The Oklahoma Senate


Week In Review
Monday, April 11, to Thursday, April 14, 2016

Monday, April 11, 2016


• The Senate approved the following bills during the session on Monday, including:

-HB 2676 by Rep Cory Williams and Sen. Corey Brooks, modifies certain criteria for in-state status for military personnel and their family. The measure passed 36-6.

-HB 2423 by Rep. Bob Cleveland and Sen. David Holt, authorizes savings and loan associations to exercise powers and authorities as specified in sections of the Oklahoma Savings and Loan Code. The measure passed 41-7.

-HB 2586 by Rep. David Perryman, Sen. Darcy Jech and Sen. Anastasia Pittman, requires physicians to electronically file death certificates by a certain date. The measure passed by a vote of 41-7.

-HB 2097 by Rep. Glen Mulready, Rep. Lewis Moore and Sen. Bill Brown, allows an insured member to request a printed health care services contract The bill passed 41-7.

-HB 2996 by Rep. Lewis Moore and Sen. Bill Brown, requires certain insurance coverage to provide a specified retention percentage. The Senate approved measure by vote of 42-6.

-HB 3158 by Rep. Jeff Hickman and Sen. Ron Justice, authorizes the Corporation Commission to take certain emergency action in emergency situations. The measure passed by a vote of 42-6.

-HB 3167 by Rep. Jeff Hickman and Rob Stanislawski, addresses maximum and minimum speed limits; eliminates certain designated maximum speed limits; and requires the Department of Transportation to determine maximum speed limits based on certain investigations; Passed by vote of 25-19.

-HB 2155 by Rep. Jon Echols, Rep. Mark McCullough and Sen. Clark Jolley, enacts the Transparency in Private Attorney Contingency Fee contracts. The measure was approved by vote of 43-5.

-HB 2694, by Rep. Earl Sears and Sen. Clark Jolley, exempts the Commissions of the Land Office from certain public building construction requirements and authorizes certain proposals and management for investment real property. The bill passed by a vote of 35-8.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

• The Senate approved several bills on Tuesday, including:

-HB 1581, with title restored, by Rep. Scooter Park and Sen. Greg Treat, requires state
agencies to report to the Office of Management and Enterprise Services the amount of federal funds received by the agency; the source or sources of those funds; a description of any action required to be taken by the agency as a condition for acceptance of the federal funds; and a description of any action prohibited as a result of having taken the federal funds. The bill also requires the information to be made available on a state website. The bill passed 44 to 0.

-HB 2286, by Rep. Jason Murphey and Sen. Nathan Dahm, repeals statutory language
related to emergency telephone calls on party lines. The bill passed 45 to 0.

-HB 2298, by Rep. Randy McDaniel and Sen. Ervin Yen, creates the Safe Driving Act. The bill expands the scope of qualifications for a parent-taught driver education course to include instruction regarding the dangers of texting while driving and being under the influence of alcohol or other intoxicating substance while driving. The bill passed 43 to 0.

-HB 2338, with title restored, by Rep. Paul Wesselhoft and Sen. Gary Stanislawski, specifies programs and amounts of appropriation relating to the Employment Security Administration Fund. The bill designated $6 million to the Employment Service Program and $6 million to the Unemployment Insurance Program. The bill requires the funds to be expended by Dec. 31, 2017. The bill passed 41 to 3.

-HB 2473, by Rep. Ken Walker and Sen. Rob Stanislawski, removes the requirement to issue a citation if no security form is produced for compulsory liability insurance. It requires the requesting law enforcement officer have access information from the online verification system through the vehicle's identification number, registered owner's name or other identifying characteristic or marker to verify valid and current security and establish compliance with the Compulsory Insurance Law if the operator fails to produce the security verification form during a traffic stop or accident investigation. It allows the officer to issue a citation to the operator for failure to comply with the Compulsory Insurance Law if the operator fails to produce the security verification form and compliance is not confirmed through the online verification system. The bill allows a driver to present an online or mobile version of their insurance verification. The bill passed 44 to 0.

-HB 2502, by Rep. John Pfeiffer and Sen. Darcy Jech, removes the requirement an application signature be submitted under oath under the Oklahoma Fertilizer Act, Oklahoma Swine Feeding Operations Act and the Oklahoma Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations Act. The bill passed 42 to 1.

-HB 2504, with title restored, by Rep. John Pfeiffer and Sen. Ron Justice, increases the fine for theft of cattle to three times the value of the animal and machinery stolen but not more than $500,000. It also adds that each head of cattle stolen may constitute a separate offense and may be punishable as a separate violation. The bill passed 45 to 0.

-HB 2614, by Rep. Todd Thomsen and Sen. Susan Paddack, adds an exclusion for public schools to not provide education services in the regular school setting for a student who has been removed from a public or private school in the state or another state by administrative or judicial process for an act of using electronic communication with intent to terrify, intimidate or harass, or threaten to inflict injury or physical harm to faculty or other students. The bill and its emergency clause passed 46 to 0.

-HB 3023, by Rep. Jeff Hickman, Rep. John Pfeiffer, and Sen. Stephanie Bice, provides the Capitol Building and grounds exemptions from the requirement that requires state government entities give priority to vending facilities operated by licensed blind operators and established by the State Department of Rehabilitation Services. The bill passed 43 to 2.

-HB 3071, by Rep. Glen Mulready and Sen. Marty Quinn, requires any mandated health insurance coverage signed into law after Nov. 1, 2016, for specific health services, benefits, diseases, copay structure, formulary structure or for certain providers of health care services to also apply to the Oklahoma Employees Health Insurance Plan. It defines applicable terms. The bill passed 34 to 10.

-HB 2431, by Rep. Sally Kern and Sen. Robert Standridge, passed 44 to 0 as amended. The bill prohibits a permanent guardianship if the prospective guardian would be denied placement as a prospective foster or adoptive parent under provisions provided therein or if the prospective guardian is subject to the Oklahoma Sex Offenders Registration Act or married to an individual subject to the Oklahoma Sex Offenders Registration Act. The amendment removes language referring to "living with an individual" subject to the Oklahoma Sex Offenders Registration Act.

• The Legislature gathered in joint session Tuesday morning to honor the 45th Infantry Division and the Oklahoma National Guard, which has been done on the second Tuesday of April for the last 28 years. Assistant Adjutant General and Department of Public Safety Commissioner Michael Thompson introduced notable members of the Legislature and the National Guard, including Gov. Mary Fallin and Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb.
Thompson also delivered a speech to members of the House, Senate and members of the National Guard in the House gallery and praised the Guard for responding to tragic events like the September 11 attacks, the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah building, devastating tornadoes and more recently, the OSU Homecoming crash. He also commended the 45th Infantry Division who were in combat for 511 days and lost over 3,000 people over the course of World War II, noting service members who fought were "relentless and refused to give in" because they were Oklahoma stubborn, as well as the members of the 45th Infantry who, after receiving orders, liberated thousands imprisoned in the concentration camp Dachau.

• The House took up several bills Tuesday, with most facing no questions or debate.

-SB 1199, by Rep. Ron Justice and Mark McBride, allows the Commissioner of Labor to promulgate rules establishing an administrative fee schedule for the registration and inspection of amusement and other rides. The bill removes the kiddie ride fee of $25. The bill creates the Department of Labor Administrative Penalty Revolving Fund. The bill passed 64 to 28.

• SB 866, by Sen. Clark Jolley and Rep. Doug Cox, repeals language that requires the Office of the State Medical Examiner to be located immediately adjacent to or in close proximity to the University of Central Oklahoma Forensic Science Institute. The bill adds language that permits the Board of Medicolegal Investigations to determine where the office will be located. The bill passed by a vote of 88 to 8. The emergency clause passed 69 to 9.

-SB 884, by Sen. Corey Brooks and Rep. Dog Cox, exempts Department of Corrections hospitals from being required to obtain a license from the State Department of Health to operate. The bill passed 76 to 12.

-SB 936, by Sen. Roger Thompson and 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 bill and its emergency clause passed by a vote of 88 to 0.

-SB 946, by Sen. Don Barrington and Rep. Pam Peterson, amends language related to Department of Corrections exemptions to the Public Competitive Bidding Act of 1974 when the governing board declares and emergency. The bill provides that such exemptions will not extend to any contract exceeding $250,000 for situations in which the emergency impacts the conditions of confinement, health and safety of inmates in the custody of the Department of Corrections. The bill passed by a vote of 60 to 30. The bill's emergency clause passed 69 to 23 with Peterson serving notice.

-SB 983, by Sen. Roger Thompson and Rep. Scott Martin, creates the nine-member Health Information Technology Advisory Board to provide guidance related to health information technology and act in an advisory capacity to the Chief Information Officer and to advise in the development of a long-range plan for health information technology including, but not limited to, the use of electronic health records, statewide data sharing interchanges among health information exchanges, health information service providers and other methods of incorporating and monitoring information technology in pursuit of protecting the privacy of patient personal and healthcare information, greater cost-effectiveness and better patient outcomes in healthcare. It requires that each appointed member serve a three-year term. It establishes procedures for removing appointees. The bill establishes the advisory board's membership and requires that it meet no less than four times per year. It requires that an organization meeting be held prior to Dec. 1, 2016, and that the meeting be called by the Chief Information Officer. It establishes quorum and voting requirements. The bill establishes duties and responsibility of advisory board
members. It requires that the advisory board act in accordance with the provisions of the Oklahoma Open Meeting Act, the Oklahoma Open Records Act and the Administrative Procedures Act. The bill passed 66 to 20.

-SB 993, by Sen. Joseph Silk and Rep. R.C. Pruett, permits mail-in ballots may be counted toward the required 5 percent of members necessary to constitute a quorum of an electrical cooperative if allowed by the bylaws of a cooperative. The bill and its emergency clause passed by a vote of 91 to 0.

-SB 1012, by Sen. Bill Brown and Rep. Glen Mulready, modifies language related to the Anti-Fraud Unit within the Legal and Investigation Division of the Insurance Department. The bill clarifies language related to the investigation of suspected fraud and adds authority to investigate any licensee under the regulation or authority of the Insurance Commissioner. The bill passed by a vote of 85 to 1.

-SB1029, by Sen. David Holt and Rep. Elise Hall, authorizes termination of water and sewer services provided by separate municipality upon delinquency. The bill requires the entity requesting termination of service to provide notice to the public entity providing water service and to the account holder at least 30 days prior to the proposed termination date. The bill passed by a vote of 52 to 38.

-SB 1030, by Sen. Mike Mazzei and Rep. David Brumbaugh, creates the Oklahoma Multi-year Revenue and Expenditure Projection Act. The bill requires agencies responsible for the collection of monies deposited to the General Revenue Fund and each Special Revenue Funds to provide current and future revenue estimates for the next two years to the Office of Management and Enterprise Services. It requires the Oklahoma Tax Commission to provide tax revenue projections for the current and next two years. The bill expands the list of those to which the Oklahoma Tax Commission must provide all estimates, explanations, statements, projections, reports and other documents to include members of the Senate Appropriations and Finance Committees and members of the House Appropriations and Budget Committee. The bill requires appropriated agencies to submit an estimate of fiscal needs for the ensuing fiscal year and the following two fiscal years to the Office of Management and Enterprise Services. The bill requires each subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee and of the House Appropriations and Budget Committee to establish budget performance measurements for each spending agency under its jurisdiction. It requires the performance measurements be developed in order to allow the Legislature and the Governor to obtain measureable data to determine if the agency is performing its duties in the most cost-effective manner possible. The bill requires each spending agency, whether or not it receives state appropriations, to submit analysis reports as required by the subcommittee in order to enable the subcommittee to make a determination as to whether the agency has met the established performance measurements. The bill permits the reporting requirements to be established for the forthcoming fiscal year and for such additional fiscal years in the future as the subcommittees deem appropriate. The bill and its emergency clause passed by a vote of 88 to 4.

-SB 1149, by Sen. A J Griffin and Rep. Doug Cox, allows a municipal governing body to engage in transactions to manage, lease or operate a medical facility outside the municipal limits to provide an economic benefit to the community or lessen the burden of government. It allows a Board of Control to undertake the management, lease or operation of any other medical facility or institution. The bill allows any trust created pursuant to the measure to engage in activities outside of the geographic boundaries of its beneficiary if the activity provides a benefit to a large class of the public within the beneficiary's geographic area or lessen burdens of government. The bill passed by a vote of 84 to 5.

-SB 1249, as amended, by Sen. Kay Floyd and Rep. Lee Denney, establishes the deadline for determination of final protective order to be within six months. The amendment adds that at end of six months if a protective order needs to be extended, a victim may request a hearing. The bill passed by a vote of 93 to 0.

-SB 1269, by Sen. Ervin Yen and Rep. Scott Martin, directs the State Board of Education, in collaboration with the State Board of Career and Technology Education and the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, to develop college and career endorsements that will provide distinction and direct student coursework toward clear career pathways. It allows a student to earn a college and career endorsement by satisfying the curriculum requirements in various specified categories and any other area of study as determined by the State Board of Education. The bill also directs the State Board of Education, in collaboration with the State Board of Career and Technology Education, the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education and representatives of business, labor and industry, to specify the curriculum requirements for each college and career endorsement specified. It allows applicable courses taken at a technology center school to, at the discretion of the State Board of Education; qualify for any of the courses required for a college and career endorsement. The bill directs the State Board of Education to develop and implement a mechanism by which to recognize college and career endorsements.

-SB 1270, by Sen. Brian Crain and Rep. Pam Peterson, modifies requirements regarding the reporting of sales authorized by the Oklahoma Scrap Metal Dealers Act. The bill allows for internet-based reporting methods. The bill passed 85 to 0.

-SB 1424, by Sen. Kim David and Rep. Pat Ownbey, requires the Office of Juvenile Affairs to require national criminal history records searches for operators making a request to establish a detention center municipal juvenile facility, community intervention center or secure facility licensed or certified by the Office of Juvenile Affairs. The bill also requires national criminal history records searches for employee or applicant of a secure detention center, municipal juvenile facility, community intervention center or secure facility licensed or certified by the Office of Juvenile Affairs and persons allowed unsupervised access to children. The bill passed by a vote of 89 to 0.

• Nine more bills moved a step closer to becoming law Tuesday when Gov. Fallin signed the measures. A total of 78 measures have been placed on the governor's desk this session, an equal number of House bills and Senate bills. Fallin has signed 53 of those measures thus far, including 20 House bills and 33 Senate bills.

-The bills signed Tuesday include:

-HB2258, by Rep. Randy McDaniel, R-Edmond, and Sen. Jason Smalley, R-Stroud, 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 takes effect Nov. 1.

-HB 2285, by Rep. Jason Murphey and Sen. Nathan Dahm, repeals statutory language related to the Oklahoma Pharmacy Connection Council. The bill takes effect Nov. 1.

-HB 2358, by Rep. Weldon Watson and Sen. David Holt, 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 took effect upon Fallin's signature Tuesday.

-HB 2413, by Rep. George Faught and Sen. Nathan Dahm, extends the sunset date for the State Anatomical Board to July 1, 2020. The bill lacked both an effective date and an emergency clause. It will take effect 90 days after the Legislature adjourns sine die.

-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 takes effect Nov. 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 takes effect Nov. 1.

-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 takes effect Nov. 1.

-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 takes effect Nov. 1.


Wednesday, April 13, 2016

• The Senate met on Wednesday and approved the following legislation:

-HB 2264, by Rep. Randy McDaniel and Sen. Jason Smalley, modifies the time period of
employee contribution rate selections in the Retirement Freedom Act from once per year to once per month for any contribution that is more than the 4.5 percent rate. The bill passed 38 to 0.

-HB 2352, with title restored, by Rep. Todd Russ and Sen. Mike Mazzei, requires an issuer planning to offer and sell securities in the state to file documents with the Oklahoma Securities Commission prior to initial offer or sale. The measure requires the Oklahoma Securities Commission to promulgate rules to implement the provisions of the bill. The bill passed 43 to 0.

-HB 2536, by Rep. John Montgomery and Sen. Mike Mazzei, modifies the period for which credit may be claimed for guaranty fees paid on or after January 1, 2000, and before January 1, 2019. It requires there be a measurable goal of retaining and/or creating two thousand jobs per year in Oklahoma for the credit. The bill passed 42 to 2.

-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. The bill and its emergency clause passed 40 to 3.

-HB 2602, by Rep. Mike Ritze and Sen. Dan Newberry, modifies statutory references in the Medical Treatment Laws Information Act. The bill adds language that requires to licensees of the State Board of Osteopathic Examiners to watch a State Board of Medical Licensure and Supervision online video concerning the Hydration and Nutrition for Incompetent Patients Act, the Nondiscrimination in Treatment Act, the Oklahoma Advance Directive Act, the Oklahoma Do-Not-Resuscitate Act, and the Assisted Suicide Prevention Act. The bill provides the licensees will receive appropriate continuing education credits for watching the video. It requires that health care providers, the administrator or chief executive officer associated with inpatient health services to watch said video at least once during each consecutive two-calendar-year period. The bill and its emergency clause passed 44 to 0.

-HB 2619, by Rep. Todd Thomsen and Sen. Marty Quinn, requires, rather than permits, the Office of Management and Enterprise Services to publish a schedule of reimbursement rates for state employee travel. The bill passed 42 to 1.

-HB 2627, by Rep. Leslie Osborn and Sen. Brian Crain, modifies the requirements for retired volunteer dentists, dental hygienists or dental assistants to include an individual who has practiced 30 years on a consecutive basis. The bill allows the Board of Dentistry to require a national background check before issuing a permit or license and sets terms for approval or disapproval of the license or permit. The bill modifies the duties of the Board. The bill passed 43 to 0.

-HB 2774, with title, effective date and enacting clause restored, 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 bill and its emergency clause passed 41 to 0.

-HB 2844, by Rep. Jon Echols and Sen. Jason Smalley, prohibits an officer, director or shareholder from being susceptible to a lawsuit outside of the scope of their role. The bill passed 39 to 2.

-HB 3126, by Rep. Josh Cockroft and Sen. Jason Smalley, creates the Oklahoma 9-1-1 Management Authority Act and defines related terms. The bill establishes the Oklahoma 9-1-1 Management Authority for the purpose of overseeing the development and regulation of 9-1-1 emergency systems in this state and managing the distribution of all 9-1-1 telephone fees. The bill establishes the membership of the authority and provides guidance for filling vacancies. The bill prohibits compensation for members and establishes processes for designating a chair and meetings. The bill outlines the duties and powers of the Authority including the authority to request the Tax Commission escrow the wireless fees attributable to the public agencies which have not submitted a master plan or which have not complied with the terms of a master plan approved by the authority. The bill directs the Office of Management and Enterprise Services to promulgate rules. It also repeals statutory language related to the Nine-One-One Wireless Emergency Number Act.

-HB 2280, by Rep. Jason Murphey and Sen. Robert 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. The bill passed 41 to 0.


-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. The bill passed 41 to 0.

-HB 2351, by Rep. Dustin Roberts and Sen. Larry Boggs, requires the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry to keep confidential the electronic mail addresses provided through any online licensing program. The bill passed 40 to 0.

-HB 2360, with title stricken, by Rep. Wade Rousselot and Sen. Don Barrington, allows a county to designate two individuals who are not county employees to act as receiving officers for fire protection districts, senior citizens' centers and other entities within the county. The bill requires a written designation of these individuals to be filed with the county clerk and to be entered in the minutes of the board of county commissioners. The bill requires evidence of blanket bond coverage or employee dishonesty liability insurance for each designee. The bill passed 39 to 0.

-HB 2651, by Rep. Seneca Scott and Sen. A J Griffin, creates the Oil and Gas Waste Efficiency and Recycling Act. The bill requires the Corporation Commission to work in conjunction with the Secretary of Energy and Environment, the Oklahoma Water Resources Board and the Department of Environmental Quality to implement recommendations of the Water for 2060 Produced Water Working Group as appointed by the Governor; continue developing an energy and industry water-use best-practices guidance and recognition program; and continue promoting and supporting initiatives to increase the use of marginal-quality water supplies in energy and industrial applications. The bill passed 41 to 0.

-HB 2729, 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. The bill and its emergency clause passed 40 to 0.

-HB2801, by Rep. Scooter Park and Sen. Larry Boggs, modifies qualifications for correctional officers. The bill allows officers who have been reinstated within three years to repeat the pre-service training requirement. The bill passed 41 to 0.


• The House approved the following legislation on Wednesday:

-SB 361, by Sen. Nathan Dahm and Rep. Jon Echols, removes the certain dollar amount appraisers of properties subject to the right of eminent domain. The bill modifies applicability and eliminates the inclusion of telegraph lines. The bill removes language regarding to conveyances. The bill passed 61 to 26.

-SB 796, by Sen. Anthony Sykes and Rep. Lee Denney, modifies requirement for what should be included in the notice of a lien sale. The bill adjusts for the conditions and value of personal property for treble damages resulting from a fraudulent lien claim. This bill modifies the title requirements following the denial of an application. The bill does not require Notice of Possessory Lien form sent to the owner or lienholder based on information acquired from other states or tribes be mailed until the information is physically received by the lien claimant and allows for certain additional processing fees. It states a lienholder or vehicle owner making a false statement to obtain the release of personal property from a lien claimant is guilty of a felony. The bill passed 84 to 3.

-SB 922, by Sen. Frank Simpson and Rep. Dustin Roberts, permits the Adjutant General, when absent from the state, to delegate any vested authority to an assistant adjutant general or other state officer or employee within the Military Department. The bill authorizes the Adjutant General to promulgate necessary rules. The bill passed 90 to 0.

-SB 923, by Sen. Frank Simpson and Rep. Dustin Roberts, adds the Oklahoma Military Department to a list of agencies until Jan. 1, 2022, exempt from the requirement to submit a requisition to the Director of the Office of Management and Enterprise Services prior to acquisition of a motor vehicle. The bill passed 83 to 1.

-SB 944, by Sen. Roger Thompson and Rep. Leslie Osborn, modifies the Oklahoma Rental-Purchase Act. The bill defines the terms "displayed or offered primarily for rental-purchase," "initial fee" and "initial period." The bill adds language modifying disclosures under the disclosures required by the Oklahoma Rental-Purchase Act. The bill passed 73 to 7.

-SB 1335, by Sen. Corey Brooks, permits municipal police departments to enforce Compulsory Insurance Law. It provides if, by the end of the second business day immediately following the date of a citation, a person produces proof to the law enforcement agency that issued the citation and is storing a seized license plate that a current security verification form or equivalent form which has been issued by the Department of Public Safety reflecting liability coverage for the person was in force at the time of the alleged offense, the person will not be required to pay the required administrative fee, but if no proof is presented within that time, the person will be required to pay the full administrative fee, regardless of whether the person had minimum auto liability insurance coverage at the time of citation. The bill changes the annual requirement that the Insurance Commissioner develop and approve a policy form for the purpose of providing coverage under the Oklahoma Temporary Motorist Liability Plan to when necessary. The bill provides the contract for insurance coverage awarded may be a multi-year contract, renewable annually, in accordance with any applicable Office of Management and Enterprise Services guidelines or procedures. The bill passed 61 to 24.

-SB 1377, by Sen. A J Griffin and Rep. Doug Cox, prohibits a contracting entity from selling, assigning or otherwise granting access to the dental services of a participating provider under any health care contract unless expressly authorized by the health care contract. It requires the health care contract to specifically provide that one purpose of the contract is the selling, assigning or giving the contracting entity rights to the services of the participating provider, including network plans. It adds that upon entering a contract with a participating provider and upon request by a participating provider, a contracting entity will properly identify any third party that has been granted access to the dental services of the participating provider. The bill passed 90 to 0.

-SB 481, by Sen. Gary Stanislawski and Rep. Charles McCall permits the Insurance commission to make an application for receivership as in the matter of a domestic insurer when a prepaid funeral benefit permit holder refuses to submit the books, records, papers and instruments of the prepaid funeral benefit contracts to the examination and inspection of the assistants or examiners of the Insurance Commissioner, or refuses or neglects to establish or maintain a prepaid funeral benefit permit in accordance with the requirements of the Prepaid Funeral Benefits Act within 90 days after a written demand to establish or maintain a prepaid funeral benefit permit is made by the Commissioner, or in any manner obstructs or interferes with the examination of its prepaid funeral benefit contracts or refuse to be examined on oath concerning any of the affairs of its prepaid funeral benefit contracts. The bill excludes capital gains from inclusion in income. The bill prescribes how a may choose distribution from a perpetual care fund. The bill updates statutory references. The bill passed by a vote of 85 to 0.

-SB 982, by Sen. Gary Stanislawski and Rep. James Leewright, permits the Commissioner of Public Safety to endorse a permit for the movement of an oversize vehicle to authorize night time travel under such terms and restrictions as the commissioner may require. The bill removes the requirement that the commissioner develop a system for provisional permits for authorized carriers which may be used in lieu of a regular permit for the movement of oversize and overweight loads when issued an authorization number by the Department of Public Safety. The bill and its emergency clause passed 81 to 2.

-SB 1059, by Sen. Gary Stanislawski and Rep. Leslie Osborn, modifies revenue apportionment of overweight fees and fines for motor vehicles. The bill modifies operational hours of the operation of weigh stations from 24 hours a day to 18 to 20 hours a day. The bill passed by a vote of 79 to 5.

-SB 1112, by Sen. Gary Stanislawski and Rep. Scott Biggs, establishes the Land Mobile Radio Public Safety Interoperability Cooperative. The bill requires the Cooperative to be governed by a committee consisting of the Secretary of Finance or designee, Secretary of Transportation or designee and the Secretary of the Safety and Security Cabinet or designee. The bill establishes the Cooperative to focus on unifying, stabilizing and enhancing the infrastructure and capabilities for land mobile radio public safety system communication. The bill establishes duties of the Cooperative. The bill passed by a vote of 76 to 2.

-SB 1430, by Sen. Dan Newberry and Rep. Todd Russ, requires the fair market value of the real estate to be supported by an appropriate evaluation of real property collateral that is consistent with safe and sound banking practices. It requires the recorded value of the property be updated from time to time to reflect current market conditions as well as any other factors that may affect the fair market value. The bill removes language that requires banks or trust companies shall be to keep current appraisals on file to substantiate their other real-estate-owned property book values. It permits the Banking Commissioner to prescribe circumstances, which if satisfied by a bank, will permit the bank's board of directors to meet no less often than once every two months.
The bill and its emergency clause passed by a vote of 82 to 1.

Thursday, April 14, 2015

• The Senate met on Thursday and approved the following legislation, including:

-HB 2962, by Rep. Jason Nelson and Sen. AJ Griffin, requires coverage for autistic disorders under certain circumstances. The measure would require coverage for the screening, diagnosis and treatment of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in individuals younger than 9 years old. If the child isn’t diagnosed or doesn’t receive treatment until after three years of age, they would be eligible for at least six years of benefits as long as he or she shows sufficient progress and improvement. Under the legislation, children would have access to applied behavior analysis for up to 25 hours a week, with a cap of $25,000 a year. The measure passed by a vote of 36-6.

-HB 2601, by Rep. Mike Ritze and Sen. Bill Brown, requires certain health care facilities to include breast density information in a mammography report. The measure passed by a vote of 32-8.

-HB2622, by Rep. Leslie Osborn and Sen. Ron Justice, modifies the Alternative Fuels Technician Certification Act. Measure passed 37-5.

-HB2624, by Rep. Leslie Osborn and Sen. Ron Justice, modifies the information required to sell vehicles to a scrap metal dealer and modifies the transfer of title for certain vehicles.

-HB 2642, by Rep. Steve Vaughn and Sen. Eddie Fields, deletes the land size restriction for special use permits to use certain private lands.

-HB2777, by Rep. Charles McCall and Sen. Josh Brecheen, reauthorizes the income tax checkoff box for the Wildlife Diversity Fund. The measure passed 40-2.

-HB2967, by Rep. Jason Nelson and Sen. David Holt, authorizes certain school districts to enter into written contracts with student teachers. The vote on the measure was 31-10.

HB2971, by Rep Jason Nelson and Sen. Greg Treat, creates the Child Welfare Review Committee for the Death and Near Death of Children with Disabilities.


Other news this week

• Legislation signed into law by the governor would expand a State Employee Suggestion Program enacted in 2015. The 2015 law authorizes state agencies to financially reward an employee when they offer a suggestion that results in a direct cost savings to the agency of $5,000 or more. The reward is limited to 20 percent of the cost savings. The 2015 law only applied to agencies with more than 10 full-time employees, but House Bill 2471, by state Rep. Ken Walker, removes that limitation.


• Gov. Mary Fallin outlined her proposal to balance the state's fiscal year 2017 budget to lawmakers on Wednesday, outlining a working draft to sell bonds to fund more than $500 million of road projects to eliminate some sales tax exemptions and ending appropriations to three agencies that say they no longer need them. Fallin noted the projected FY2017 budget shortfall stood at around $900 million when she unveiled her executive budget in February. Later that month, the Board of Equalization, which she chairs, increased the anticipated shortfall to $1.3 billion.

Fallin's plan includes five proposals that would generate nearly that much money:

• Issuing $502.7 million of bonds rather than taking that money off-the-top of FY2017 revenue collections;
• Tax changes totaling $238.9 million;
• Apportionment reform that would generate $177.0 million;
• Government accounting reform that would make $333.3 million available to appropriate; and
• Ending appropriations to the Office of the Attorney General, the Office of the State Treasurer, and the Insurance Department, while also accessing $125.0 from agency revolving funds for FY2017 appropriations.

Fallin stressed that none of the proposals constitute a tax increase that would require a supermajority vote of each chamber of the Legislature. Total appropriations under Fallin's plan would total $7.053 billion, just $86.0 million less than was original appropriated for FY2016, the current fiscal year, and $296.0 million more than agencies actual will receive this fiscal year as a result of the budget cuts resulting from the revenue shortfalls declared in December and again in January.

Fallin's plan would appropriate the same amount to some agencies in FY2017 that they originally received for the current fiscal year, including the State Department of Education, the Department of Career Technology, the Oklahoma Health Care Authority, the Department of Human Services, the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, the State Department of Health and the Oklahoma Tax Commission. Some others agencies, including the Office of Juvenile Affairs, the Corporation Commission, the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner and others, would see their FY2017 appropriation mirror their FY2016 appropriation after the two cuts were implemented. Most agencies would see a 4.5 percent cut from their current level of funding after this fiscal year's earlier cuts.

• Oklahoma Unclaimed Property Program and Treasurer Ken Miller will be featured on CBS News 60 Minutes this Sunday evening, as the program focuses on Miller and his battle against life insurance companies that are trying to keep Oklahomans from receiving death benefits.

The story will expose the tactics and motivation behind efforts in several states by life insurance companies to block unclaimed property programs from discovering and returning policy proceeds to its rightful owners. Compiled over the last year, the story will include an interview with Treasurer Miller and details on proposed legislation that backers would use to keep Oklahoma families from ever knowing they have death benefits due them.

• The state Supreme Court struck down another provision of the 2013 workers' compensation reform package this week, saying it violated due process rights. In the 7 to 2 decision, the court overturned a provision of the law related to permanent partial disability payments and a process known as deferment. The case involved four similar cases that were appealed from the Workers' Compensation Commission. Workers in each of the cases had been denied permanent partial disability payments. Deferment allows the permanent partial disability payments to be reduced each week the injured party returns to work until such time their employer's liability reaches zero or until the employee is terminated for cause unrelated to the injury.

The court found that disability payments are compensation for permanent impairment and cannot be tied to the short-term ability to return to work or near pre-injury performance or earnings levels. Writing for the majority, Justice Noma Gurich said the 2013 law "suggests the Legislature intended for permanent partial disability to be based solely on loss of earning capacity with no consideration as to the physical insult to the employee's body…" which "unconstitutionally abrogated" the "due process rights of injured employees …"

The court also found the Workers' Compensation Commission, which was created by the 2013 law to oversee an administrative, rather than a judicial or adversarial, work comp system, incorrectly applied the law and that deferral of disability payments resulted in an unconstitutional special law because it singled out a "subclass of injured workers" for no valid reason. Justice Thomas Colbert, who was joined in a separate opinion by Justice Joseph Watt, called the 2013 law an "unconstitutional scheme." Justices James Winchester and Steven Taylor dissented in the case. In February, the Workers' Compensation Commission ruled that the opt-out provisions were unconstitutional. The opt-out provision is supposed to permit an employer to offer their own workers' compensation plan as long as its benefits mirror those provided under a workers' compensation insurance policy. That decision is being appealed to the Oklahoma Supreme Court. The Supreme Court in March ruled unconstitutional that portion of the 2013 workers' compensation law requiring 180 days of continuous employment before workers' compensation benefits would be afforded a worker.

• More than 250 candidates filed for state office Wednesday, the first day of the three day filing period for the 2016 elections. That number was just 21 candidates shy of the three-day total in 2012, according to the State Election Board. All 101 seats in the House and 25 seats in the Senate are up for election this year, along with one seat on the Corporation Commission, the state's five congressional seats, and one U.S. Senate seat. Only 13 of the candidates filed for a seat other than those in the Legislature. The filing period continues through Friday.