The Oklahoma Senate

Week In Review
Monday, Feb. 13, to Wed., Feb. 16, 2017

Monday, February 13, 2017

• The full Senate met briefly Monday afternoon and adopted its first resolution of the session, but heard no other legislation.

• The Senate General Government Committee advanced several bills on Monday including the following:

-SB 403, by Sen. David Holt, modifies the methods by which public bodies must display notices for regularly scheduled meetings. It exempts weekends and holidays and defines terms.

-SB 47, by Sen. Chris Kidd, establishes Aug. 19 of each year as “Oklahoma Aviation and Aerospace Day" in Oklahoma and requests all citizens devote some portion of the day to commemorate the achievements of Oklahoma in aviation and aerospace and recognize the inspiration that aviation and aerospace have provided to the citizens of the state.

-SB 59, by Sen. Larry Boggs, permits the Adjutant General to enter into mutual aid agreements with municipal, county and state government entities and with volunteer fire departments in order to facilitate and coordinate fire protection efforts. It also authorizes the Adjutant General to promulgate rules to implement the agreements.

-SB 151, by Sen. Tom Dugger, exempts any employee of the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation who is elected to a local board of education from the prohibition on dual office holding.

-SB 220, by Sen. Rob Standridge, adds authorization for the Board of County Commissioners to establish a county employee benefit program to encourage outstanding performance in the workplace. It allows monies to be expended for the purchase of recognition awards for presentation to an employee or members of a work unit. It allows the municipal governing body to enact an ordinance for the establishment of an employee benefit program to encourage outstanding performance in the workplace. It requires said ordinance provide for the expenditure of funds for the purchase of recognition awards for presentation to an employee or members of a work unit.

-SB 230, by Sen. Paul Scott, declares the ninth of December of each year as “Oklahoma Women in Aviation and Aerospace Day” in Oklahoma, requesting all citizens to devote some portion of day to commemorate the achievements of Oklahoman women in aviation and aerospace and recognize the inspiration that aviation and aerospace has provided to the citizens of Oklahoma.

-SB 258, as amended and with title stricken, by Sen. Mark Allen, requires an awarding public agency to provide written documentation to the President Pro Tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives detailing the reason for its action under the Public Competitive Bidding Act of 1974. The amendment requires the information be provided within 30 days of the contract's award.

-SB 452, by Sen. Nathan Dahm, allows any member of the Legislature to request, by passage of a resolution, a statement of legal authority for a specific facet of operations of the agency. It establishes the provisions of the resolutions and allows an agency head to be subject to impeachment if he or she does not submit a response.

-SB 637, by Sen. Nathan Dahm, creates the Governor's Transparency Act of 2017 and requires all state agencies to publish on its website a report on any memorandums of understanding or agreements within 15 days of the effective date and establishes information to be included in the report and provides for exceptions.

-SB 697, with title stricken, by Sen. Anthony Sykes, requires all rulemaking authority delegated by the Legislature to executive branch agencies be used only to implement law or policy as set by the Legislature. It requires all administrative rules, including those already in existence, to include a specific reference to the statutory provision that delegates the authority for promulgation of such rule within three years.

-SB 799, by Sen. Anthony Sykes, authorizes an agency, board, commission or other entity of state government to adopt policies permitting employees to use accrued leave for the purposes of physical fitness and wellness. The bill establishes eligibility criteria and limitations and directs the Director of the Office of Management and Enterprise Services to promulgate necessary rules.

-SB 340, by Sen. Micheal Bergstrom, allows a municipal judge to direct a defendant to perform community service at a rate of not less than the current federal minimum wage for any person convicted of violating any ordinance of a city and sentenced to pay a fine and costs and is without the means to do so. The amendment removes the requirement that the defendant be ordered to perform community service for a minimum of one day.

• The Senate Education committee met on Monday and approved the following legislation:

-SB 392, with its title stricken, by Sen. Kyle Loveless, prohibits a school district employee from assisting another school district employee in obtaining a new job in another school district within the state if the employee knows or has reason to believe that the employee seeking a new job engaged in behavior that would form the basis for certain criminal charges, providing certain exemptions.

-SB 2, by Sen. J.J. Dossett, removes the requirement to administer assessments in U.S. history from the statewide student assessment system. The bill also updates a statutory reference.

-CS to SB 29, by Sen. Roger Thompson, provides that a board of education is not required to obtain a new criminal history record check for an individual who has obtained certification from the State Department of Education within the previous 12 months.

-SB 45, by Sen. Ron Sharp, authorizes the State Department of Education to directly contract with educators who are current or retired employees of Oklahoma public school districts, for services to assist the department as necessary when such services require the expertise and qualifications of an Oklahoma certified educator. The bill exempts the contracts from the competitive bidding requirements of the Oklahoma Central Purchasing Act and from being included in the calculation of the educator's salary for purposes of meeting the district or statutory minimum salary schedule or for purposes of calculating Teachers' Retirement System of Oklahoma contributions or benefits.

-CS to SB 81, by Sen. Ron Sharp, lowers the grade level to third from sixth at which point a student may be suspended for assaulting, attempting to cause physical bodily injury, or acting in a manner that could reasonably cause bodily injury to an education employee or a person who is volunteering for the school.

-SB 301, by Sen. AJ Griffin, exempts a student who was in out-of-home placement with the Department of Human Services or the Office of Juvenile Affairs from certain requirements for participation in the Lindsey Nicole Henry Scholarships for Students with Disabilities Program.

-SB 725, with its title stricken, by Sen. AJ Griffin, requires each school district to report the number and type of exemptions from vaccinations to the State Department of Health on or before July 1st of each year and to include information from the most recently completed school year. It requires the State Department of Education and the State Department of Health to promulgate necessary rules.

• The Senate Retirement and Insurance Committee approved several measures on Monday, including:

-SB 115, by Sen. Ron Sharp, requires the Department of Public Safety to transfer its online verification system for motor vehicle liability policies as required by the Compulsory Insurance Law to the Oklahoma Insurance Department by Jan. 1, 2018. It makes DPS, OID and the Oklahoma Tax Commission responsible for the system's ongoing improvement and maintenance. It gives district attorneys access to the system and permits the Insurance Commissioner to initiate an administrative proceeding against any insurance company found by the commissioner to not be in compliance with the Compulsory Insurance Law.

-SB 3, by Sen. Ron Sharp, creates the Bob Barry, Jr., Responsible Driving Act and requires drivers who violate the Compulsory Insurance Act to file proof of insurance with the Department of Public Safety for three years. The bill establishes procedures for those individuals to file proof of insurance. It prohibits termination of insurance one file without notification within 10 days after the termination and allows for changes of insurance. The bill provides conditions under the requirement of proof may be waived.

-SB 478, with title stricken, by Sen. Bill Brown, modifies duties of the Insurance Commissioner and creates the Health Care Choice Act. It allows the Insurance Commissioner to negotiate one or more compacts with other states to allow insurers to sell specified lines of coverage in Oklahoma without being granted a certificate of authority by Oklahoma, providing appropriate protections for consumers. It establishes processes for approval and disapproval of compacts.
The bill allows Oklahoma insurers to sell insurance policies comparable to out-of-state policies and allows foreign health insurers to sell a health benefit plan in the state and establishes guidelines.

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

-HB 1005, by Rep. Scott Biggs, makes rape by instrumentation a first degree crime, eliminating the requirement that it result in bodily injury and regardless of the age of the victim. The bill passed unanimously by a vote of 95 to 0.

-HB 1006, by Rep. Jason Murphey, repeals the creation of the Task Force on the Promotion of Children's Health; the purpose duties, members, meeting, staff and reports of the Oklahoma Task Force to Eliminate Health Disparities; the Task Force on Nursing Home Insurance Access; and the Advisory Council on Cord Blood Donations. The bill passed 87 to 6.

-HB 1110, by Rep. Randy McDaniel and Sen. Dan Newberry, allows a Professional Employer
Organization to be given credit for the taxable wages paid on each employee in the immediately previous account under which client wages were reported. The bill updates statutory references. It repeals language relating to group accounts in the Employment Security Act of 1980. The bill passed 95 to 0.

-HB 1825, by Rep. Chris Kannady and Sen. Jason Smalley, modifies definitions related to the Deployed Parents Custody and Visitation Act to include civilian personnel and contractors serving in designated combat zones. The bill passed by a vote of 95 to 0.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

• The full Senate convened briefly Tuesday afternoon where it took up and passed its first bill of the session Tuesday.

-SB 117, by Sen. Gary Stanislawski and Rep. Randy McDaniel, appropriates $6 million to the Employment Security Administration Fund from the funds made available to the state by the federal Unemployment Compensation Modernization Transfer made on June 25, 2009, pursuant to Section 903(f) of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C., Section 1103(f), as amended, to be used by the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission for the purpose of paying administrative expenses. The bill sets certain limits on the expenditures. The measure passed 41 to 3.

• The full House met on Tuesday and heard several bills, approving the following:

-HB 1121, by Rep. Scott Martin, creates the Oklahoma Integrated Domestic Violence Court Act of 2017, and allows any district or municipal court to establish an integrated domestic violence court subject to the availability of funds. The bill defines integrated domestic court to be a specialized judicial process for civil and criminal domestic matters. The bill requires a single judge to preside over the related criminal, family and matrimonial matters. The bill passed 85 to 10.

-HB 1562, by Rep. Jon Echols, gives the Senate management and control of the east side of the rotunda and the House management and control of the west side of the rotunda, as measured from its center. The bill passed 92 to 0.

-HB 1607, by Rep. John Enns and Sen. Roland Pederson, exempts the rear-facing child passenger restraint system requirement prescribed therein shall in instances of a child passenger being transported by a parent who has been rightfully issued a detachable placard indicating physical disability or a physically disabled license place. The bill passed by a vote of 79 to 5.

-HB 1832, by Rep. Leslie Osborn, authorizes the Department of Human Services to separate siblings if placement together would be contrary to the safety or well-being of the siblings. The bill reduces the age of youth in custody of the Department for which an annual credit report will be submitted and eliminates the liability for foster parents for property damage or injuries caused by the child. It prohibits the limitation of the liability. The bill passed 90 to 0.

• The Senate Judiciary Committee approved several bills on Tuesday, including:

-SB 159, by Sen. Wayne Shaw, modifies the entity to establish requirement for insurance coverage for volunteer firefighters from the CompSource Mutual Insurance Company to an insurance company selected by the Office of Management and Enterprise Services. It increases state funding per firefighter from $55 to $85.32, to be appropriated by the Legislature.

-SB 50, by Sen. Kay Floyd, modifies the duties of guardians’ ad litem. It requires their written
reports to be factual and specifies that the court determines what is in the best interest of the child.

-SB 160, by Sen. Bill Brown, prohibits the owner of a vessel from being liable for any injury or damage caused by the negligent operation of the vessel if the owner is engaged in the business of renting vessels, the owner has insurance, the injury or damage occurred during a period of rental or lease and there is no negligence on the part of the owner.

-SB 661, by Sen. John Sparks, increases the maximum amount of claims that may be pursued in small claims court from $7,500 to $10,000. It also permits the court, upon application supported by sufficient documentation, to award attorney fees not to exceed 25 percent of the judgment. It establishes separate procedures for the transfer of claims from small claims court to other courts for claims less than $7,500 and for claims more than $10,000.

• The House Rules Committee approved the following bills on Tuesday:

-HJR 1015, by Rep Scott Biggs, requires the TSET Fund to cease receiving certain monies as of December 31, 2018. It creates the Oklahoma Rural Health Care Infrastructure Fund and requires that funds received by TSET be transferred into the newly established Fund beginning January 1, 2019. It establishes a Board of Investors with the duty of investing the trust fund monies. The measure requires the monies to be used towards maintaining or improving the health of Oklahomans or enhancing the provision of health care services to Oklahomans.

-HB1353, by Rep. Monroe Nichols IV, creates the Oklahoma Community Policing Standards Task Force to study community policing standards, laws, best practices and training programs regarding the use of deadly force in Oklahoma. It establishes membership, provides for dates for appointments and organizations meeting. The bill provides for the selection of officers and states duties. It requires the Task Force to comply with the Open Meeting Act and requires completion of the study by September 1, 2017.

-HJR 1002, by Rep. Scott Biggs, proposes a vote of the people on a constitutional amendment that addresses the justice and due process rights of victims. It clarifies what types of rights victims have under the laws of this state and allows victims to enforce the rights when necessary. It provides that a cause of action for compensation or damages may not be made when seeking to enforce the rights. It would also clarify the authority to pass procedural and substantive laws to preserve and protect the rights of victims.

-HJR 1010, by Rep. John Montgomery, proposes a vote of the people on a constitutional amendment that would allow the Legislature to permit certain public monies to be invested in stocks or similar assets. It would require the Legislature to approve the type of investment by a three-fifths vote in each chamber. It would permit public funds could be invested pursuant to a contract with a third party. It would require investments be made according to the prudent investor rule.

• The House Public Health Committee approved two anti-abortion bills on Tuesday.

-HB 1441, by Rep. JJ Humphrey, prohibits an abortion from being performed without the written informed consent of the father. It requires a pregnant woman seeking an abortion to provide, in writing, the identity of the father and allows for paternity tests. It states that the law should not apply in cases in which a woman was the victim of rape or incest or if the physician determines that carrying of the fetus places the woman's life in danger. It changes all references of "a fetus" to "a baby."

-HB 1549, by Rep. George Faught, creates the Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act of 2017. The bill defines terms and prohibits any person from intentionally performing an abortion with knowledge that the pregnant woman is seeking the abortion solely because the unborn child has been diagnosed with Down syndrome, a genetic abnormality or the potential for either. It prescribes a violation and accompanying fees or punishments for physicians or other persons found in violation of the provisions therein. It allows minors to commence civil action for any knowing or reckless violation of said provisions. It provides for damages in such cases. It requires that the anonymity of any female upon an abortion is performed or attempted by preserved until consent is provided. It exempts any woman upon whom an abortion in violation is performed or attempted. It affords such women all rights, protections and notifications afforded to crime victims under the Oklahoma Victim's Rights Act.


Wednesday, February 15, 2017

• The Senate adopted two resolutions during a brief floor session Wednesday before adjourning for the afternoon.

• The full House approved two bills on Wednesday during its meeting. The approved bills were:

-HB 1599, by Rep. Avery Frix, modifies language relating to competitive bidding procedures and requirements. The bill passed by a vote of 86 to 9.

-HB 2332, as amended, by Rep. Jeff Coody and Sen. Marty Quinn, transfers the online compulsory insurance verification system from the Department of Public Safety to the Oklahoma Insurance Department. It requires the Insurance Department to promulgate necessary rules. It grants district attorneys access to the system. It permits the Insurance Commissioner to initiate an administrative proceeding against any insurance company found not be in compliance with the provisions of the act or rule promulgated by the department. The bill passed 92 to 3.

• Several bills received do pass recommendation from the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee
Natural Resources and Regulatory Services including:

-SB 17 by Sen. Kevin Matthews and Rep. Monroe Nichols IV, creates a revolving fund for the
Oklahoma Historical Society to be designated the "1921 Tulsa Race Riot Centennial Memorial Revolving Fund" for the purpose of commemoration of the centennial of the 1921 Tulsa Race Riot. Expenditures from the fund shall be made upon warrants issued by the State Treasurer against claims filed as prescribed by law with the Director of the Office of Management and Enterprise Services for approval and payment. It requires any funds in the It requires any money in the 1921 Tulsa Race Riot Memorial of Reconciliation Revolving Fund be transferred to the fund. It repeals language related to the 1921 Tulsa Race Riot Memorial of Reconciliation Design Committee and memorial.

-SB 237 by Sen. Eddie Fields and Rep. John Pfeiffer, allows the Board of Directors of the Oklahoma Historical Society to contract with other state agencies and/or non-profit organizations to create an irrevocable endowment with associated management and administration costs to trade, sell or barter donated and deaccessioned collection items that do not conform to collection policies of the Oklahoma Historical Society. It directs proceeds from the endowment to be used for the acquisition, conservation or use of collections at museums, historic sites or research facilities owned and operated by the Oklahoma Historical Society.

-SB 426 by Sen. James Leewright and Rep. John Pfeiffer, assesses a $5 used tire recycling fee at the time a motor vehicle is registered. It assesses a $3 used tire recycling see at the time a semitrailer is registered. It defines applicable terms. The bill assesses a $2.50 per tire recycling fee for tires used on implements of agricultural equipment for tires less than 19.5 inches in rim diameter and $3.50 for tires with greater than 19.5 inches in rim diameter.

-SB 815 by Sen. Eddie Fields and Rep. John Pfeiffer, requires the Oklahoma Water Resources Board to transfer to the Rural Economic Action Plan Water Projects Fund any monies appropriated by law for the purpose of funding the Rural Economic Action Plan Water Projects Fund.

• The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Education approved several bills aimed at teacher pay increases, including the following:

-SB 8, by Sen. Ron Sharp, adjusts the minimum salary schedule to reflect an across the board
$5,000 teacher pay increase. The bill specifies who is eligible and what counts toward a teacher's years of service.

-SB 97, by Sen. Micheal Bergstrom and Rep. Michael Rogers, implements a series of increases in the minimum salary schedule. The bill specifies who is eligible and what counts toward a teacher's years of service. It makes implementation of the bill depending on the passage and signing of SB 95, which caps the total amount that may be claimed from the Zero-emission Tax Credit at $25 million annually for tax years beginning on or after Jan. 1, 2017.

-SB 137, by Sen. J.J. Dossett, implements a series of increases in the minimum salary schedule and fringe benefit levels for public school teachers. The bill defines eligibility and what counts toward a teacher's years of service.

-SB 309, by Sen. Marty Quinn, increases the minimum salary schedule for teachers.

-SB 316, by Sen. David Holt, defines the term "certified teacher" to mean any certified, full time employee who is employed as a charter school teacher, district wide teacher, elementary teacher, junior high teacher, middle school teacher, senior high teacher or resource teacher. The bill provides for funding of a series of certified teacher salary increases.

-SB0618, by Sen. Gary Stanislawski, modifies the minimum salary schedule for teachers.

• The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Public Safety and Judiciary approved several bills on Wednesday, including:

-SB 89, by Sen. Greg McCortney and Rep. Todd Thomsen, increases to $30 from $20 the registration fee the Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training (CLEET) is authorized to charge to cover the cost of meals it provides during training for peace officers. It also expands the list of meals to include dinner.

-SB 24, by Sen. Mark Allen, modifies notifications related to changes in motor vehicle driving privileges or any change in the driving status to include non-commercial vehicle operators who operate a vehicle in the course of business. It allows agents acting on behalf of an employer to receive the notifications. The bill modifies the allocation of revenue from the electronic notification system, setting the fee at $25 and requiring that $18 be deposited in the General Revenue Fund, $5 in the Department of Public Safety Revolving Fund and that $2 be retained by the department or its authorized agent to develop and maintain the electronic notification system.

-SB 114, by Sen. Ron Sharp, modifies language related to the allocation of funds to the District Court Revolving Fund. The bill specifies that the monies are allocated by the Supreme Court for the administration of the district courts and that monies accruing to the credit of the fund are hereby appropriated and may be budgeted and expended by the Supreme Court as necessary to perform the duties imposed upon the district courts by law.

• The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Human Services approved three measures Tuesday.

-SB 733, by Sen. A J Griffin, allows the Department of Rehabilitation Services to direct all federal and state funds appropriated for services to Older Individuals that are Blind to qualified and accredited community-based, non-profit organizations. It requires the funds to be used to administer services for older individuals with vision impairments and allows funds to be received from the Federal Rehabilitation Services Administration.

-SB 80, by Sen. Frank Simpson, permits appropriations, federal monies, and monies collected by or for the Department of Rehabilitation Services and monies from the current and prior fiscal years to be transferred to and between the agency disbursing funds for the current or prior fiscal years, including the Medical and Assistance Funds, and other funds authorized to be used by the department as necessary. The bill requires that monies transferred be included in the department's budget work program and records should be maintained.

-SB 829, with title stricken, by Sen. AJ Griffin, authorizes the Oklahoma Commission on Children and Youth to receive 1 percent in administrative costs from the Child Abuse Multidisciplinary Account Fund.

• Several bills were approved Wednesday by the House Health Services and Long-Term Care Committee, including the following:

-HB 1716, by Rep. Lewis Moore, requires every person who resides for more than 30 days in a nursing facility, specialized facility or in an assisted living center and who requires a prescription for a behavioral medication, to have a pharmacogenomics profile conducted and recorded in the person's medical record. It specifies what a pharmacogenomics profile is to include and requires every nursing facility, specialized facility and assisted living center to provide appropriate behavioral health services to each resident in need of such services to ensure the resident's physical, mental and psychosocial well-being. It requires any behavioral health services provided to be in accordance with a comprehensive assessment and the resident's pharmacogenomics profile. The bill also directs the State Board of Health to promulgate rules as necessary to implement the requirements of this bill.

-HB 1410, by Rep. Claudia Griffith, creates the Long Term Care Insurance Accessibility Task Force to evaluate the use of tax credits and other incentives to encourage the purchase of long term care insurance. It establishes membership, provides for selection of chairs or co-chairs and provides for quorum requirements. It provides for duties and prescribes the scope of the study. The bill requires examination of long term care insurance access and requires a final report by November 30, 2017.

-HB 1669, by Rep. Todd Thomsen, authorizes the use of cannabidiol for treatment of Parkinson's disease.

-HB 1701, by Rep. Kevin Calvey, modifies language related to homestead liens filed by the Oklahoma Health Care Authority against recipients for payments while under the care of a nursing facility. It adds that nothing in the bill will preclude the Authority from filing a lien on the non-homestead real property of a recipient.

• The House Public Safety Committee approved the following measures Wednesday:

-CS to HB 2323, by Rep. Jeff Coody, allows any citizen 21 years of age or older, except a convicted felon, to transport a pistol, concealed or unconcealed, loaded or unloaded without a valid handgun license issued pursuant to the Oklahoma Self-Defense Act provided, the citizen is not involved in a crime. It prohibits an individual possessing a concealed or unconcealed weapon from being disarmed or physically restrained by any law enforcement officer absent a reasonable and articulable suspicion of other criminal activity. The bill passed 11 to 3.

-CS to HB 1104, by Rep. Bobby Cleveland, allows elected officials of a county to carry a concealed handgun when acting in the performance of their duties within the courthouses of the county. The new language prohibits the individual from carrying the handgun into a courtroom.

-HB 1263, by Rep. Matt Meredith, allows certified reserve peace officers to be eligible for full-time training academy if they have completed the 240 hour reserve peace officer certification program and is hired by a law enforcement agency as a full-time peace or police officer.

-CS to HB 1338, by Rep. Bobby Cleveland, allows inmates 50 years of age or older, medically frail and serving time for a nonviolent offense to request a medical parole review. The committee substitute includes the term medically frail.

-CS to HB 1499, by Rep. Greg Babinec, transfers all aircraft assets and law enforcement aircraft operations from the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation and the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Control to the Department of Public Safety. The committee substitute allows state law enforcement agencies and the directors and employees of state agencies to lease the aircraft and allows interagency leases of aircrafts.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

• The Senate met on Thursday morning and following the customary introductions of the chaplain, doctor and nurse of the day, members approved the following legislation:

-SB 55, by Sen. Ron Sharp and Rep. Tess Teague, creates the Sooner State ABATE special plate. Vote was 45-0.

-SB 68 by Sen. Randy Bass and Rep. Rande Worthen, authorizes a certain motorcycle special plate. Vote was 45-0.

-SB 230, by Sen. Paul Scott and Rep. Scott Biggs, establishes Oklahoma Women in Aviation and Aerospace Day. The measure passed by a vote of 45-0.

-SB 565, by Sen. Joe Newhouse and Rep. Kevin McDugle, provides for a Disabled American Veteran license plate, and provides for the design, issue and distribution of revenue. The bill was approved by a vote of 45-0.

• The House met on Thursday and approved the following legislation:

-HB 1845, by Rep. Leslie Osborn, creates a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license or identification card for the state of Oklahoma. Individuals may also opt to retain their noncompliant licenses or identification cards. The measure passed by a vote of 78-18 and will now go to the Senate for consideration.

Other News

• Gov. Mary Fallin released a statement this week indicating no state agency has paid ransom to ward off cyber-attacks after Rep. Jason Murphey said it appeared such a transaction had taken place. Murphey indicated it appeared a state agency had converted dollars into the digital currency bitcoin to regain control of its systems, but declined to name the agency involved. Fallin and Preston Doerflinger, director of the Office of Management and Enterprise Services, said a probe by OMES’ Cyber Command unit found no ransom was paid.

• The ACLU of Oklahoma on Tuesday filed suit challenging Gov. Mary Fallin’s selection of Patrick Wyrick to fill the vacancy in District 2 of Oklahoma Supreme Court, alleging Wyrick does not meet the residency requirements to hold the office. The suit asked the state Supreme Court to prevent him from exercising the authority of an office to which it claims he is not constitutionally entitled. The 2nd District includes McIntosh, Sequoyah, Pittsburg, Haskell, Latimer, Le Flore, Johnston, Atoka, Pushmataha, Marshall, Bryan, Choctaw and McCurtain counties in southeastern Oklahoma. The claim alleges Wyrick actually lives in the 3rd District, which includes Oklahoma County and already has an appointee on the state Supreme Court, Justice Noma Gurich.

• On Thursday, Lt. Governor Todd Lamb announced his resignation from Governor Fallin’s cabinet, where Lamb has served as the state’s Small Business Advocate, one of many roles the Lt. Governor fills. This resignation does not affect Lamb’s role as Lt. Governor. According to the statement released from Lamb’s office, his decision to resign was influenced by Gov. Fallin’s ongoing support for taxing 164 services that affect Oklahoma small businesses and families. Lamb said while he respected the governor, he was unwilling to advocate for an agenda that would adversely harm Oklahoma’s small businesses and families.

• Office of Management and Enterprise Services Director Preston Doerflinger announced Tuesday that General Revenue Fund collections missed the official monthly estimate by 3.4 percent, pushing the year-to-date number to 2.8 percent below the estimate for the first seven months of the fiscal year. Doerflinger said that while State Treasurer Ken Miller reported one week ago that gross collections showed a slight improvement in January, General Revenue Fund (GRF) collections still fell below the estimate after rebates, refunds and mandatory apportionments. GRF collections in January totaled $505.1 million, which is $17.9 million, or 3.4 percent, below the official estimate.