The Oklahoma Senate


Week In Review
Monday, April 25, to Thursday, April 28, 2016

Monday, April 25, 2016

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

-SB1369, by Sen. Kay Floyd and Rep. Cyndi Munson, defines the terms "homeless children and youth," "runaway," and "youth at risk of homelessness." The bill requires information concerning youth at risk of homelessness and runaways be included in the report from the Oklahoma Commission on Children and Youth's Office of Planning and Coordination. The measure passed 29-6 and now goes to Gov. Fallin for her consideration.

• The Legislature gathered in joint session Monday to honor Oklahoma veterans. The joint session was presided over by Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb, who noted that 11 percent of Oklahoma's adult population is veterans. Speaker Jeff Hickman and President Pro Tem Brian Bingman both addressed members of the Legislature and veterans seated in the House chamber. Both Hickman and Bingman praised the work of the Legislature for creating one of the most veteran friendly states in the nation.

• Gov. Mary Fallin signed the following bills into law on Monday:

-HB 3146, by Rep. Mike Sanders and Sen. Greg Treat, creates the Impaired Driving Elimination Act (IDEA). It allows a municipality having a municipal court not of record to create a limited municipal criminal court of record to establish municipal jurisdiction over violations of ordinances prohibiting driving, operating or being in the actual physical control of a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or other intoxicating substances The bill takes effect Nov. 1.

-HB 1951, by Rep. Weldon Watson and Sen. A J Griffin, updates statutory citation relating to the Underground Facilities Damage Prevention Act. The bill requires operators of underground facilities to participate in the statewide one-call notification center. The bill removes language allowing municipalities to opt out of participation. The bill takes effect Nov. 1.

-HB 2271, by Rep. Jadine Nollan and Sen. John Ford, creates the Military Privacy Protection Act. The bill adds uniform service members to the list of classes of registered voters for whom the State Election Board Secretary is authorized to promulgate rules to keep confidential the residence and mailing address, upon application to do so, of individual registered voters who are members of the classes. The bill takes effect Nov. 1.

-HB 2303, by Rep. Weldon Watson and Sen. Bryce Marlatt, changes the termination date for the Corporation Commission Plugging Fund from 2016 to 2021. It also changes the termination date on the excise tax on oil and gas from 2016 to 2021. The bill took effect upon the governor's signature.

-HB 2320, by Rep. Ben Loring and Sen. Wayne Shaw, modifies the definition of terrorism relating to the Oklahoma Antiterrorism Act. The bill requires any punishment for terrorism to be in addition to any penalty imposed for any offense involved in the act of terrorism. The bill takes effect Nov. 1.

-HB 2357, by Rep. Weldon Watson and Sen. Bryce Marlatt, removes references to hazardous substances in the legislative findings of the Oklahoma Storage Tank Regulation Act and deletes the definition altogether from the act. The bill takes effect Nov. 1.

-HB 2435, by Rep. Mark Lepak and Sen. Marty Quinn, modifies limitations on reimbursement of claims and vouchers in the State Travel Reimbursement Act for official travel to not cover more than one fiscal year. The bill takes effect Nov. 1.

-HB 2443, by Rep. Terry O'Donnell and Sen. Wayne Shaw, increases the time limitation for sentence modification for criminal procedure to 60 months. The bill takes effect Nov. 1.

-HB 2500, by Rep. John Pfeiffer and Sen. Ron Justice, allows the Department of Environmental Quality, to the extent funds are available, contract with the Oklahoma Rural Water Association for technical assistance programs to rural water and wastewater system operators throughout the state. It authorizes the Department to contract with other nonprofit entities in addition to the Oklahoma Rural Water Association for this purpose if the Department, in its discretion, determines that those entities can and will provide equally effective and efficient technical assistance services to rural water and wastewater system operators throughout the state. The bill takes effect July 1.

-HB 2547, by Rep. Glen Mulready and Sen. Kim David, repeals the informed consent provision of the Oklahoma Telemedicine Act. The bill takes effect Nov. 1.

-HB 2571, by Rep. Todd Russ and Sen. Corey Brooks, R-Washington, modifies maximum speed limits for school buses. The bill takes effect Nov. 1.

-HB 2623, by Rep. Leslie Osborn and Sen. Ron Justice, modifies the termination dates for certain gross production funding allocations. The bill takes effect immediately.

-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 takes effect Nov. 1.

-HB 2704, by Rep. Elise Hall and Sen. Corey Brooks, prohibits travel reimbursement for state employee from exceeding the amount prescribed by the Internal Revenue Code. The bill requires distances for which reimbursement for use of privately owned motor vehicles is claimed to be actual business miles based on a recognized GPS. The bill takes effect Nov. 1.

-HB 2932, by Rep. Mark McCullough and Sen. Joseph Silk, permits the Tax Commission to refuse to issue a coin-operated device tax decal to any person delinquent in the payment of the fees. It requires the commission provide notice of its intent to refuse. The bill sets the following fees: $1000 for any coin-operated music device, coin-operated amusement device, or coin-operated vending device requiring a coin or thing of value of $0.25 or more and $10 for any other coin-operated device. The bill takes effect Nov. 1.

-HB 3019, by Rep. Kevin Calvey and Sen. A J Griffin, prohibits the Department of Environmental Quality from allowing a solid waste disposal site to accept any nonhazardous industrial solid waste type unless landfill disposal sites that only receive ash generated by the burning of coal for the purpose of generating electricity by electric utilities and independent power producers meet certain other requirements. The bill takes effect Nov. 1.

-HB 3105, by Rep. Chad Caldwell and Sen. Ervin Yen, modifies the duties of the State Board of Examiners of Psychologists to include establishing fees. The bill modifies qualifications that must be met by an applicant before becoming a licensed psychologist and requires the applicant to fund their own background check. The bill requires the Board to maintain and publish and up-to-date list of all licensed psychologists. The bill takes effect Nov. 1.

-HB 3117, by Rep. Scott Martin and Sen. Robert Standridge, allows a valid and unexpired U.S. passport to serve as both primary and secondary proofs of identity whenever application for a driver license or identification card is submitted to the Department of Public Safety. The bill takes effect Nov. 1.

-HB 3130, by Rep. Josh Cockroft and Sen. AJ Griffin, increases from $3 per ton of materials for road or bridge improvements to $15 per ton materials for road or bridge improvements the dollar amount of purchases that are exempt from the construction bidding process at the county level. The bill takes effect Nov. 1.

-SB1095, by Sen. Nathan Dahm and Rep. Jon Echols, provides an exception from liability for any person with a current motor vehicle insurance policy at the required minimum limits who volunteers to provide transportation that does not exceed the limits of such insurance policy, except for gross negligence or willful or wanton conduct committed in providing such transportation. The bill takes effect Nov. 1.

-SB 1182, by Sen. Nathan Dahm and Rep. Bobby Cleveland, requires official acts of the Governor to be recorded and maintained by the Secretary of State. The bill repeals language relating to rewards for a criminal's arrest and eliminates the Division of Planning and Management Analysis within the Office of the Governor. The bill takes effect 90 days after the Legislature adjourns sine die.

-SB 1378, by Sen. Clark Jolley and Rep. Charles McCall, states that in the event that the determination of just compensation of a property is less than the commissioner's award for such real property, any mortgagee or lien holder who received payment from the commissioner's award in an amount in excess of the finding of just compensation value of the real property taken will only be liable for and required to pay back to the condemnor no more than the difference between what was actually received by the mortgagee or lien holder from the commissioner's award and the jury's just compensation value. It adds that a mortgagee or lien holder will only be liable to return to the condemnor any sums actually paid to and received by such party in excess of the determination of just compensation for the real property. It requires the mortgagor to remain liable to the mortgagee or lien holder for the excess that is paid by the mortgagee or lienholder to the condemning authority. The bill takes effect July 1.

-SB 1455, by Sen. Ron Sharp and Rep. Jeff Coody, specifies for the valuation and assessment of property that persons primarily engaged in selling lumber and other building materials, including cement and concrete, except for home centers classified under the North American Industrial Classification Systems (NAICS) Manual as Industry No. 444110 will be assessed at the average value of the inventory on hand as of January 1 of each year and the value of the inventory on hand as of December 31 of the same year. The bill takes effect Jan. 1.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

• The Senate met Tuesday morning and approved the following measure before adjourning:

SJR 4, by Sen. Rob Standridge and Rep. Gary Banz, applies to Congress on behalf of the State of Oklahoma and under Article 5 of the U.S. Constitution for calling a convention of the states for the limited purpose of proposing constitutional amendments to the U.S. Constitution that impose fiscal restraints on the federal government, limit the power and jurisdiction of the federal government and limit the terms of office for its officials and members of Congress. It directs distribution and requests the cooperation of other state legislatures.

• Gov. Mary Fallin signed the Labor Commissioner Mark Costello Act into law, along with 40 other measures on Tuesday afternoon , including:

-HB 1697, by Rep. Lee Denney and Sen. A J Griffin, creates the Labor Commissioner Mark Costello Act. The bill modifies the definition of the term "licensed mental health professional" to include a psychiatrist who is a diplomat of the American Osteopathic Board of Neurology and Psychiatry. The bill defines the terms "assistant outpatient" and "assisted outpatient treatment." The bill requires petitions filed to determine if an individual should be ordered to assisted outpatient treatment only be filed by a licensed mental health professional employed by the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services or employed by a community mental health center certified by the department. The bill establishes criteria by which the court may order an individual to assisted outpatient treatment. The bill incorporates references to "assisted outpatient" treatment into the statute. The measure goes into effect Nov. 1.

-HB 1711, by Rep. Glen Mulready and Sen. Marty Quinn, modifies requirements for the insurance monthly premium rates for retired state employees under 65 at a rate that is between $100 less than the monthly premium for active employees and up to$100 more than the monthly premium for active employees. The bill takes effect Nov. 1.

-HB 2248, by Rep. Jason Murphey and Sen. Anthony Sykes, clarifies language related to sales tax propositions on ballots. The bill provides that existing statute cannot be interpreted to prohibit prohibiting a one subject proposition from residing upon the same paper voting ballot as other one subject propositions. The bill takes effect Nov. 1.

-HB 2260, by Rep. Chuck Hoskin and Sen. Randy Bass requires any persons 17 years of age or younger seeking a motorcycle driver license to successfully complete a certified basic rider course approved by the Department of Public Safety. The bill takes effect 90 days after the Legislature adjourns sine die.

-HB 2275, by Rep. Lee Denney and Sen. Clark Jolley, requiring the submission of DNA samples from persons arrested for felony crimes. The bill requires a qualified arresting authority to collect the DNA sample. The bill requires the sample to be taken by peace officers, county sheriff or employees or contractors of the county sheriff's office. The bill states the persons collecting blood or saliva for DNA will be immune from civil liabilities arising from the process. The bill requires the samples to be mailed to the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation within 10 days. The bill allows for the DNA sample to not be analyzed and to be destroyed under certain circumstances. The bill takes effect Nov. 1.

-HB 2399, by Rep. Scott Biggs and Sen. Anthony Sykes, provides a jurisdictional requirement for emergency ex parte orders in an action for divorce, separate maintenance, guardianship, adoption or any other proceeding involving custody or visitation. The bill takes effect Nov. 1.

-HB 2425, by Rep. Sally Kern and Sen. AJ Griffin, increases the age for persons considered a child prostitute from anyone less than 16 years of age to anyone less than 18 years of age. The bill takes effect Nov. 1.

-HB 2444, by Rep. Terry O'Donnell and Sen. Jason Smalley, modifies civil penalty for violations of pipeline safety rules, regulations and orders. It modifies administrative penalties for violations to the Hazardous System Safety Act. The bill takes effect July 1.

-HB 2448, by Rep. Terry O'Donnell and Sen. Don Barrington, modifies definition to "electronic communication device" to include an ignition interlock device that has been installed on a motor vehicle. The bill takes effect Nov. 1.

-HB 2449, by Rep. Terry O'Donnell and Sen. Don Barrington, requires the driver of a motor vehicle, upon approaching a vehicle being used in the collection of refuse, solid waste or recyclables displaying side marker lamps which flash in conjunction with turn signal lamps or vehicle hazard warning lamps to perform certain maneuvers. It adds vehicles being used in the collection of refuse, solid waste or recyclables displaying side marker lamps which flash in conjunction with turn signal lamps or vehicle hazard warning lamps indicating the presence of a vehicular traffic hazard requiring unusual care in approaching, overtaking or passing to list of vehicles permitted to use flashing lights. The bill takes effect Nov. 1.

-HB 2450, by Rep. James Leewright and Sen. Brian Bingman, increases fines to individuals found impersonating a member or veteran of the United States Armed Forces by wearing any decoration or medal authorized by the Congress of the United States for the Armed Forces of the United States, or any of the service medals or badges awarded to the members of such forces, or the ribbon, button, or rosette of any such badge, decoration or medal, or any colorable imitation thereof, except when authorized under regulations as authorized by the applicable federal law to $1,000.00. The bill takes effect Nov. 1.

-HB 2474, by Rep. Pam Peterson and Sen AJ Griffin, limits rulemaking authority for disqualifying criteria relating to provisional driver licenses by prohibiting such rules from preventing the issuance of a provisional license due to nonpayment or delayed payment of court-ordered fines, fees and penalties, to an individual that otherwise satisfies the eligibility requirements for said license. The bill takes effect Nov. 1.

-HB 2482, by Rep. Pat Ownbey and Sen. Frank Simpson, establishes the Nurse Licensure Compact and sets its terms. The bill sets the application for a multistate license at $150 and its biennial renewal fee at $125 up implementation of the compact by the Board of Nursing. The bill permits the board to reduce the biennial renewal fees on a pro rata basis for registered nurses and licensed practical nurses. The bill updates licenses to conform to single-state or multistate licensure. The bill removes requirements for practical nursing education programs. The bill modifies language related to the suspension of licenses of those in the peer assistance program. The bill takes effect Nov. 1.

-HB 2488, by Rep. Ken Walker and Sen. Frank Simpson, increases from 90 days to 120 days after discharge the extension period of any license held by a member of the National Guard or reserve component of the armed forces that expires while the member is on active duty. The bill takes effect Nov. 1.

-HB 2510, by Rep. Lisa J. Billy and Sen. Susan Paddack, requires all social security numbers included in a public record to be confidential regardless of the person's status as a public employee or private individual and are to be redacted or deleted prior to release of the record by the public body. The bill takes effect Nov. 1.

-HB 2519, by Rep. Randy Grau and Sen. Gary Stanislawski, allows for the use of the county highway fund for the removal and disposal of storm debris and dead animal carcasses from county roads and rights-of-way thereof.

-HB 2545, 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. The bill takes effect Nov. 1.

-HB 2546, by Rep. Glen Mulready and Sen. Ron Sharp, adds a definition of the Truth in Lending Act to the Oklahoma Appraisal Management Company Regulation Act. It also adds a person whose credential issued by an appraiser-credentialing jurisdiction has been suspended to the list of conditions under which an appraisal management company applying for, holding, or renewing a registration under the Oklahoma Appraisal Management Company Regulation Act cannot be more than ten-percent-owned. The bill requires the controlling person identified by the company to notify the Oklahoma Real Estate Appraiser Board of any discipline imposed by any other jurisdiction, whether state or federal, including but not limited to consent agreements or orders, in connection with any real property valuation activity including, but not limited to, public or private reprimand, censure, financial penalty, probation, restriction on practice, delisting, suspension, revocation, surrender of license or credential, debarment or any other formal or informal resolution as to the Appraisal Management Company or any of its individual controlling officers in their capacity as an appraiser. The bill takes effect Nov. 1.

-HB 2555, by Rep. Harold Wright and Sen. Anthony Sykes, clarifies statutory language related to penalties for driving under the influence and modifies conditions for subsequent offenses. The bill takes effect Nov. 1.

-HB 2595, by Rep. John R. Bennett and Rep. Richard Morrissette and Sen. Frank Simpson, permits a court making a sentencing decision concerning a person who is a veteran to consider as a mitigating factor that the person has been diagnosed as suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder resulting from his or her military service. The bill requires the defendant to provide the court documentary evidence that the defendant has served in the U.S. Armed Forced in a combat zone and suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder connected to that service. The bill defines applicable terms. The bill takes effect Nov. 1.

-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. The bill takes effect Nov. 1.

-HB 2711, by Rep. Charles Ortega and Sen. Mike Schulz, requires community action agencies be considered a public agency for the purposes of the Prisoners Public Works Act, Sections 215 et seq. of Title 57 of the Oklahoma Statutes. The bill takes effect July 1.

-HB 2747, by Rep. Richard Morrissette and Sen. Kyle Loveless, creates the Oklahoma Blue Alert Act. It defines terms used therein. It requires the Department of Public Safety to develop and implement a statewide blue alert system. It requires the statewide blue alert system to be designed to rapidly disseminate useful information in a predetermined manner to statewide media outlets. It appoints the Commissioner of Public Safety the statewide coordinator of the blue alert system. It requires the Commissioner to adopt rules and issue directives as necessary to ensure proper implementation of the alert. It requires the Oklahoma Blue Alert only be activated in accordance with policies established by the Department of Public Safety and if all of the provided conditions are met. It authorizes the Commissioner to notify authorities and entities outside the State of Oklahoma upon verification that the criteria have been met. It requires the Commissioner to annually review the function of the blue alert system and revise its criteria and procedures to provide for efficient and effective statewide public notification. The bill takes effect Nov. 1.

-HB 2785, by Rep. Tommy Hardin and Sen. Frank Simpson, authorizes cities to participate in the Disability Insurance Program and provides for starting date of participation. The bill requires cities to provide contribution to the Program in an amount determined by the Oklahoma Employees Insurance and Benefits Board. The bill takes effect Nov. 1.

-HB 2820, 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. The bill takes effect Nov. 1.

-HB 2922, by Rep. Dan Kirby and Sen. John Sparks, updates statutory citations relating to the licensing and regulation of bail bondsmen. The bill modifies definitions. It modifies exemptions. It requires all of the records shall be available and open to the inspection of the Commissioner at any time during business hours during the three years immediately following the date the liability of the bondsman on the bond is discharged by the court or the date collateral is returned by the bondsman to its lawful owner, whichever is later. It requires that if an appearance bond is never executed and filed with the court, then all records be maintained for three years immediately following the date the documents were prepared. It deletes requirements for issuing receipts. It clarifies the procedures required for appointment forms. The bill takes effect Nov. 1.

-HB 2934, by Rep. Mark McCullough and Sen. Anthony Sykes, permits a district attorney to dismiss an action or indictment by filing a notice of dismissal at any time prior to commencement of the preliminary hearing in the case of a felony or in the case of a misdemeanor, prior to the matter being set for trial. The bill requires a defendant named in such action or indictment to pay only the costs of that action if agreed upon by the parties. The bill takes effect Nov. 1.

-HB 2969, by Rep. Jason Nelson and Sen. AJ 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. The bill takes effect 90 after the Legislature adjourns sine die.

-HB 2997, by Rep. Lewis Moore and Sen. Frank Simpson, authorizes agencies to establish education and training programs for positions critical to the mission of the agency. It allows the agency contract with accredited institutions necessary to provide this education and training. It allows funds of the agency or its institutions may be used to pay salaries or tuition and subsistence for employees in these training programs. The bill takes effect Nov. 1.

-HB 3116, by Rep. Scott Martin and Sen. Jason Smalley, modifies the authority of the Director of the Office of State Finance to determine compliance with the Oklahoma State Facilities Energy Conservation Program. The bill took effect immediately.

-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 takes effect Nov. 1.

-HB 3192, by Rep. Cyndi Munson and Sen. Patrick Anderson, classifies specially for vehicle license and registration purposes vehicles not used for businesses or commercial purposes that are retired members of the Armed Forces or their spouses. The bill eliminates the requirement of a statement certified to by a proper officer of the organization to which the applicant is assigned for duty. The bill takes effect Nov. 1.

-SB 888, by Sen. Roger Thompson and Rep. Steve Kouplen, exempts grant monies provided to a municipality from any federal, state, or other governmental entity from the income calculation that determine where a municipality are required to have conducted an annual financial statement audit in accordance with auditing standards generally accepted in the U.S. and "Government Auditing Standards" as issued by the Comptroller General of the United States. The bill takes effect 90 days after the Legislature adjourns sine die.

-SB 926, by Sen. Frank Simpson and Rep. Dustin Roberts, authorizes the Adjutant General to execute agreements with the federal government for reimbursement to the Oklahoma Military Department (OMD) for the use and operation of OMD state-owned vehicles and equipment in support of youth programs. The bill takes effect July 1.

-SB 928, by Sen. Frank Simpson and Rep. Dustin Roberts, authorizes the Adjutant General to execute agreements with the federal government for reimbursement to the Oklahoma Military Department (OMD) for the use and operation of OMD state-owned vehicles and equipment in support of the federal reimbursable programs through Cooperative Agreement with the National Guard Bureau. The bill takes effect July 1.

-SB 1018, by Sen. Mike Schulz and Rep. Harold Wright, allows the Department of Public Safety to issue a non-domiciled commercial learner permit or driver license to an H2A Temporary Agricultural worker lawfully present in the country and to J-1 Exchange Visitor Program participants lawfully present in the United States. The bill requires a person applying for such permit to comply with all testing and licensing requirements in accordance with federal regulations, state laws and DPS rules. The bill takes effect Nov. 1.

-SB 1128, by Sen. Patrick Anderson and Rep. Todd Thomsen, creates the Pension Improvement Act. The bill creates the "Oklahoma Pension Improvement Revolving Fund" for the retirement systems of the State of Oklahoma. It requires that the fund be a continuing fund, not subject to fiscal year limitations, and consist of all monies received and placed in the fund for the benefit of retired members and beneficiaries of the retirement systems of the State Oklahoma from such sources as may be designated by the law. The bill takes effect 90 days after the Legislature adjourns sine die.

-SB 1157, by Sen. Stephanie Bice and Rep. Katie Henke, requires all private and out-of-state public degree-granting institutions to be accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency. The bill defines degree-granting institution and sets policies and procedures. The bill takes effect 90 days after the Legislature adjourns sine die.

-SB 1159, by Sen. Nathan Dahm and Rep. John Jordan, removes dagger, bowie knife, dirk knife and sword cane from the list of weapons that are unlawful carry. The bill takes effect Nov. 1.

-SB 1507, by Sen. Kim David and Rep. Doug Cox, authorizes the Director of the Office of Disability Concerns to purchase cards for invoices relating to telecommunication services. The bill takes effect Nov. 1.


Wednesday, April 27, 2016

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

-SB 1036, by Sen. Jason Smalley and Rep. Jeff Coody, exempts certain names from disclosure of carrying firearms. Passed 44-0.

-SB 1069, by Sen. AJ Griffin and Rep. Lee Denney, directs the Office Management and Enterprise Services to provie certain assistance as it pertains to the Office of Juvenile Affirs and charter schools. Passed 45-0.

-SB 1149, by Sen. AJ Griffin and Rep. Doug Cox, authorizes a municipality to operate hospitals outside municipal limits and allows facilities to engage in activities outside certain boundaries. Passed 30-14.

-SB 1200, by AJ Griffin and Rep. John Paul Jordan, modifies certain juvenile detention requirements. Passed 44-0.

-HB 3202, by Rep. Earl Sears and Sen. Clark Jolley, extends the date for transfer of monies from specified court revolving funds to the Supreme Court Administrative Revolving Fund. Passed 40-0.

• On Wednesday, the governor signed criminal justice reform bills as follows:

-HB 2472, which gives prosecutors discretion to file charges for non-85 percent crimes as misdemeanors instead of felonies.

-HB 2479, which reduces the minimum mandatory punishment for drug offenders charged only with possession.

-HB 2751, which raises the threshold for property crimes to be charged as a felony to $1,000.

-HB 2753, which establishes means for broader use of drug courts and community sentencing.

All four measures take effect Nov. 1. Rep. Pam Peterson was the House author of all four measures. Sen. Greg Treat sponsored HBs 2472, 2479 and 2751. Sen. Wayne Shaw sponsored HB 2753.


Thursday, April 28, 2015

• The Senate met Thursday morning before adjourning for the weekend and approved the following legislation:

-SB 874, by Sen. Patrick Anderson and Rep. Chad Caldwell, increases the limitation on valuation of certain property. Passed 39-0.

-SB 896, by Sen. Kyle Loveless and Rep. Jason Murphey, modifies the percentage of votes necessary for continued recognition of a political party. Passed 26-14.

-SB 912, by Sen. Kyle Loveless and Rep. George Faught, requires rules filed to include a statement of the gist of the rule. Passed 38-1.

-SB 933, by Sen. Roger Thompson and Rep. Dennis Casey, changes the effect of certain conditions upon reduction of a certain amount as it pertains to accreditation standards and textbook adoption.

-SB936, by Sen. Roger Thompson and Rep. Leslie Osborn, proves classified service exception for seasonal employees of the state Transportation Department.

-SB 949, by Sen. Frank Simpson and Rep. Dustin Roberts, authorizes the waiver of certain fees and defines terms as it pertains to the leasing or renting of facilities. Passed 39-0.

-SB 959, by Sen. Susan Paddack and Rep. Todd Thomsen, clarifies definitions and modifies requirements to carry a concealed weapon. Passed 38-0.

-SB 965, by Sen. Susan Paddack and Rep. Lisa Billy, amends an exception that highway memorial signs be paid for by sponsoring party. Passed 38-0.

-SB 983, by Sen. Roger Thompson and Rep. Scott Martin, creates the Health Information Technology Advisory Board and establishes certain operating procedures. Passed 30-9.

-SB 1257, by Sen. David Holt and Rep. John Paul Jordan, criminalizes the unauthorized dissemination of intimate photos or video—usually after a relationship has ended—an act commonly referred to as “revenge porn.”

SB 1269, by Sen. Ervin Yen and Rep. Scott Martin, directs the State Board of Education to develop certain endorsements. Passed 29-10.

-SB 1374, by Sen. Greg Treat and Rep. Lee Denney, modifies the Long Term Insurance Act. Passed 39-0.

-SB 1573, by Sen. Clark Jolley and Rep. Earl Sears, authorizes the Oklahoma Historical Society to transfer ownership of historic properties. Passed 40-0.

-HB 3202, by Rep. Earl Sears and Sen. Clark Jolley, extends the date for transfer of monies from specified court revolving funds to the Supreme Court Administrative Revolving Fund. Passed 40-0.

• Gov. Mary Fallin signed Senate Bill 1113, by Sen. David Holt and Rep. Randy Grau, on Thursday. The measure allows the recovery of attorney fees by those who have unjustly had their assets seized through the civil asset forfeiture process. The new law will go into effect on November 1.


Other News

• On Wednesday, Republican senators voted to designate Senator Mike Schulz, R-Altus, as the next President Pro Tempore of the Oklahoma State Senate. The President Pro Tem is the upper chamber’s top leadership position. In addition to leading the Majority Caucus and setting its agenda, the Pro Tem oversees the operations of the Oklahoma Senate.

Schulz currently serves as the Majority Floor Leader and will replace President Pro Tem Brian Bingman, who has served as the Senate leader the past six years but is leaving because of legislative term limits. Under the rules of the Senate Republican Caucus, the remainder of the Senate GOP’s leadership team will be chosen following the general election this November. The Senate will organize in January, at which time the new Pro Tem will be officially elected, and rules for the 2017 session will be passed.


• Oklahoma Department of Human Services Director Ed Lake said in an email this week to agency employees and contractors that “many cuts detrimental to clients, employees and our partners will have to be implemented.”
The agency took a $45 million hit early this year and faces a projected $46 million shortfall headed into the next fiscal year. Lake noted in total, DHS is expecting an estimated $150 million shortfall through a combination of state and federal funding reductions. Over 450 DHS positions are being eliminated through two agency buyouts, but Lake indicated the agency would need to cut several hundred more positions depending upon the appropriation. DHS spokeswoman Sheree Powell said the agency began the fiscal year with about 7,300 employees.


• The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education conducted a public hearing this week aimed at receiving views and comments concerning tuition peer limits and academic services fees charged to students enrolled at institutions in the state's higher education system. Topics open for discussion at Thursday's hearing included tuition and mandatory fee limits for both undergraduate
and graduate programs, tuition and mandatory fee limits for professional programs and Academic Service Fee proposals..

According to a report released by the regents, research universities in the state currently average tuition and mandatory fee rates at 85.1 percent compared to those in the Big 12 Conference, an increase of 0.3 percentage points from last year; the average for regional universities' tuition and mandatory fees increased 2.0 percentage points to 83.6 percent of the peer average; and the average for community colleges decreased 0.9 percentage points to 62.8 percent of their peer average for resident undergraduate tuition and mandatory fees. Of the 25 public institutions and six constituent agencies in the state's system, 28 requested changes in their academic services for FY2017 and three had no changes in their requests for fee changes. In total, 474 changes have been requested to fees for FY2017, representing a 10 percent decrease in the number of changes requested when compared to FY2016. Institutions and governing boards will submit their requested increases for tuition and mandatory fees for FY2017 in June, after the state appropriation for higher education is known. The regents are ultimately expected to act on proposals at their regular meeting set for June 29.