than $1,000 for the first violation and not more than $5,000 for subsequent violations for any operator who violates these provisions.

-CS for HB 1526, by Rep. Jadine Nollan and Sen. Robert Standridge, creates the Seniors Prescription Safety Act of 2016. The bill requires a practitioner or member of the practitioner's medical or administrative staff to notify the patient, or the patient's authorized representative, of the patient's right to have a prescription label include the symptom or purpose for which the drug is prescribed. It allows the symptom or purpose for which the drug is prescribed to appear on the label and be indicated by no more than two words if provided by the practitioner and requested by the patient or the patient's authorized representative. It prohibits anything in this section to be misconstrued to create a cause of action for civil liability against a practitioner or member of the practitioner's medical or administrative staff based solely on the provision of information provided
pursuant to this subsection.

•CS HB 2280, by Rep. Jason Murphey and Sen. Rob Standridge, requires the Department of Health to develop a classification system of violations to the Continuum of Care and Assisted Living Act, taking into consideration the recommendations of the Long-Term Care Facility Advisory Board. The bill requires that the department provide an itemized list containing found violations which will include each of the fines to be assessed upon the discovery of one or more violations as well as specified graduated penalties. It allows the continuum of care facility or assisted living center to be given an opportunity to correct said violations. It allows fines to be assessed if the violations are not corrected within the time limits set forth in the accepted plan of correction. It requires that the Department develop the system in consultation and coordination with the Long-Term Care Facility Advisory Board.

• CS for HB 2282, by Rep. Jason Murphey and Sen. Rob Standridge, clarifies language related to the licensing of long-term care administrators. The bill requires the Oklahoma State Board of Examiners for Long-Term Care Administrators to promulgate rules on or before July 1, 2017, permitting eligible applicants to sit for the state standards examination at a testing facility using procedures approved by the National Association of Long-Term Care Administrator Board, including but not limited to the use of electronic or online methods for examination. It requires the Board to promulgate rules.

-HB 2491, with title stricken, by Rep. Ann Coody and Sen. Eddie Fields, R-Wynona, requires the Department of Human Services to notify the designated federal authorities at the federal military installation where the active duty service member is assigned that the Department has received a report that such child may be abused, neglected or drug-endangered if the child is a member of an active duty military family. It requires an investigation or assessment include an inquiry into whether the person responsible for the health, safety or welfare of the child is an active duty service member of the military or the spouse of an active duty service member. It requires the Department to collect and report information related to the military affiliation of the person or spouse responsible for the health, safety or welfare of the child to the designated federal authorities at the federal military installation where the service member is assigned as provided. It authorizes juvenile court records and Department of Human Services agency records pertaining to a child to be inspected, and requires their contents be disclosed, without a court order to any designated federal authorities at the federal military installation where a service member is assigned, when the child is a member of an active duty military family upon showing of proper credentials and pursuant to their lawful duties.

-CS for HB 2549, by Rep. Doug Cox and Sen. Marty Quinn, modifies the definition of the term "owner" in the Nursing Home Care Act. It requires the application for a license, or renewal thereof, to operate a facility be accompanied by a fee of $10 for each bed per year included in the maximum bed capacity at such facility, except that any facility operated by the Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs be exempt from the fee. It requires all licenses be on a form prescribed by the State Commissioner of Health, which include, but not be limited to, the maximum bed capacity for which it is granted and the date the license was issued.

-HB 2601, with title stricken, by Rep. Mike Ritze and Sen. Bill Brown, requires all health care facilities that perform mammography examinations to include in the summary of the mammography report, required by federal law to be provided to a patient, information that identifies the patient's individual breast density classification based on the Breast Imaging Reporting and Data System established by the American College of Radiology. The bill requires a specific notice if the facility determines that a patient has heterogeneously or extremely dense breast tissue. It permits patients who receive diagnostic or screening mammograms to be directed to informative material about breast density that may include the American College of Radiology's most current brochure on the subject of breast density.

-HB 2667, by Rep. Doug Cox and Sen. Ervin Yen, authorizes any residential care home that wishes to challenge a statement of deficiency through either an informal dispute resolution process or an alternative informal dispute resolution process to make a written request to the State Department of Health within 30 calendar days after the receipt of a statement of deficiencies from the Department. It provides membership requirements for an impartial decision-making panel for the alternative informal dispute resolution set forth therein.

-HB 2803, by Rep. David Derby and Sen. AJ Griffin, increases the age from 23 to 26 and adds enrollment at a technology center as qualifying characteristics of the waiver the Oklahoma Health Care Authority is required to apply for to extend health care benefits.

-HB 2820, with title stricken, by Rep. Lee Denney and Sen. Stephanie Bice, creates the Music Therapy Practice Act. The bill defines applicable terms. The bill prohibits any person from holding
themselves out as being able to practice music therapy or provide music therapy services unless the person is licensed in accordance with the provisions of the act. It provides that the act cannot be construed to prevent or restrict the practice, services or activities of any person of other licensed professions or personnel supervised by licensed professions in this state from performing work incidental to the practice of the person's profession or occupation, if that person does not represent himself or herself as a licensed music therapist; any person enrolled in a course of study leading to a degree in music therapy from performing music therapy services incidental to the person's course work when supervised by a licensed professional, if the person is designated by a title which clearly indicates the person's status as a student; any person whose training and national certification attests to the individual's preparation and ability to practice the person's profession, if that person does not represent himself or herself as a licensed music therapist; and any person employed by an agency, bureau or division of the federal government while in the discharge of official duties; provided, however, if such individual engages in the practice of music therapy outside the line of official duty, the individual must be licensed as herein provided.

• CS for HB 2835, by Rep. Jon Echols and Sen. Ervin Yen, deletes age limitation included in definitions for "marijuana" and "qualifying patient" when relating to Cannabidiol Oil trials to include
individuals with spasticity due to multiple sclerosis or paraplegia, intractable nausea and vomiting, or appetite stimulation with chronic wasting diseases to be prescribed CBD Oil by a clinician.

-HB 2971, by Rep. Jason Nelson and Sen. Greg Treat, creates the Child Welfare Review Committee for the Death and Near Death of Children with Disabilities. The bill states the purpose of the committee sets a termination date, a report that redacts confidential information, provides for membership, establishes appointment deadline, directing how vacancies should be filled, providing for selection of officers, provides for staff assistance and requires the submission of a report to be made available to the public.

-HB 3128, by Rep. Josh Cockroft and Sen. Greg Treat, creates the Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act of 2016 and defines related terms. The bill prohibits any person from intentionally performing or attempting to perform an abortion with knowledge that the pregnant woman is seeking the abortion solely because the unborn child has been diagnosed with Down syndrome, a potential for Down syndrome, a genetic abnormality or a potential for a genetic abnormality. It adds that any person found in violation will be subject to at least a $10,000 penalty and will be charged with a misdemeanor. It requires any physician or person who intentionally or knowingly violates the Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act of 2016 to be liable for damages and will, if applicable, have his or her medical license suspended or revoked. The bill allows the pregnant woman to commence a civil action for any knowing or reckless violation of this act, and may seek both actual and punitive damages as outlined in the bill. It allows a cause of action for injunctive relief against any physician or other person who has knowingly violated this act to be maintained by the woman upon whom the abortion was performed or attempted to be performed in violation of this act; any person who is the spouse, parent, guardian or a current or former licensed healthcare provider of the woman upon whom an abortion has been performed or attempted to be performed in violation of this act; by the Office of the Attorney General of Oklahoma; or by a district attorney with appropriate jurisdiction. The injunction shall prevent the physician or person from performing further abortions in violation of this act. The bill states that a violation of the injunction will carry a penalty of $50,000. The bill also allows the Oklahoma Legislature, by joint resolution, to appoint one or more of its members who sponsored or cosponsored the Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act of 2016 in his or her official capacity to intervene as a matter of right in any case in which the constitutionality of this law is challenged.

• The Senate Education Committee met on Monday morning and the following bills were approved by members: Bills dealing with upcoming testing requirements and teacher and leader evaluations cleared the Senate

-CS to HB 2134, with the enacting clause stricken, by Rep. Jason Nelson and Sen. Gary Stanislawski, requires the State Board of Education to continue administering seven end-of-instruction criterion-referenced tests prior to graduation and provides for alternative testing. It requires a student to attain proficiency in at least four testing areas and explains conditions. It also removes the high-stakes graduation component and only requires students to demonstrate mastery of the state academic content standards as required. The bill also requires the State Board of Education, in consultation with the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, the Commission for Educational Quality and Accountability, the State Board of Career and Technology Education and the Oklahoma Department of Commerce to study and make recommendations on implementing a multi-measures approach to high school graduation and ways to make the current school testing program for grades 3-8 more efficient and effective while still achieving the objective of having assessments designed to indicate whether students have attained an understanding of the state subject matter standards. It allows the study to consider combining different subject area assessments into one assessment tor combining different grade-level assessments into one assessment, or both. It also requires the Board of Education to issue a report of the recommendations to the Governor and to all members of the Legislature by December 1, 2016.

-CS to HB 2527, by Rep. Dennis Casey and Sen. Jason Smalley, requires the State Board of Education to adopt rules providing for the adoption, proper implementation and administration of the system of student assessments in compliance with the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), as reauthorized and amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), P.L. No. 114-95 no later than Dec. 31, 2016. It requires the student assessment system measure Oklahoma public school students' level of mastery of the state subject matter standards adopted by the Board. It requires the rules adopted by the Board providing for a system of student assessment allow boards of education of school districts to use local assessments, which are nationally recognized, for students at the secondary level in place of a state-mandated assessment. The bill requires local assessments approved by the Board and used in place of a state-adopted assessment be considered state-mandated assessment. It deletes requirements and references to said requirements to administer certain criterion-referenced test in provided grades throughout. It deletes references to criterion-referenced tests and replaces them with
state-mandated assessments throughout. It requires the State Board of Education to ensure that results for all state-mandated assessments are reported to districts no later than June 1 of each year and are presented in a manner that yields detailed, diagnostic information for the purpose of guiding instruction and student remediation.

-CS to HB 2957, with the title stricken, by Rep. Michael Rogers and Sen. John Ford, removes references to quantitative components in the TLE. The bill adds a required component of professional development for all teachers and administrators by the school districts and lists the criteria for it. The bill requires school districts to monitor compliance and requires that all professional development completed pursuant to a professional development plan count towards the total number of points a teacher or administrator is required to complete. It adds that the implementation of the professional development plan requirements are not be construed as increasing the professional development points requirement. It requires professional development plans to include certain learning practices. The bill allows a local school board to adopt additional components and procedures. It also allows every policy adopted to include a five-tier rating system and provides examples. The bill allows all certified personnel to be evaluated through formal or informal observations by a principal, assistant principal, designee of the principal, supervisor, content expert, department chair, an outside company, peer committee or person or group of persons designated by the school district board of education. The bill removes language related to the TLE Commission and the schedule for implementation of the TLE.

-CS to HB 2525, by Rep. Dennis Ray Casey and Sen. Roger Thompson, directs that accreditation not be withdrawn from or denied and prohibits a penalty from being assessed against a school or school district for failing to meet the media materials and equipment standards and media program expenditure standards for certain fiscal years. It adds that those provisions shall cease to be effective during a fiscal year immediately following a fiscal year that the statewide average weighted average daily membership reaches an amount equal to or more than $3,291.60 as calculated pursuant to Section 18-200.1 of this title and reported to school districts by the State Department of Education on the initial tentative State Aid allocation notice. It states that if the statewide average weighted average daily membership amount set is reduced by one percent or more as reported to school districts by the Department on the initial tentative State Aid allocation notice for the following fiscal year, the provisions shall continue to be effective. The bill also does not require those schools to appoint a local textbook committee, adopt textbooks, submit a textbook plan, or expend money on the purchase of textbooks during that fiscal year if the school district makes the election.

-CS to HB 2551, by Rep. Ann Coody and Sen. Gary Stanislawski, allows one or more institutions within the Oklahoma State System of Higher Education to establish comprehensive dyslexia teacher training pilot program. It requires implementation to be contingent upon one or more institutions of higher education securing a contractor that can provide a minimum of five years of published, peer-reviewed research evidence of positive outcomes from the specific contractor's training. It removes language requiring the State Regents oversee the pilot program, promulgate rules or receive reports from the contractor. The bill requires the participating institutions of higher education to submit a report to the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Governor, Speaker and Senate President Pro Tempore containing evaluation of the results of the program. The bill also provides a definition for structured multisensory reading education.

-HB 2729, as amended, by Rep. Ann Coody and Sen. Don Barrington, requires students who attain at least a proficient score on an end-of-instruction criterion-referenced test or tests intended to demonstrate mastery of academic content standards at a school in another state or at a Department of Defense school to be deemed to have satisfactorily demonstrated mastery of the state academic content standards in one or more of the subject areas listed therein and exempts them from taking the end-of-instruction criterion-referenced tests in that subject area or areas. It requires the State Board of Education to determine which subject area or areas each test may be used in lieu of the end-of-instruction criterion-referenced test for that subject as listed therein.

-HB 2784, by Rep. Chuck Strohm and Sen. Rob Stanislawski, requires the board of education of each school district to compile and maintain both temporary and permanent records of students enrolled in the district and regulate access, disclosure or communication of information contained in the student records in a manner consistent with state and federal law. The bill requires the school district to maintain student transcripts for at least 80 years. The bill requires the disposal of other records after five years from when the student graduated. The bill directs school districts to give public written notice that student record information will be disposed of, transferred or withdrawn from the district. It requires the notice to also state that a copy of the information will be provided to the parents or guardian of a student or the student if the student is 18 years of age or older if requested prior to the date of disposal.

-CS to HB 2931, by Rep. Mark McCullough and Sen. Joseph Silk, modifies language related to safety plans for school districts. The bill renames the mandatory two lockdown drills to security drills and requires that school districts practice four security drills. It adds that one security drill is to be conducted within the first 15 days of each semester.

-CS to HB 2951, by Rep. Michael Rogers and Sen. Stephanie Bice, requires the State Department of Education and the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education to develop programs to identify talented students and recruit those students into the teaching profession. The bill provides for persons to be targeted for recruitment. The bill requires the department to develop and distribute materials that emphasize the importance of teaching and gives priority to the recruitment programs. The bill requires each department to encourage cooperation between the business community and school districts and allows for a long-range plan to be developed. The committee substitute adds language that allows the entities to do this based on the availability of funds. It creates the Oklahoma Teacher Recruitment Revolving Fund and also creates a $20 license plate fee for Oklahoma License to Educate to be deposited into the Oklahoma Teacher Recruitment Revolving Fund.

-HB 2969, by Rep. Jason Nelson and Sen. A J Griffin, directs the State Board of Education to adopt accreditation standards for education services pertaining to partial hospitalization programs, day treatment programs, day hospital programs, residential treatment programs and emergency shelter programs.

-CS to HB 3025, as amended, by Rep. John Jordan and Sen. Jason Smalley, adds criteria
under which the State Board of Education is permitted to grant an alternative placement teaching certificate to include a person who has successfully completed a terminal degree, such as a doctorate of philosophy, a doctorate in education, professional doctorates, a master of fine arts degree or a master of library science degree, from an institution accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency which is recognized by the Secretary of the United States Department of Education. The bill requires the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education to be consulted to verify other terminal degrees, or that the person holds at least a baccalaureate degree from an institution whose accreditation is recognized by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education and has qualified work experience in a field that corresponds to an area of certification as determined by the State Board of Education. The bill also requires a person to demonstrate competency or completed a major in a field that corresponds to an area of specialization for an Elementary-Secondary Certificate or a Secondary Certificate as determined by the State Board of Education or a vocational technical certificate as recommended by the Technology Education.

•CS to HB 3028, by Rep. John Paul Jordan and Sen. Jim Halligan, requires the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education beginning in January 1, 2017, and annually thereafter, in conjunction with the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission to prepare or contract with an entity to prepare, an economic security report of employment and earning outcomes for degrees or certificates earned at institutions of The Oklahoma State System of Higher Education. The bill requires the report to be easily accessible to and readable by the public and will be made available online. It specifies provisions for the report. It adds that beginning January 31, 2018 and each year thereafter, each community college, comprehensive and regional institution of The Oklahoma State System of Higher Education prior to registration will provide each enrolled student electronic access to the economic security report of employment and earning outcomes prepared. The bill also requires and specifies additional information to be disclosed in the report. The committee substitute adds language regarding privacy and confidentiality of information.

•CS to HB 3114, by Rep. Scott Martin and Sen. A J Griffin, creates the Oklahoma Teacher Career Paths, Leadership Roles and Compensation Framework Act. The bill sets a framework to accomplish certain career paths, leadership roles, goals and salaries. The bill defines terms and requires the board of education of a school district to implement the framework and appoint a site-based review council for each school site. The bill requires the council to fulfill certain duties. The bill requires the Department of Education to submit an annual report.

•CS to HB 3157, with the title stricken, by Rep. Jeff Hickman and Sen. John Ford, modifies the application for school districts who enter into mutual contracts under the Oklahoma School Consolidation and Annexation Act. The bill defines new terms and prohibits the total amount of assistance paid over the three-year period for a contract with a school employee other than a superintendent be more than $50,000.00.

-HB 3166, by Rep. Jeff Hickman, and Sen. Marty Quinn, requires the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education to include their annual report to the Legislature and the governor, information about the budget prepared by the State Regents setting out in detail the necessary expenses of the State Regents for the next fiscal year; the budget requests or proposals submitted by each institution to the State Regents for the next fiscal year; the funding formula or allotment system used by the State Regents to allocate money to each institution, including a description of the functional goals of the formula or system for distributing funds to each institution and a calculation of any differences in the budget requests amounts for each institution and the actual amounts allocated to each institution, including an explanation for any differences. The bill also requires an additional annual report be submitted to the governor and the Legislature which includes: a copy of reports submitted to the State Regents which itemizes the tuition and fees for each institution by campus or location; and the total budget of each institution for the previous fiscal year including the amount of revenue received from tuition and fee and other sources and expenses for each campus or location.

• The House met Monday afternoon and approved several bills, including:

-SB 877, by Sen. Frank Simpson and Rep. Dustin Roberts, adds the Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs to the list of agencies permitted to hire its own attorneys until Jan. 1, 2022. The bill and emergency clause passed by a vote of 89 to 5.

-SB 880, by Sen. Roger Thompson and Rep. John Pfeiffer, relates the destruction of obscene material or child pornography after a criminal conviction. The bill adds a law enforcement officer and a law enforcement agency to the list of those authorized to destroy the material. The bill provides that the destruction will include, but not be limited to any computer, hard drive or other electronic storage media on which the obscene material or child pornography was located. The bill defines "final conviction" to include the exhaustion of or failure to timely pursue post-conviction and state and federal habeas corpus review. The bill passed by a vote of 88 to 0.

-SB 912, by Sen. Kyle Loveless and Rep. George Faught, requires agencies filing administrative rules with the Office of Administrative Rules, the Governor's Office and the Legislature to include a statement of the gist of the rule. The bill passed by a vote of 90 to 0.

-SB 1004, by Sen. Ron Sharp and Rep. Katie Henke, changes the reporting period for local public school officials concerning dropouts from quarterly to annual. The bill and its emergency clause passed by a vote of 84 to 2.

-SB 1021, by Sen. Don Barrington and Kevin Wallace, updates the termination date to December 31, 2016, by which local firefighter pension and retirement boards of participating employers of the Local Firefighters Pension and Retirement System's powers, duties and functions must be assumed by the Executive Director unless certain circumstances arise. The bill and its emergency clause passed by a vote of 91 to 0.

-SB 1036, by Sen. Jason Smalley and Rep. Jeff Coody, modifies the designating authority of individuals allowed to carry a handgun onto public school property from the board of education to the school district superintendent. The bill provides an exemption to the provisions of the Oklahoma Open Records Act, the names of individuals who have been designated to carry a firearm onto pubic school property. The bill and its emergency clause passed by a vote of 75 to 11.

-SB 1069, by Sen. A J Griffin and Rep. Lee Denney, R-Cushing, requires the Office of Management and Enterprise Services to take any action necessary to assist the Office of Juvenile Affairs in operating charter schools. It also gives OMES the authority to exempt OJA from specific statues that are in conflict with the requirements for operating a charter school. The bill and its emergency clause passed by a vote of 80 to 12.


Tuesday, April 5, 2016

• The Senate met on Tuesday and approved several bills, including the following:

-HB 3102, by Rep. Chad Caldwell and Sen. Jason Smalley, increases the maximum number of clock hours an adjunct teacher may teach from 90 clock hours to 270 clock hours. The bill and its emergency clause passed 34 to 9. It now goes to Gov. Mary Fallin for her consideration.

-HB 1036, by Rep. George Faught and Sen. Jason Smalley, requires Emergency Medical
Services stretcher van passengers to be screened before transport to a medically licensed facility. It states screening is provided by a certified medical dispatching protocol. It updates the effective date to 2016. The bill passed 33 to 11.

-HB 2358, by Rep. Weldon Watson and Sen. David Holt, R-Oklahoma City, modifies the scope of a municipality from cable television services to video services. The bill requires a bargained contract between the municipality and the video services provider and provides for payment to the municipality as rental for the use of the public ways and grounds within the municipality in furtherance of its video services business. The bill allows a municipality to adopt an ordinance regulating a video services system pursuant to its police power. The bill and its emergency clause passed 42 to 2.

-HB 2432, by Rep. Sally Kern, and Sen. Wayne Shaw, requires each public school to post in a clearly visible location in a public area of the school that is readily accessible to students a sign in English and Spanish that contains the toll-free telephone number operated by the Department of Human Services to receive reports of child abuse or neglect. The bill requires the State Board of Education promulgate rules relating to the size and location of the sign. The bill passed 33 to 11 and its emergency clause passed 35 to 9.

HB 2535, by Rep. John Montgomery and Sen. Jason Smalley, creates the Apprenticeships, Internships and Mentorships (AIM) Act of 2016. The bill authorizes the governing body of each public, private, magnet, charter or virtual charter school to enter into an agreement with private or public organizations for the purpose of creating apprenticeship, internship and mentorship programs beginning with the 2017-2018 school year. It allows apprenticeships, internships and mentorships to be available to high school juniors and seniors as permitted by each school. It allows the apprenticeship, internship or mentorship to fill the requirement of elective courses as the student's schedule permits. It prohibits any student from using the apprenticeship, internship or mentorship to replace any other state education requirement. It authorizes the governing body of each school to adopt policies regarding the creation of apprenticeships, internships and mentorships that include the registration and qualifications for private or public organizations to participate in the apprenticeship, internship or mentorship program. It requires the State Department of Education to promulgate necessary rules. The bill passed 42 to 1.

-HB 2776, with title restored, by McCall and Smalley, repeals language relating the creation, qualifications, oaths, duties, expenses and term of office of the State Supernumerary Tax consultant. The bill passed 44 to 0.

• Senate Tourism and Wildlife Committee approved several bills on Tuesday, including the following:

-HB 2637, by Rep. Kevin Wallace and Sen. Joseph Silk, creates the Hunting Freedom Act. The bill permits the use of a suppressor or silencer when hunting on public lands when the suppressor or silencer is licensed according to federal law. The bill removes language that exempts individuals from the current prohibition on using the devices. The bill received a do pass recommendation with its title stricken.

-CS for HB 1654, by Rep. Kevin Wallace and Sen. Ron Sharp, makes it unlawful for any person through wanton disregard, carelessness or neglect to cause or allow any edible meat of a game bird, game mammal or game fish to go to waste, except when the meat is not fit for human consumption due to gunshot, injury or disease or if the wildlife specimen is being prepared for taxidermy. The bill defines applicable terms.

-HB 2641, by Rep. Kevin Wallace and Sen. Eddie Fields, sets punishment and fines to a dealer appointed to issue game and fish licenses for failure to remit all license fees. The bill requires the Department of Wildlife Conservation to give written notice to the violator and assess penalty fees. The bill requires the Department to offer an opportunity for a fair hearing with 15 days. The bill sets penalty fines and fees to not less than $50 and not more than $5,000.

-HB 2642, by Rep. Steven Vaughan and Sen. Eddie Fields, deletes size restrictions on private land which requires the use of an annual special permit by a resident or nonresident.

-The committee also gave do pass recommendation to two of Gov. Mary Fallin's nominees to state commissions:

o James Farris, Oklahoma City, to the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Commission, to serve a six-year term ending July 1, 2022, succeeding Gean Atkinson.

o Leigh Gaddis, Ada, to the Wildlife Conservation Commission, to serve an eight-year term ending July 1, 2024, succeeding herself.

• The Senate Finance Committee gave its approval Tuesday of several measures, including the following legislation:

-HB 1553, by Rep. Earl Sears and Sen. Mike Mazzei, creates the Heavy Equipment Rental Tax Act. The bill permits a recovery charge of up to 1.5 percent to be levied on the rental price of all qualified heavy equipment rented by a qualified renter, and requires that such tax be in lieu of ad valorem taxes upon such equipment. The bill exempts income from the recovery fee from state and local taxes. It requires each rental business that collects the equipment rental surcharge to submit to the Oklahoma Tax Commission a consolidated report showing the total personal property taxes paid in the state during the previous calendar year and the total surcharge collections. It requires any surcharge collections in excess of the ad valorem taxes paid be remitted to the Oklahoma Tax Commission. It requires excess collections to be transmitted annually by April 15 of the following tax period by the Oklahoma Tax Commission to the State Treasurer of the State of Oklahoma to be placed to the credit of the General Revenue Fund of the state, to be paid out only through direct appropriations of the Legislature for general governmental functions.

-HB 2531, with title stricken, by Rep. Chad Caldwell and Sen. John Ford, creates the Oklahoma Retail Protection Act of 2016. It requires a marketplace provider to collect and remit the tax levied on any sales, subject to such tax, facilitated by the marketplace provider to customers in this state. It adds that no marketplace provider will be required to collect or remit such tax on a sale from a marketplace seller to a customer in this state if the marketplace seller either provides a copy of the seller's registration to collect the tax levied to the marketplace provider before the marketplace provider facilitates such sale, or the marketplace seller appears on a list published by the Tax Commission of entities registered to collect the tax levied. The bill also requires a marketplace provider to collect and remit the tax levied on any sales, subject to such tax, facilitated by the marketplace provider to customers in this state. It adds that no marketplace provider will be required to collect or remit such tax on a sale from a marketplace seller to a customer in this state if the marketplace seller either provides a copy of the seller's registration to collect the tax levied to the marketplace provider before the marketplace provider facilitates such sale, or the marketplace seller appears on a list published by the Tax Commission of entities registered to collect the tax levied. The bill also amends the definition of "maintaining place of business" in the sales tax code.


-HB 2763, by Rep. John Montgomery and Sen. David Holt, creates the Oklahoma Energy Revenues Stabilization Act, which requires the revenues from the gross production tax on oil and gas above a moving five-year average, in addition to revenue from corporate income tax above a five-year average, be deposited into a revolving fund to be known as the Energy Stabilization Fund. It requires the fund to be invested in a manner prescribed by the State Treasurer with the primary intent of generating returns, with all investment returns from the Energy Stabilization Fund to accrue to the balance of the fund. It provides that in the event that Energy Stabilization Fund should grow to a value equal to 75 percent of the February projection of gross production tax on oil and gas, all monies above the 75 percent level to be deposited to the credit of the General Revenue Fund for appropriation in the current fiscal year. The bill outlines legislative findings.

-HB 2774, with title stricken, by Rep. Charles McCall and Sen. Jason Smalley, modifies the procedures related to monies held by the Oklahoma Tax Commission from tax imposed on unknown sources of oil. The bill provides that in the vent the rightful owner or owners of the royalty interest therein provide satisfactory proof of mineral ownership to the Commission within 12 months of when the tax payment was received, such royalty interest owners will be paid their proper interest or interests. The bill also repeals statutory language related to the distribution of certain gross production tax proceeds to the General Revenue Fund.

-The House Environmental Law committee considered two bills Tuesday morning without any questions or debate.

-SB 1219, by Sen. Eddie Fields and Rep. Leslie Osborn, requires the storage and recovery of water from an aquifer, pursuant to a site-specific aquifer storage and recovery plan approved by the Oklahoma Water Resources Board be considered a beneficial use and not waste. It requires the OWRB to promulgate and implement rules for the taking and use of water stored in an aquifer pursuant to a site-specific aquifer storage and recovery plan, including the issuance of permits for the taking and use of such water and for the approval of such site-specific aquifer storage and recovery plans. It requires that the rules related to the approval of site-specific aquifer storage and recovery plans shall mandate, in addition to requirements necessary to demonstrate that the requested amount of stored water is available for recovery, the spacing of wells necessary to ensure that the storage and recovery of water permitted not interfere with any domestic or permitted groundwater use in the basin. It establishes requirements for the approval of a permit to take and use water stored in an aquifer pursuant to a site-specific aquifer storage and recovery plan It requires that any permit issued specify the location of the permitted well or wells and other terms and conditions as specified by the board including, but not limited to, the rate of withdrawal, the level of perforating and the level of sealing the well.

-SB 1291, as amended, with the title restored, by Sen. John Sparks and Rep. Scott Inman, requires the Department of Environmental Quality to seek and include any response submitted to them by any of Oklahoma's federally recognized tribal governments in preparing any response on behalf of the State of Oklahoma to the federal government on any issue pertaining to the federal Clean Air Act, the Oklahoma Clean Air Act, modifications to air emission standards or any air quality issue. The amendment offers language that prohibits the bill from being used as right of action against the state.


• The House Appropriations and Budget Committee met Tuesday and approved the following legislation:

-SB 1283, by Sen. Eddie Fields and Rep. John Pfeiffer, modifies the dates when certain
apportionments of the gross production tax occur. In regards to the Community Water Infrastructure Development Revolving Fund, the bill strikes language that requires 50 percent of funds deposited in to the account to be budgeted for financial assistance loans and grants to public water supply and wastewater systems in Oklahoma. It also struck language that required the other 50 percent of the funds would be budgeted to accomplish all phases and funding needs for the Oklahoma Comprehensive Water Plan.

-SB 790, by Sen. Anthony Sykes and Rep. Mark McCullough, eliminates the requirement of a $25 sum resulting from a criminal conviction to be assessed and credited to the Oklahoma Court Information System Revolving Fund.

-SB 936, as amended with title restored, by Sen. Roger Thompson and Rep. Leslie Osborn, permits the Oklahoma Department of Transportation to employ seasonal employees throughout the calendar year. It provides that seasonal employees will be in the unclassified service as provided by the Oklahoma Personnel Act. It also provides that seasonal employees will not be entitled to paid leave, paid holidays, retirement, health, dental or life insurance, and will be exempt from any laws, rules or practices providing those benefits. The bill requires ODOT to include in its annual budget request a summary of the use of seasonal employees, including the
number of workers employed under the provisions and the total wages paid to these employees. The amendment added an emergency clause.

-SB 955, by Sen. Gary Stanislawski and Rep. Mark Lepak, removes the requirement that certain Grand River Dam Authority employees be classified employees and permits the authority to employ unclassified personnel as deemed necessary by the board of directors.

-SB 965, as amended, by Sen. Susan Paddack and Rep. Lisa J. Billy, adds members of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol fallen in the performance of their duties to the list of those eligible to have costs associated with signage related to the naming of highways and bridges waived. The amendment added an emergency clause.

-SB 1125, by Sen. Ron Justice and Leslie Osborn, modifies the type of documentation required for the sale of motor vehicles to include a certificate of ownership form, as approved by the Oklahoma Tax Commission and available at the Tax Commission or through a motor license agent. It modifies the type of vehicles to now include those being sold to a scrap metal dealer, pursuant to Oklahoma Statutes.

-SB 1170, by Sen. John Ford and Rep. Dennis Ray Casey, prohibits the amount of time devoted to administration of assessments from exceeding 2 percent of the minimum classroom instruction time. The bill provides exceptions for certain test accommodations. The bill exempts certain assessments from the provisions of the measure.

-SB 1220, with enacting clause stricken, by Sen. Clark Jolley and Rep. Dennis Casey, modifies the requirements of reimbursement rates from the Department of Corrections to a county. The bill requires a negotiated daily rate to be settled if the amount to retain the inmate exceeds $27 per day. The bill requires the presiding district judge to establish a rate if the Department and the county do not agree upon a rate.

-SB 1245, by Sen. Jason Smalley and Rep. Leslie Osborn, prohibits the lake area planning commission from applying fees to the sale or transfer of real property.

-SB 1499, with enacting clause stricken, by Sen. Robert Standridge and Rep. Doug Cox, requires the Oklahoma Insurance Department, subject to the availability of funds, to analyze discrepancies between coverage for prescription drugs with abuse-deterrent properties and coverage for prescription opioids without abuse-deterrent properties. It requires such information to be submitted in a report to the President Pro Tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives on or before December 31, 2017.

• Governor Mary Fallin signed eight bills Tuesday, four of which originated in the House and four started in the Senate.

-HB 2404, by Rep. George Faught and Sen. Gary Stanislawski, increases the age in which children may attend early childhood programs from five years of age to six years of age on or before September 1. The committee substitute gives the Oklahoma Department of Education the authority to promulgate rules to create exemptions for entry into early education programs. The bill takes effect Nov. 1.

-HB 2407, by Rep. George Faught and Sen. Jack Fry, removes the requirement that the Director of Central Services report to the Legislature and the governor information provided by state public entities as required by the Oklahoma State Recycling and Recycled Materials Procurement Act. The bill takes effect Nov. 1.

-HB 2544, by Rep. Jadine Nollan and Sen. Gary Stanislawski, changes the date by which a district board of education must notify the State Board of Education that it has adopted a school hours policy from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15. The bill removes language that permits the State Board of Education to authorize district to implement an extended day schedule. It also removes language that requires the State Board of Education to require participating school district to prepare a report on the impact of the extended day schedule. The bill takes effect July 1.

-HB 2710, by Rep. Charles Ortega and Sen. Roger Thompson, modifies the duties of the Director of the Office of Management and Enterprise Services in the Oklahoma Personnel Act. The bill takes effect in November.

-SB 1040, by Sen. Jason Smalley and Rep. Randy McDaniel, clarifies non-Roth funds and Roth accounts as forms of payment for specified purposes listed therein relating to reinstatement, service credit and termination credit in the Law Enforcement Retirement System. The bill took effect upon the governor's signature.

-SB 1175, by Sen. Patrick Anderson and Rep. Randy Grau, creates civil liability for the greater of three times the actual damages, or up to $1,500, for a person violating the provisions of the Odometer Setting Act. The bill takes effect July 1.

-SB 1194, by Sen. Kimberly David and Jadine Nollan, repeals language related to notification of an emergency custody hearing. The bill takes effect Nov. 1.

-SB 1341, by Sen. Greg Treat and Rep. Jon Echols, modifies language related to the board of adjustment. The bill provides that at any time during the pendency of an automatic stay or a similar provision of municipal law any party to a proceeding before the board of adjustment may object to the maintenance of the stay by filing an application with the district court to lift the stay. The bill requires the court to lift the stay if no parties object to the application. It requires the court to consider and to resolve the matter no later than 60 days following the filing of the application if any parties oppose the application to lift the stay. It requires the court determine whether the stay should remain in effect by considering the likelihood of success on the merits by the party seeking to maintain the stay; irreparable harm to the party seeking to maintain the stay if the stay is lifted; relative effect on the other interested parties; and public policy concerns arising out of the preservation of the stay. The bill permits the court to lift or preserve the stay on such terms as to bond or otherwise as it considers proper for the security of the rights of the parties. The bill took effect upon Fallin's signing it.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

• The Senate began its floor session Wednesday welcoming eight state championship teams to the chamber to be recognized before an equal number of bills were passed. It also passed the following legislation:

-SB 1567, by Sen. Robert Standridge and Rep. Jon Echols, passed the bill 37 to 7 without discussion or debate. The bill modifies and deletes terms used therein. It requires a health information organization to make publicly available a current and accurate statement of its information-handling practices pertaining to the disclosure of health information by said organization. It provides identification requirements for said statement. The bill requires that a health information organization that discloses health information to a health plan for payment purposes limit the disclosure of health information to the minimum necessary amount to accomplish such purpose as provided by federal law. The bill passed 37-7 and now goes to Gov. Mary Fallin for her consideration.

-HB 2258, with title restored, by Rep. Randy McDaniel and Sen. Jason Smalley, eliminates the requirement that the Oklahoma State Pension Commission include information regarding the analysis of the performance of the custodian bank or trust company in its annual financial performance report. It also removes the requirement that the annual report include a comparative performance piece. It requires the report to include changes in the investment policy statements adopted by each retirement system in the prior year and an analysis of the performance of the securities lending program and short-term investment fund of the custodian employed by each governing body of the retirement systems. The bill passed 42 to 0.

-HB 2471, by Rep. Ken Walker and Sen. Nathan Dahm, modifies the development of the State Employee Suggestion Program, allowing each state agency to develop such program. The bill passed 41 to 1.

-HB 2518, by Rep. Randy Grau and Sen. Nathan Dahm, provides an exception for medical consent for minors if an emergency exists, surgery is necessary and effort has been made to contact a parent or other adult authorized by law to consent on behalf of minor. The bill passed 43 to 0.

-HB 2526, by Rep. Dennis Ray Casey and Sen. Gary Stanislawski, requires each member of the county board of equalization who has completed a four-year term of office, beginning from their original appointment date, to thereafter for each term served be required to attend and successfully complete a course for purposes of instructing the members about the duties imposed on the board by law. It requires that failure of a county board of equalization member to successfully complete the course within 18 months after the completion of the initial four-year term or within 18 months of the beginning of any succeeding four-year term result in forfeiture of the office and the vacancy be filled in the manner provided by law. The bill passed 43 to 0.

-HB 3000, by Rep. Lewis Moore and Sen. Wayne Shaw, designates the "Trail Of Tears Historic Bike Route" from the Cherokee Nation Capitol Building, along U.S. Highway 62 from the City of Tahlequah to the Arkansas border. It provides the cost associated with signage required by this section will be provided from private sources and include the cost of the initial erection of signs as well as the cost of potential replacement or reconstruction of signs. It requires the Department of Transportation to cause suitable permanent markers to be placed upon the highway bearing the name "Trail Of Tears Historic Bike Route" upon receiving adequate funding from private sources and after a shoulder lane has been provided. It requires the department to provide a shoulder lane designated for use by bicycle traffic on the Trail Of Tears Historic Bike Route. The bill passed 41 to 4.

• The Senate adopted the following resolutions Wednesday:

-SR 50, by Sen. Susan Paddack, congratulates the 2015 Class A Football State Champions the Stratford Bulldogs.

-SR 53, by Sen. David Holt, congratulates the Class 6A State Basketball Champions.

-SR 56, by Sen. Eddie Fields, proclaims April 6, 2016 to be the 20th Annual 4-H Day at the State Capitol.


• The Senate Rules Committee approved several measures on Wednesday, including

-CS for HB 3098, by Rep. Jeff Coody and Sen. Nathan Dahm, would allow anyone 21 years of age and older to open carry a firearm without having to obtain a permit. There was no debate and the committee substitute version of the bill received a do pass as amended recommendation. The CS allows constitutional open carry for legal residents 21 years or older, not a convicted felon and not involved in a crime. The bill removes the requirement to obtain a handgun license to open carry a handgun. It allows an individual to carry a firearm without being disarmed or restrained in the absence of reasonable suspicion of criminal activity. The bill also allows any person 21 years and older, except a convicted felon, to transport loaded pistols or handguns in a motor vehicle. It prohibits anyone under 21 years of age from open carrying a handgun. It provides that any license issued prior to Nov. 1, 2016, will remain in full force and effect until such time as the license is subject to renewal, suspension or revocation.

-CS for HB 1302, by Rep. Ken Walker and Sen. Larry Boggs, permits hand delivery to the county election board of absentee ballots. The bill requires any voter who hand delivers his or her ballot to provide the same proof of identity to the county election board as someone voting in person. It also requires the ballot to be delivered no later than the close of business on the day prior to the election.

-HB2756, with title stricken, by Rep. Dan Kirby, and Sen. Kimberly David, allows a direct shipper's permit to be issued by the Oklahoma Alcoholic Beverage Laws Enforcement Commission to a winery licensed in this or any other state as a wine producer, supplier, importer, wholesaler, distributor or retailer. The bill states that a permit will allow a winery to ship up to 24 9-liter cases of wine annually directly to an Oklahoma resident over the age of 21 years for their personal use and not for resale. It directs the Alcoholic Beverage Laws Enforcement Commission to promulgate rules governing the application, issuance and renewal of a direct shipper's permits, and includes some general requirements including payment of a $100 registration fee for original permits and a $50 fee for renewals. The bill also establishes guidelines for shippers.

• The Senate Joint Committee on Appropriations and Budget approved three bills Wednesday

-HB 3202, by Rep. Dennis Ray Casey, Rep. Earl Sears, Sen. Clark Jolley and Sen. Greg Treat, permits the Administrative Director of the Courts to request and the Office of Management Enterprise Services to transfer until June, 30, 2016 any monies from the Law Library Revolving Fund, Supreme Court Revolving Fund, State Judicial Revolving Fund to the Supreme Court Administrative Revolving Fund or the Interagency Reimbursement Fund as necessary to perform the duties imposed upon the Supreme Court, Court of Civil Appeals and district courts.

-HB 3203, by Rep. Dennis Ray Casey, Rep. Earl Sears, Sen. Clark Jolley and Sen. Greg Treat, changes the name of the Oklahoma Court Information Revolving Fund to the Oklahoma Court System Revolving Fund. The bill expands permitted use of money in the fund to include the operational expenses of any court which is subject to the authority of the Administrative Director of the Courts. The bill requires the Office of Management and Enterprise Services, at the request of the Administrative Director of the Court, to transfer from the Oklahoma Court System Revolving Fund to the District Court Interagency Reimbursement Fund an amount that the Administrative Director of the Courts, with the approval of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court deems appropriate and necessary to perform the duties imposed upon the district courts.

-SB 1573, by Sen. Clark Jolley, Sen. Greg Treat, Rep. Dennis Ray Casey, and Rep. Earl Sears, modifies language related to the Oklahoma State Finance Act. The committee also gave a do pass recommendation to SB1573. Jolley said the bill would allow the Historical Society to transfer ownership of property currently under its care to local entities to allow it to continue to operate.

-SB 1573, by Rep. Dennis Ray Casey, Rep. Earl Sears, Sen. Clark Jolley and Sen. Greg Treat authorizes the Oklahoma Historical Society to transfer ownership of historic properties, both real and tangible, to appropriate organizations or groups who agree to maintain the properties in the best interest of historic preservation and who pay fair market value for such property. It adds that when property by the Society is declared surplus, or is determined to be beyond the means of the Society to maintain properly, the Society will first offer the property for sale at fair market value to the original donor, even if a reversionary clause is not included in the gift agreement.

• On Wednesday, the Senate Appropriations Committee heard several bills and approved the following:

-HB 2472, with title stricken, by Rep. Pam Peterson and Sen. Greg Treat, requires that
district attorneys have the discretion to file the charge as a misdemeanor offense rather than a felony offense after considering the provided circumstances listed therein when determining the appropriate charge for a person accused of committing a criminal offense.

-HB 2479, with title stricken, by Rep. Pam Peterson and Sen. Greg Treat, modifies terms of imprisonment for Schedule I or II substances, except marijuana, from two to 10 years to not more than five years. The bill modifies punishment for second violations from four to 20 years to not more than 10 years and for third or subsequent violations from four to 15 years imprisonment and a fine of up to $10,000. The bill modifies punishments for probationary violations.

-HB2751, with title stricken, by Rep. Pam Peterson and Sen. Greg Treat, changes the penalty for embezzlement in an amount less than $1,000 from a felony to a misdemeanor. It also changes the penalty for someone charged with writing bogus checks in an amount less than $1,000 from a felony to a misdemeanor.

-HB 2753, with title stricken, by Rep. Pam Peterson and Sen. Wayne Shaw, modifies requirements for the initial review of offenders to enter drug court or a community sentencing program.

-HB 2134, with enacting clause stricken, by Rep. Jason Nelson and Sen. Gary Stanislawski, requires the State Board of Education to continue administering seven end-of-instruction criterion-referenced tests prior to graduation and provides for alternative testing. It requires a student to attain proficiency in at least four testing areas and explains conditions. It also removes the high-stakes graduation component and only requires students to demonstrate mastery of the state academic content standards as required.


-CS for HB 2527, with enacting clause stricken, by Rep. Dennis Ray Casey and Sen. Jason Smalley, requires the State Board of Education to adopt rules providing for the adoption, proper implementation and administration of the system of student assessments in compliance with the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), as reauthorized and amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), P.L. No. 114-95 no later than Dec. 31,2016. It requires the student assessment system measure Oklahoma public school students' level of mastery of the state subject matter standards adopted by the Board. It requires the rules adopted by the Board providing for a system of student assessment allow boards of education of school districts to use local assessments, which are nationally recognized, for students at the secondary level in place of a state-mandated assessment.

-HB 2545, with title stricken, by Rep. Bobby Cleveland and Sen. Larry Boggs, permits the Department of Corrections director to declare an emergency due to shortage of staff when correctional officers at a facility are required to work more than two eight-hour shifts in a seven-day period.

-CS for HB 2764, with title stricken, by Rep. John Montgomery and Sen. John Ford,
creates the Oklahoma Education Finance Authority which shall be governed by a board of trustees consisting of seven members to be selected or appointed. The bill provides membership and establishes procedures for operation. The bill authorizes the Authority to hire an executive director or chief administrative officer to oversee the operations of the Authority, including but not limited to the receipt of contributions or other income, the proper management of the endowment fund, the disbursement of income from the endowment fund or such other matters as may be required. The bill establishes the Oklahoma Education Finance Authority Endowment Fund consisting of funds received by the Oklahoma Education Finance Authority from contributions made to the Authority. The bill requires each state individual income tax return to contain a provision to allow a donation from a tax refund for the benefit of the Fund and deposited into the Income Tax Checkoff Revolving Fund. The committee substitute reflects changes adopted by the Senate Education Committee.

-CS for HB 3114, with title stricken, by Rep. Scott Martin and Sen. A J Griffin, creates the Oklahoma Teacher Career Paths, Leadership Roles and Compensation Framework Act. The bill sets a framework to accomplish certain career paths, leadership roles, goals and salaries. The bill defines terms and requires the board of education of a school district to implement the framework and appoint a site-based review council for each school site. The bill requires the council to fulfill certain duties. The bill requires the Department of Education to submit an annual report. The committee substitute reflects changes adopted in the Senate Education Committee.

-HB 3119, with title stricken, by Rep. Scott Martin and Sen. Wayne Shaw, allows a judge to waive all or part of the costs and fees of an offender who has successfully completed the drug court program. The bill allows the drug court judge shall have full discretion relating to continued payment of the costs and fees by the offender which could create a financial hardship.

-HB 3159, with title stricken, by Rep. Jeff Hickman and Sen. AJ Griffin, provides that once a person has served 85 percent of the sentence imposed, the person shall be placed on the first available parole docket of the Pardon and Parole Board immediately following the date upon which the person has served the required term of imprisonment. It adds that in no instance shall the number of earned credits accumulated by a person exceed 5 percent of the total number of days of the prison sentence of the person. It allows the Department of Corrections to apply the accumulated credits after 85 percent of the sentence imposed has been served provided; however, in no instance will the application of earned credits result in the immediate discharge of the person from custody. It requires the granting of earned credits to be at the discretion of the Director based on certain criteria.

-HB 3160, with enacting clause stricken, by Rep. Jeff Hickman and Sen. AJ Griffin, requires any person who is currently serving a term of imprisonment in the custody of the Department of Corrections or is convicted of a crime and sentenced to serve a term of imprisonment in the custody of the Department of Corrections to have the cumulative sum of all court costs and fees assessed and owed in his or her criminal case or cases reduced by .75 percent for every 30 days of time served on the prison sentence. It exempts these provisions from applying to amounts owed by the person for restitution to a victim pursuant to a court order or child support obligations pursuant to a court order. It provides a calculation for the reduction and requires a record of the reduction of each person to be sent on a monthly basis to the Administrative Director of the Courts and the administrative office of the Department of Corrections. It allows the courts after November 1, 2016, to have the authority to waive all outstanding fines, court costs and fees in a criminal case for specified persons.

-CS to SB 1240, by Sen. Mike Mazzei and Rep. Weldon Watson, creates the Oklahoma Public Safety Protection District Act. The bill allows the largest municipality within the county may initiate the creation of a public safety protection district by the adoption of a joint resolution calling for the question of whether to organize a public safety protection district. The bill requires all territory located within the municipality to be included in the district. The bill requires management of the public safety protection district, as well as management of any employee hired from district funds to be vested within the existing administration of the municipal government. It requires budgetary oversight to be vested within the existing legislative body of the municipal government that created the district.


• The House Rules Committee approved a series of measures Wednesday, inlcuding:

-SJR 68, by Sen. Clark Jolley and Rep. Glen Mulready, proposes a vote of the people on a constitution amendment that enacts new sections and repeals Sections 1, 1.A, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 of Article 28 of the Oklahoma Constitution. It establishes that alcoholic beverages would be governed by the new article and other laws. It would require the Legislature to enact laws to regulate alcoholic beverages. It would prohibit common ownership between tiers of the alcoholic beverage business with some exceptions. It would apply some restrictions to manufacturers, brewers, winemakers and wholesalers. It would prohibit direct shipments to consumers unless direct shipments of wine are authorized by law, subject to limitations. It specifies certain retail licenses and allows the Legislature to prescribe other licenses. It would permit the sales of wine and beer would at certain licensed retail outlets. It would permit licensees to sell refrigerated or non-refrigerated products, and retail spirits licensees would be permitted to sell products other than alcoholic beverages in a limited amount. It permits the Legislature by law to designate days and hours during which alcoholic beverages could be sold, and would impose taxes on sales. It specifies certain restrictions relating to the involvement of the state and political subdivisions and public employees.

-SJR 44, as amended, by Sen. David Holt and Rep. John Montgomery, proposes a
vote of the people to amend the Constitution to change the cap on the Constitutional Reserve Fund from 15 percent of the General Fund certification to 15 percent to the amount of the total state budget. It would also require the State Board of Equalization to certify the total amount of the state budget. The amendment clarifies that the total state budget calculation will not include federal sources of revenue.

-SJR 64, by Sen. John Ford and Rep. Gary Banz, proposes a vote of the people on a constitutional amendment that would enact a new Section 8 in Article 1 of the Oklahoma Constitution. The amendment would require each person appearing to vote to announce his or her name to an election official and provide proof of identity. It would provide that a voter identification card issued by the county election board would also serve as proof of identity. It authorizes the Legislature to enact laws to implement the provisions of the new section.

-SJR 72, by Sen. Robert Standridge and Rep. John Jordan, proposes a vote of the people
to repeal Article 2, Section 5 of the Oklahoma Constitution, which prohibits the use public monies or property for sectarian or religious purposes.


Thursday, April 7, 2015

• On Thursday morning, the Senate met and welcomed several guests and introduced the weekly pages. Members then heard and passed several bills, including:

-HB 2281 by Rep. Jason Murphey and Sen. Nathan Dahm, provides a public body which makes requested records available on the Internet shall meet the obligation of providing prompt, reasonable access to its records. Passed 43-0.

-HB2349, by Rep. Dustin Roberts and Sen. Frank Simpson, adds additional homestead exemption and excludes veterans’ disability compensation payments from gross household income.

-HB 2426, by Rep. Sally Kern and Sen. Mark Allen, deletes and updates statutory references in relation to grandparental visitation rights.

-HB 2484, by Rep. Jason Owenby and Sen. AJ Griffin, divests Department of Human Services of custody and supervision when a permanent guardian is appointed.

-HB 2965, by Rep. Jason Nelson and Sen. AJ Griffin, permits recovery of damages, costs and feeds by specified parties in child abuse reporting.

Other news this week

• The Oklahoma Health Care Authority (OHCA) announced this week that it is prepared to work with lawmakers if legislation is needed to implement proposed plan aimed at providing Oklahomans with subsidized health insurance. Dubbed the "Medicaid Rebalancing Act of 2020," the multi-year plan announced Thursday proposing insuring 175,000 individuals currently uninsured and not on Medicaid. It also calls for moving individuals enrolled in SoonerCare, the state's Medicaid program, into the private insurance market through expansion to the Insure
Oklahoma program.

The proposal, which is not an expansion to the federal Medicaid program, would stabilize provider rates and bring them up to at least 86 percent of the Medicare fee schedule which would reduce the amount of care of the uninsured for hospitals and other providers across the state. OHCA Chief Executive Officer Nico Gomez said the agency would need new legislation that authorizes the policy changes and additional related legislation necessary for any required appropriation.

The plan, if enacted, creates a new option within the program that would cover adults 19 to 64 years old and whose incomes fall below 133 percent of the federal poverty level. Those individuals would pay premiums based on a sliding scale tied to their respective income. This would cost the state $100 million, which in turn would be matched with federal dollars.

Those being moved from SoonerCare would be eligible for federal tax credits for support in paying premium costs. This change would move 175,000 pregnant women and children to private plans and ultimately save Oklahoma $60 million in state funds. Options considered for financing the plan include increasing the tax on cigarettes by $1.50 per pack, a fee assessed to health insurance providers and the Supplemental Hospital Offset Payment Program (SHOPP).


• Governor Mary Fallin announced Monday the following appointments to education-related boards. Each appointment must be confirmed by the Senate.

o Board of Regents of Eastern Oklahoma State College Teresa K. Jackson, of Hartshorne, is being reappointed for a new seven-year term that will expire in 2023. Jackson, a graduate of Southeastern Oklahoma State University, is senior executive officer of health for the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma.

o Board of Regents of Murray State College Dr. Scott Wood, of Tishomingo, is replacing Ronald Austin, who resigned. Wood, who will serve the remainder of Austin’s term that expires in 2020, operates Wood Chiropractic Clinic and Texoma Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Clinic LLC. He also is a tribal legislator for the Chickasaw Nation Board of Regents of Tulsa Community College.

o Samuel Combs III, of Bixby, is replacing Masoud Moazami, who resigned. He will serve the remainder of Moazami’s term, which expires in 2018. Combs, who graduated from Oklahoma State University, is president and chief executive officer of COMSTAR Advisors LLC. His appointment was confirmed by the Senate on March 8.

o Board of Regents of Western Oklahoma State College Justin R. Lewis, of Frederick, is replacing Gilmer J. Capps. He will serve a seven-year term that expires in 2023. Lewis, who earned a master’s in business administration from Oklahoma Christian University, is vice president of OKC Trading LLC.

o Board of Trustees for the University Center of Ponca City Jeremy Frazier, of Cushing, is replacing Homer L. Nicholson, who resigned. He will serve the remainder of Nicholson’s term, which expires in 2018. Frazier, who earned a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Central Oklahoma, is assistant city manager for the city of Cushing. His appointment was confirmed by the Senate on March 8.

o Board of Trustees for the University Center of Southern Oklahoma Keith King, of Ardmore, is being reappointed for a new nine-year term that will expire in 2025. King, who earned a finance degree from the University of Missouri, is executive vice president and chief financial officer of First National Bank and Trust Co. of Ardmore.

• On Wednesday, Governor Mary Fallin amended an executive order state of emergency for 10 additional counties due to ongoing wildfires and critical fire weather conditions.
The executive order was amended to include the following counties: Alfalfa, Blaine, Creek, Dewey, Garfield, Grant, Harper, Logan, Major and Woodward. The governor last week issued an executive order that covered Woods County.

Under the executive order, state agencies can make emergency purchases and acquisitions needed to expedite the delivery of resources to local jurisdictions. It is also the first step toward seeking federal aid for affected farmers and ranchers should it be necessary.

• Gov. Mary Fallin signed SB 154 on Wednesday, a bill carried over from the 2015 session which would exempt some public trusts from the Public Competitive Bidding Act.

The bill, by Sen. Kim David and Rep. Glen Mulready, deletes language related to public contracts and requires public trusts to comply with the requirements of the Public Competitive Bidding Act of 1974. The bill exempts contracts of industrial and cultural trusts and takes effect 90 days after the Legislature adjourns sine die.


• State Treasurer Ken Miller announced Wednesday that March Gross Receipts to the Treasury are the lowest March total in four years. March receipts of $940.4 million are less than March of last year by almost $17 million, or 1.8 percent, marking the 11th consecutive month of falling collections. At $11.4 billion, 12-month Gross Receipts to the Treasury are the lowest since October 2013. Receipts shrank by $679 million, or 5.6 percent, compared to the prior 12-month period.