The Oklahoma Senate


Week In Review
Monday, Feb. 27, to Thurs., Mar. 2, 2017

Monday, February 27, 2017

• The Senate Health and Human Services Committee met Monday afternoon and approved the following bills:

-The CS for SB 83, by Sen. Ervin Yen, modifies the conditions upon which a parent may receive the form for a non-medical exemption to childhood vaccines. It allows all current exemptions to vaccination. In its original form, the bill removed the parental exemption form altogether with the exception of medical instances such as allergies. For a medical exemption, the bill mandates guardians must acquire the signature of a physician, while for non-medical exemptions, parents must view an online video provided by the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) with information regarding the benefits and risks of vaccines before acquiring said exemption. The bill passed on a vote of 7 to 4.

-SB 144, by Sen. Jason Smalley, broadens eligibility for the Physician Manpower Training Commission, now accounting for physician assistants and nurse practitioners. It eliminates outdated language and requires the Commission to promulgate rules.

-SB 180, by Sen. Greg McCortney, provides existing statute should not be construed to require a hospice to employ a certified home health aide in the provision of hospice services so long as the hospice employs a certified nurse aide. It requires a person qualified by the Department of Health as a certified nurse aide to be deemed to have met the requirements to work as a home health aide under the provisions of the Home Care Act and to require no further licensure for performing services within the scope of practice of home health aides.

-CS for SB 717, by Sen. A J Griffin and Rep. Leslie Osborn, expands the reasons for recording individuals on the Child Care Restricted Registry. It expands the purpose of rules promulgated by the Department of Human Services to establish a procedure to prohibit licensure, ownership, employment, unsupervised access to children or residence by a person on the Child Care Restricted Registry in any facility providing care to children or vulnerable adults.

-SB 723, by Sen. A J Griffin, requires prior to the issuance of a permit or license, owners and responsible entities making a request to establish or operate a child care facility, prior to employment of a person by a facility, prior to allowing unsupervised access to children by employees or individuals, including contract employees and volunteers, and prior to the issuance of a permit or license and prior to the residence of adults who subsequently move into a facility, adults living in the facility a sex offender registry and child abuse and neglect registry search conducted by an authorized source and a search of any available child abuse and neglect registry within a state the individual has resided in within the last five years. It requires the Department of Human Services' director or designee to promulgate rules that ensure individuals obtain a criminal history records search, not to include the re-submission of fingerprints, not less than once during each five year period. It provides any individual who refuses to consent to the criminal background check or knowingly makes a materially false statement in connection with such criminal background check to be ineligible for ownership of, employment of, or residence in a child care facility.

-CS for SB 745, by Sen. Ervin Yen, modifies the definition of the term "marihuana." It allows a statewide investigation new drug application to be established in the state if approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration for the purposes of conducting clinical trials using marihuana for qualifying patients. It allows any physician licensed through the State Board of Medical Licensure and Supervision or the State Board of Osteopathic Examiners with qualifying patients to serve as the principal investigator in clinical trials if provided criteria is met. It establishes authority and responsibilities of the principal investigator. It establishes procedures by which to acquire marihuana for said trials. It establishes procedures by which to conduct said trials and how they may also be terminated and requires the submission of a report by the State Commissioner on Health as well as the criteria for said report and who all a copy must be sent. It requires the Oklahoma State Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Control, the State Board of Health and the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education to promulgate rules.

-SB 765, by Sen. Ervin Yen, makes it unlawful for a person less than 18 years of age to use any tanning device of any tanning facility. It exempts any physician who is duly licensed to practice medicine and who uses or prescribes to be used a phototherapy device with respect to a patient of any age in the practice of medicine. It requires the owner, lessee or operator of a tanning facility to post in a conspicuous place in each tanning facility owned, leased or operated by that person a notice, available on the State Department of Health's website, that states all of the following: it is unlawful for a tanning facility or operator to allow a person under 18 years of age to use any tanning device; that a tanning facility or operator that violates one or more provisions of this section may be subject to a civil penalty; that an individual may report a violation of one or more provisions of this section to the local law enforcement agency; and that health risks associated with tanning include but are not limited to skin cancer, premature aging of skin, burns to the skin and adverse reactions to certain medications, foods and cosmetics.

• The Senate met on Monday and approved the following bills:

-SB 692, by Sen. A J Griffin and Rep. Leslie Osborn, transfers the County Community Safety Investment Fund from the Office of Management and Enterprise Services (OMES) to the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (ODMHSAS). The fund is the result of voters' approval of State Question 781 in November 2016. It is designed to capture savings from State Question 780, a companion measure that reduced some crimes from felonies to misdemeanors, and allocate the money to counties for various treatment and prison deferment programs. The measure passed 44 to 2 with its title and enacting clause restored

-SB 88, by Sen. Greg McCortney and Rep. Todd Thomsen, exempts inactive reserve peace officers continuing education requirements for law enforcement officers. It requires them to comply with the requirement upon reentry to active reserve status. The bill adds that reserve peace officers are subject to having their certification suspended for failure to meet the continuing education requirements. The bill passed 44 to 0.

-SB 90, by Sen. Greg McCortney and Rep. Todd Thomsen, increases the number of hours for the basic police course for reserve force deputy sheriffs to 240 hours from 160 hours. It also reduces the number of months in which the course must be completed to six months from 12 months. The bill passed 44 to 0.

-SB 242, by Sen. Adam Pugh and Rep. Earl Sears, adds the State Treasurer to the Oklahoma Public Employees Retirement System and the Oklahoma Teachers Retirement System Board of Trustees. The bill passed 45 to 0.

-SB 477, by Sen. Joe Newhouse, Sen. Rob Standridge, and Rep. Charles Ortega, clarifies a reference to Federal Aviation Administration standards. It modifies the definition of the term
"incompatible purpose" in the Aircraft Pilot and Passenger Protection Act. It exempts a permit from being required for a temporary structure that will be in place for less than 24 hours and allows permits to be amended under certain conditions. The bill passed 41 to 5.

• The Senate General Government Committee gave its approval Monday to several bills, including the following measures:

-CS for SB 206, by Sen. Kay Floyd and Rep. Dustin Roberts, creates the Task Force on Merit Protection to study and evaluate the feasibility and efficacy of transferring the oversight of the Merit Protection Commission to the Administrative Office of the Courts until December 31, 2018. It states the purpose of the task force in addition to its duties. It provides for task force membership and travel reimbursement. It prohibits compensation for membership. It requires staff support be provided by the Governor's office and both houses of the Legislature. The bill requires the task force to submit a report of its findings and recommendations by November 1, 2018, to the Governor, the Senate President Pro Tempore of the Senate and the House Speaker.

-SB 266, by Sen. Dan Newberry, extends the sunset date of the Oklahoma Real Estate Commission to July 1, 2021. The bill also requires the Oklahoma Real Estate Commission to require the registration of all associate groups affiliated under the same brokerage for the purpose of allowing the Commission to better align and track the affiliated groups within each brokerage. It allows the Commission to charge a registration fee not to exceed the administrative cost of the registration process for the associate groups affiliated with the brokerage.

-SB 320, as amended, by Sen. Marty Quinn, modifies the time period from one year after the acceptance of a project to one year after completion of the project during which a bond in a sum equal to the contract price or an irrevocable letter of credit issued by a financial institution insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or the Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corporation for the benefit of the state, on behalf of the awarding public agency, in a sum equal to the contract price, to protect the awarding public agency against defective workmanship and materials must be maintained.

-SB 532, by Sen. John Sparks, requires state agencies to provide debriefing and counseling services for state employees involved in or exposed to violent or traumatic events in the workplace. It requires the treatment be optional and paid administrative leave be provided. It requires the Oklahoma Office of Management and Enterprise Services promulgate rules.

-SB 549, by Sen. David Holt, prohibits an employment practice from refusing leave not exceeding 20 weeks to a state employee affected by childbirth or related medical condition or adoption or foster placement. It allows the employee to utilize accrued paid leave during this time. The bill recognizes the federal Family and Medical Leave Act. It allows a state employer to require reasonable notice for such leave and provides for violation enforcement.

-SB 550, by Sen. David Holt, prohibits any employment practice for any agency, board, commission or other state employer from establishing or attempting to impose an eligibility requirement, such as minimum hours worked or length of service, against an employee affected or disabled by pregnancy, childbirth or a related medical condition or for adoption before the employee is eligible for reasonable accommodation, temporary transfer to a less strenuous position or disability leave upon the medical advice of a physician. It provides for accommodation and enforcement.

-SB 584, by Sen. Dan Newberry, decreases from seven to three years the length of time a governing body of a county is required to keep departmental records.

-SB 751, by Sen. Dan Newberry, requires the State Fire Marshal to complete the plan review and permit process within a maximum of 45 days. It permits the Fire Marshall to outsource plan reviews or authorize the person applying for the building permit to submit the plans to an engineer or architect licensed in this state for review of code conformity in order to meet the time period for plan review. It requires conformity the Fire Marshall be notified and the permit issued upon a successful completion of the plan review and code.

-CS for SB 563 by Sen. Micheal Bergstrom and Rep. Jason Murphey, allows any school district, including a technology school district, to either participate in, sponsor, conduct or administer a cooperative purchasing agreement for the acquisition of any commodities or services with one or more public agencies in accordance with an agreement entered into between the participants. It allows those cooperative purchasing agreements to include joint or multiparty contracts between public agencies and open-ended state public procurement contracts.

• On Monday, the Senate Retirement and Insurance Committee approved the following proposals:

-SB 736 by Sen. Kay Floyd, requires the State and Education Employees Group Insurance Board to create as a component of the short-term disability plan, the Paid Family and Leave program under which an employee on family leave will be eligible to receive short-term disability benefits for a period not to exceed 20 weeks. It requires employees be compensated by their employers at 100 percent of base compensation for each hour of family and personal leave taken. It defines an "employee on family leave" as an employee on leave and who is eligible for such leave because of the birth of a son or daughter of the employee and in order to care for such son or daughter; the placement of a son or daughter with the employee for adoption or foster care by the employee; an illness or other ailment afflicting the employee's child, spouse, parent, grandparent, grandchild, sibling or domestic partner. It requires the program be funded by payroll deductions from employees, based on the employee's income at rates approved by the board. It creates the Family Leave Revolving Fund.

-SB 423, with title stricken, by Sen. Marty Quinn, modifies the number of days of employment an eligible employee has to choose an alternate retirement plan from 90 days to 30 days. It modifies the number of days of employment an eligible employee has to choose an alternate retirement plan from 90 days to 30 days.

-SB 606, with title stricken, by Sen. John Sparks, allows any commercial run-off insurer to apply to the Insurance Commissioner for an order implementing a commutation plan and specifies terms of procedure for authorizing a commutation plan. The bill requires the Commissioner to be given notice of the application and proposed commutation plan and allows the opportunity for creditors to vote on the plan. It also establishes guidelines for the approval of a commutation plan and the implementation of the order. The bill establishes guidelines for the dissolution or discharge of an order and for modifications to the plan. It creates a $10,000 fee for an application and requires ongoing assessment.

-SB 772, with title stricken, by Sen. Marty Quinn, requires insurance companies to provide a premium discount or insurance rate reduction in an amount and manner established by the bill. It also permits insurance companies to offer additional adjustments in deductible, other credit rate differentials, or a combination thereof, collectively referred to as adjustments, under the terms specified in the to any owner who builds or locates a new insurable property, in the State of Oklahoma, to resist loss due to tornado or other catastrophic windstorm events.

• The Senate Education committee met on Monday morning and approved several bills, including:

-SB 181, as amended, by Sen. Micheal Bergstrom and Rep. Jason Murphey, requires the
State Regents for Higher Education to make its annual report on tuition available to the public on its website and on the web portals data.ok.gov and documents.ok.gov in a text-searchable and common electronic format. It modifies the requirements of the tuition reports submitted by each institution to the regents and others. It requires the report be made available to public on the institutions' websites in a text-searchable and common electronic format. It requires, in addition to information required by existing statute, that the reports include a list of all persons employed in a faculty or teaching position, including adjunct instructors and teaching assistants, at any time during the previous fiscal year, provided in a common database format, and including for each such person the dollar amounts of salary, benefits and any pay for approved non-institutional employment, and the courses taught, including for each course the title, number of credit hours and number of students who completed the course; and a report on the use of adjunct faculty, teaching assistants or similarly situated persons to teach courses, describing how the institution determines when to allow the use of such instructors to teach courses, estimating the percentage of classes in each department that are taught by adjunct faculty and the percentage of classes that are taught by teaching assistants and describing the methodology used to estimate those percentages. The amendment allows the information to be available on the web portals data.ok.gov and documents.ok.gov.

-SB 210, as amended, by Sen. Eddie Fields and Rep. Dennis Ray Casey, allows a person related within the second degree of affinity or consanguinity to a board of education member to be employed as a teacher. The amendment removed language requiring the district to have an average daily membership of less than 2,000.

-CS to SB 244, by Sen. Gary Stanislawski and Rep. John Jordan, requires each virtual charter school approved and sponsored by the Statewide Virtual School Board to keep a full and complete record of the attendance of all students enrolled in the virtual charter school. The committee substitute adds language requiring the governing body of each virtual charter school to adopt that policy by July 1, 2018 and establishes the provisions of the policy. It requires a student to be considered in attendance for a quarter if the student completes instructional activities on 90 percent of the days within the quarter. It requires the Statewide Virtual Charter School Board to promulgate rules.

-SB 389, by Sen. Gary Stanislawski, modifies review requirements for the State Aid formula. It requires State Board of Education to review the pupil grade level weights, district weights and pupil category weights and to make recommendations for revisions to the Governor, House Speaker and Senate President Pro Tempore on or before Dec. 31, 2017, and at least once each five years thereafter. It removes an outdated reference to the Special Joint Committee on School Finance and requires the board to seek input from experts in the field of education finance. It removes the requirement that the board review that part of the State Aid formula which provides for a midterm supplement in State Aid to school districts.

-SB 393, as amended, by Sen. Josh Brecheen, creates the Oklahoma Science Education Act. It requires the State Board of Education, school district boards of education, school district superintendents and school principals to endeavor to create an environment within public school districts that encourages students to explore scientific questions, learn about scientific evidence, develop critical thinking skills and respond appropriately and respectfully to differences of opinion about controversial issues and to endeavor to assist teachers to find effective ways to present the science curriculum as it addresses scientific controversies. It requires teachers be permitted to help students understand, analyze, critique and review in an objective manner the scientific strengths and scientific weaknesses of existing scientific theories covered in the course being taught. It prohibits the State Board of Education, any school district board of education, school district superintendent or school principal from prohibiting any teacher in a public school district from helping students understand, analyze, critique and review in an objective manner the scientific strengths and weaknesses of existing scientific theories covered in the course being taught. It provides the language protects only the teaching of scientific information and states it cannot be construed to promote any religious or non-religious doctrine, promote discrimination for or against a particular set of religious beliefs or non-beliefs or promote discrimination for or against religion or non-religion. It requires the State Department of education by no later than the start of the 2017-2018 school year to notify school district boards of education and school district superintendents of public schools in the state of the bill's provisions and for each school district board of education and school district superintendent to notify all employees within the school district of its provisions. The amendment includes a liability clause and includes a waiver of immunity from civil lawsuit to be granted to a teacher as long as they are acting in compliance with this act.

-CS to SB 529, by Sen. Jason Smalley, modifies the qualifications and criteria required for students to participate in the Oklahoma Higher Learning Access Program (OHLAP). It requires an award for eligible OHLAP students enrolled in a postsecondary vocational-technical program offered by a technology center school that meets the requirements to be eligible for federal student financial aid be satisfied for both vocational-technical and college work in which enrolled. It expands to the scope of student ineligible for the program with parents that meet updated income requirements. The committee substitute requires the technology center school to meet the requirements to be eligible for federal student financial aid.

• The full House passed the following legislation on the floor Monday:

-HB 1202, by Rep. Dennis Ray Casey and Sen. Marty Quinn, defines per-pupil expenditure to mean the aggregate current expenditures of school districts from all funding sources. The bill includes categories of expenditures and prohibits current expenditures to include monies used for adult and community education, facilities acquisition and construction services, debt services, property, and other expenditures not related to day-to-day operations. The bill passed 68 to 30.

-HB 1285, by Rep. Kevin Wallace and Sen. Jason Smalley, creates Historic Route 66 motorcycle license plates designed by the Oklahoma Route 66 Association, Inc. It authorizes the Tax Commission to enter into a licensing agreement with the Association for any licensing fees required to use the logo or design. The bill establishes a fee of no more than $20 for each motorcycle plate. The bill passed 97 to 1.

-HB 1389, as amended, by Rep. John Pfeiffer and Sen. Jason Smalley, prohibits any contract for roofing repairs or replacement entered into on behalf of a state agency or political subdivision by the Office of Management and Enterprise Services utilizing an ongoing contracting program through the Roofing Asset Management Program or a successor program authorized by statute or agency rule from exceeding $50,000. The bill and its emergency clause passed 95 to 2. The amendment changed the amount from $25,000 to $50,000.

-HB 1428, by Rep. Kyle Hilbert, creates the Handgun Carry Military Age Exemption Act. It modifies eligibility requirements for handgun licenses by allowing individuals under the age of 21 who are active or veteran military members to qualify for eligibility for a license. The bill passed 99 to 0.

-HB 1431, by Rep. Kyle Hilbert and Sen. Roland Pederson, modifies language relating to the Oklahoma Sorghum Resources Act. It updates references to the Oklahoma Department of agriculture, Food and Forestry. It deletes references to initial election of the Oklahoma Sorghum Commission. The measure directs the Agricultural Extension of Oklahoma State University to designate referendum locations. The bill passed 92 to 5.

-HB 1550, by Rep. George Faught, modifies the definition to "motor vehicle" as it relates to carrying firearms in certain places. The bill passed 88 to 10.

-HB 1887, by Rep. Pat Ownbey and Sen. A J Griffin, decreases the length of time a minor must live in a prospective adoptive home in order for medical and social history records to be disclosed. The bill passed 98 to 0.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

• The Senate met on Tuesday and approved the first bill of the session.

-HB 1845, by Rep. Charles McCall and Sen. Mike Schulz, would bring Oklahoma into compliance with the REAL ID Act. The bill establishes Real ID compliant driver licenses and eliminates the prohibition on the Real ID Act implementation and compliance. The measure passed by a vote of 35 to 11.

• The Senate Transportation Committee advanced several bills on Tuesday, including:

-CS for SB 631, with title stricken, by Sen. Marty Quinn and Rep. Jon Echols, allows a Transportation Network Company (TNC) to require a driver to wear the TNC's trade dress or that the company logo be displayed on the vehicle while in operation to identify the vehicle and driver. The CS made no substantive changes.

-CS for SB 166, by Sen. Bryce Marlatt, repeals language relating to regulation of motor carriers in the Household Goods Act of 2009. The committee substitute designates the section of State Highway 15 beginning from the municipal limits of Woodward and extending west to the municipal limits of Fargo as the Bobby Jo Cudd Memorial Highway.

-CS for SB 630, with title stricken, by Sen. Frank Simpson, prohibits a person, state agency or political subdivision from using a robotic vehicle with an imaging device to record an image of privately owned property with the intent to conduct surveillance without consent. It establishes acts constituting trespassing and prohibits an individual from operating a robotic vehicle within an area of a wild land fire and establishes punishments. The CS made no substantive changes.

-CS for SB 767, by Sen. Randy Bass, requires all employers authorized to do business in this state that employ drivers of commercial trucks with a gross combination weight of 26,001 pounds or more, whether by using an in-house driver or a hired driver, to disclose to the prospective driver the contracted price for paid mileage between the employer and the destination entity prior to the delivery of a product. It requires any document deemed as the contract between the employer and the driver to reflect that stated amount and that amount to be paid to the driver upon completion and signed by both parties. It provides the bill does not prevent an employer and a driver from negotiating different terms for payment of mileage so long as the original amount and the agreed amount are reflected. It provides an employer not in compliance is subject to any civil remedy available to a petitioner, including the difference in any discrepancy between the amount paid to a driver to perform a job and the exact amount paid to an employer along with court costs and recovery of attorney fees. It requires any judgment entered against an employer be disclosed to all licensing regulating bodies of the employer. The CS made no substantive changes.

-SB 572, by Sen. Stephanie Bice, requires the Office of the State Auditor and Inspector to annually perform a complete financial audit of all the operations and accounts of each circuit engineering district. It requires the audits to be filed in accordance with the requirements set forth for financial statement audits in Section 212A of Title 74 of the Oklahoma Statutes.

• The Senate Agriculture and Wildlife Committee approved several bills on Tuesday, including:

-SB 635, by Sen. Josh Brecheen and Rep. Charles McCall, allows the Oklahoma Wildlife Commission to authorize youth-family-of-resident licenses. It allows family and descendants of landowners 18 years or younger to be eligible for gun hunting license for deer, archery hunting license for deer and primitive firearms hunting license and establishes fees.

-CS for SB 615, by Sen. Nathan Dahm, excludes an individual from requiring a permit to hunt or control feral swine on his or her own property. It allows the individual to use motor-driven land conveyance to pursue or follow feral swine. The bill allows the use of vehicle mounted spotlights or other powerful lights and night-vision equipment. It allows any person to remove feral swine from public property during daylight hours without being required to obtain a permit. The committee substitute made no substantive changes.

-CS for SB 634, by Sen. Josh Brecheen, permits the Board of Agriculture to promulgate rules and standards for the application, use, and sale of warfarin-based pesticides to be used for exterminating feral swine.

• The Senate Judiciary Committee passed nine bills on Tuesday, including the following:

-CS for SB 737, by Sen. Anthony Sykes, defined the term "total loss of use" within the
Administrative Workers' Compensation Act to mean 100 percent permanent partial disability rating to the specific body part. The bill provides workers' compensation insurance will be provided to volunteer firefighters through an insurance company selected by the Office of Management and Enterprise Services (OMES) through a competitive bid, rather than exclusively from the CompSource Mutual Insurance Company. It sets an $898,675.56 cap on the cost of the coverage and requires the Legislature to appropriate funds to OMES for the cost of the coverage.

The bill updates certain notice requirements and modifies requirements for members of the Workers' Compensation Commission and makes them appointees of the governor, eliminating House and Senate appointment of one commissioner each. It removes the ability of the commission to appoint a special commissioner when a member recuses.

-SB 64, by Sen. Stephanie Bice, increases to $50,000 from $20,000 the amount of money deposited in a bank or credit union account that the institution may transfer to the known heirs of the deceased upon receipt of an affidavit sworn to by the known heirs of the deceased which establishes jurisdiction and relationship and states that the owner of the account left no will when the account has no designation of a payable-on-death beneficiary. The bill also provides any person who knowingly submits and signs a false affidavit will be fined not more than $3,000 or imprisoned for not more than six months or both. It requires that restitution of the amount fraudulently attained be made to the rightful beneficiary by the guilty person.

-SB 268, with title stricken, by Sen. Larry Boggs, requires all military personnel who suffer injuries or contract disease, in line of duty, while on State Active Duty to receive all benefits in accordance with the provisions of the Oklahoma Administrative Workers' Compensation Act.

-CS for SB 322, by Sen. Lonnie Paxton and Rep. Scott Biggs, requires notice of review hearings be sent, via regular first-class mail, to the tribe of the Indian child unless the tribe is present at the time the review hearing is set and consents to the date of the review. It provides a tribe's right to notice is not dependent on intervention into the case and the notice will be evidenced by filing a certificate of mailing prior to the review hearing.

-SB 535, by Sen. Ralph Shortey, specifies that no bail bondsman license will be issued with the exemption outlined therein and none be issued except to an individual. It requires any person of the provisions therein to be guilty of a felony. It prescribes a fine and prohibits any licensed bail bondsman to employ, seek assistance from or conspire with an unlicensed person or a person whose license as a bail enforcer has been suspended, revoked, surrendered or refused to engage in any acts as a bail enforcer or bail bondsman. It establishes a felony and accompanying fine. The bill allows a person who is a citizen or a legal alien with a minimum of five years' legal residence documented in another state to seek a residency waiver from CLEET to obtain a license as a bail enforcer in this state upon proper application and documentation. It requires CLEET to promulgate rules and provides for the rules and disciplinary action for violations.

-SB 701, by Sen. Anthony Sykes, provides a health care provider's failure to comply with or breach of any federal statute, regulation, program, guideline or other provision established by such, will not be admissible, used to determine the standard of care or the legal basis for a presumption of negligence in any medical liability action in this state.

-SB 780, by Sen. Anthony Sykes, requires a resident or entity of this state aggrieved by a ruling or decision of a board or commission of this state to have the same appellate rights as an administrative agency as provided in Article II of the Administrative Procedures Act, Section 308a et seq. of Title 75 of the Oklahoma Statutes. It specifies that appellate review at the district court will be as a trial de novo.

-CS for SB 208, by Sen. Kay Floyd and Rep. Cyndi Munson, also received a do pass recommendation. The bill creates the Sexual Assault Victims' Right to Information Act. The bill defines applicable terms. It establishes certain rights for victims of sexual assault. The committee substitute removed language concerning when the victims' rights attached. It also removed language regarding timely notification of the victim and certain protections.

• The House met on Tuesday and approved the following:

-HB 1123, as amended, by Rep. Scott Biggs and Sen. Bryce Marlatt, requires that an individual trespassing on property containing critical property be guilty of a misdemeanor. It requires an individual who willfully damages, destroys, vandalizes or tampers with critical infrastructure be guilty of a felony. It requires an organization found to be a conspirator to those committing such crimes pay a fine that is 10 times the amount of an individual. The bill defines related terms. The amendment added an emergency clause. The bill passed 70 to 24 and its emergency clause passed 68 to 25.

-HB 1407, by Rep. Mickey Dollens and Sen. Randy Bass, permits school districts to offer construction education courses to students in grade nine or above. The bill passed 92 to 4.

-HB 1423, by Rep. Mark Lepak and Sen. Jack Fry, reauthorizes the income tax checkoff effective January 1, 2017 for contributions to the Support of the Folds of Honor Scholarship Program. The bill passes 92 to 1.

-HB 1826, by Rep. Chris Kannady and Sen. Greg Treat, requires certified copies of all the recorded covenants and restrictions of a real estate development be provided by the title company to the buyer of property in the real estate development as a part of the closing of the real estate sale. The bill passed 80 to 14.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

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

-SB 350, by Sen. David Holt, modifies the circumstances under which a political party may retain recognition to now require a candidate of the party to receive at least two and one-half percent of the total votes cast for the office in question in either of the preceding two general elections.

-SB 360, by Sen. David Holt and Rep. Jason Murphey, allows the Secretary of the State Election Board to establish a system whereby a registered voter may electronically submit a change to his or her voter registration information, including a change of name, political party affiliation or address of residence within the county in which the voter is currently registered to vote. It directs an electronically submitted change in voter registration information to include such information as the Secretary of the State Election Board deems necessary to confirm the identity of the voter; and an oath that the voter is eligible to register to vote in Oklahoma. It requires the secretary of the appropriate county election board to update the voter's registration information in the database upon receipt of a valid electronically submitted change. It also directs the county secretary to file a notation of such changes with the voter's original voter registration application.

-CS for SB 410, by Sen. Gary Stanislawski, requires the Oklahoma Veterans Commission to submit a list of nominees to the governor to serve as both the director of the Department and as cabinet secretary for the cabinet area consisting of the department and other related veterans entities. It also authorizes the commission to remove that person from the positions on a two-thirds vote. The committee sub replaced the bill's original language.

-CS for SB 579, as amended, by Sen. Anthony Sykes, requires any person or other entity who makes independent expenditures or electioneering communications or who makes expenditures for the purpose of advocating the approval or defeat of a state question in excess of $5,000 to file a Report of Contributions and Expenditures as required by law for any quarter for which such expenditures are made. The committee substitute clarified the introduced version's language and the amendment increased the contribution limit from $1,000 to $5,000 to be consistent with other limits in the Ethics Rules.

• The Senate Appropriations committee on Wednesday, hearing several bills. SB 560, the Parent Empowerment, Revenue and Classroom Size Reduction Act by Sen. Rob Standridge and Rep. Jon Echols, was expected to be heard this week, but was laid over and will remain with the committee. Several other bills received the committee’s approval, including:

-SB 756, by Sen. Bryce Marlatt, modifies the duties of Friends of the Capitol to include coordination of restoration, maintenance and modification projects in conjunction with and the consent of the Capitol Preservation Commission and the State Capitol Preservation Office. It removes the requirement that flags be displayed on the 14 flag poles located at the south plaza entrance to the State Capitol Building. The bill defines certain terms. It changes the responsibilities of the State Capitol Preservation Commission to require it to provide the highest quality maintenance, restoration, preservation, enhancement and modification of and long-term planning for the interior and exterior of the State Capitol, hereinafter referred to as the Capitol, Governor's Mansion, and the respective grounds for the perpetual use by state government and the enjoyment of all persons. It modifies the membership of the State Capitol Preservation Commission. It establishes membership and meeting requirements. It lists the duties of the State Capitol Preservation Commission. It eliminates the State Capitol Repair Expenditure Oversight Committee. It creates the State Capitol Preservation Office. It establishes the duties of the office related to oversight of the State Capitol, the Governor's Mansion and related grounds and facilities. It creates the State Capitol Preservation Office Revolving Fund, which will be made up of money received under statutory authority. The measure was approved with its title stricken by a vote of 22 to 15.

-CS for SB 118, by Sen. Roger Thompson and Rep. Earl Sears, moves the sunset for the Zero-Emission Tax Credit for applicable facilities up by three years to January 1, 2018. It limits the amount of credits allowed in a taxable year. It limits the amount of credits allowed in a taxable year for transferable use. The bill limits the Zero-Emission Tax Credit for provided tax years. The committee substitute's changes were adopted by the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Finance. The measure was approved with its title stricken.

-CS for SB 146, by Sen. Eddie Fields and Rep. Todd Russ, modifies election costs paid from state funds. It prohibits the State Election Board from subsidizing the costs of elections called by counties, municipalities, school districts or other governmental entities. The bill requires the Board be reimbursed for expenses listed therein incurred to conduct such an election. It prohibits the Board from being reimbursed for election programming and ballot generation for elections held concurrently with a regularly scheduled federal or state election. It prohibits the Board from being reimbursed for expenses related to the training of precinct officials or county election boards, procedural support and oversight of county election boards or salary and benefits of the county election board secretary. It requires the Secretary of the State Election Board to create a document defining the expenses to be provided to each county election board. It establishes a rate of reimbursement. The committee substitute's changes were adopted by the Senate Rules Committee.

-SB 234, by Sen. Frank Simpson and Rep. Tommy Hardin, creates a petty cash fund for programs of the Oklahoma Military Department, including but not limited to billeting funds, youth programs and military awards and decoration programs, the sum of which will be determined as agreeable to the Oklahoma Military Department and the Director of the Office of Management and Enterprise Services. It directs the Director to establish procedures for the administration of this petty cash fund.

-SB 291, by Sen. Dan Newberry, creates the Task Force for the Study of a Tax Credit Repurchase Program. It provides for task force membership as well as achieving a quorum for meetings, co-chairs and travel reimbursement. It defines the scope of the study. It subjects the task force to the Oklahoma Open Meeting Act. It requires staff assistance for the task force be provided by the staff of the Senate, the House of Representatives and the Oklahoma Tax Commission. It requires the delivery of a final written report of its findings and any recommendations regarding the costs and benefits of the development of a tax credit repurchase program for the State of Oklahoma. It requires said report be submitted to the Governor, the President Pro Tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives no later than December 31, 2017.

-SB 377, by Sen. Josh Brecheen, permits the court, when an offender convicted of a nonviolent offense is sentenced to the Department of Corrections and the offender is detained in a county jail as a result of the reception-scheduling procedure of the Department of Corrections and upon application of the offender and upon consent of the district attorney and sheriff, to order the offender to be confined in their home or other suitable location and be supervised by electronic monitoring administered by the county sheriff in which the conviction occurred, provided, the sheriff has the capacity to electronically monitor the offender 24 hours per day, seven days per week with real time monitoring that immediately notifies the sheriff or their designee of a violation of the confinement order. It permits the sheriff to contract for electronic monitoring with a private vendor. It requires the court to designate the specific locations and rules of confinement. It permits the court to revoke the monitoring for violations of the order or if the court determines the offender is or has become a safety or escape risk. It establishes responsibilities of the offender during electronic monitoring. It exempts certain offenders from eligibility for electronic monitoring. It requires the Department of Corrections to reimburse the county $20 per day for each offender on electronic monitoring in lieu of other payments. It requires the proceeds be used to defray expenses of equipping and maintaining the jail, payment of personnel, and expenses relating to monitoring inmates who are on electronic monitoring while awaiting transfer to DOC.

-CS for SB 458, by Sen. Roger Thompson and Rep. Leslie Osborn, requires the State
Auditor and Inspector to perform a special independent audit of the application of the Information Technology Consolidation and Coordination Act to agencies within the cabinet department of safety and security. It requires the audit to occur during the 2018 fiscal year. It establishes a purpose for the audit. It requires a review of the audit by interested parties and requires a report to be filed with the governor, President of the Senate and Speaker of the House. The committee substitute's language was adopted previously by the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on General Government and Transportation.

-SB 466, by Sen. Jason Smalley, creates the Zero Emission Tax Credit Transparency Act of 2017. It requires taxpayers claiming the credit to report to the Oklahoma Tax Commission on a monthly basis. It requires the report to be submitted no later than 15 days from the last day of the previous month.

-CS for SB 468, as amended, by Sen. Dan Newberry, moves the State Banking Commissioner from a non-voting to a voting member of the Commission on Consumer Credit.

-SB 475, by Sen. Mike Schulz, requires a salt water facility operator to allocate the oil recovered, saved and sold, based upon the barrels of salt water and oil received from a particular source for the month, divided by the total barrels of salt water and oil received by the facility for the month. It requires the facility operator to file a report with the Tax Commission and pay the applicable production taxes, reflecting the volume of oil recovered, saved and sold and the gross proceeds from the sale thereof.

-SB 529, by Sen. Jason Smalley, modifies the qualifications and criteria required for students to participate in the Oklahoma Higher Learning Access Program. It requires an award for eligible Oklahoma Higher Learning Access Program students enrolled in a postsecondary vocational-technical program offered by a technology center school that meets the requirements to be eligible for federal student financial aid be satisfied for both vocational-technical and college work in which enrolled. It expands to the scope of student ineligible for the program with parents that meet updated income requirements. The committee substitute's language was adopted by the Senate Education Committee.

-SB 643, by Sen. Kim David, creates the Impaired Driving Elimination Act 2 with the purpose of offering an accelerated process to hold impaired drivers immediately accountable through the restriction of driving privileges. It requires the Department of Public Safety to establish the Impaired Driver Accountability Program. It requires the Department to set eligibility requirements and consequences for violation.

-CS for SB 705, by Sen. Eddie Fields and Rep. Harold Wright, modifies allocation of the aircraft excise tax. It requires the first $6.0 million to be placed to the credit of the Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission for fiscal years beginning July 1, 2016, and each fiscal year thereafter. It requires revenues in excess of $6.0 million to be credited to the General Revenue Fund.

• The Senate met briefly Wednesday, taking up only an executive nomination. Peter Regan's nomination to the Transportation Commission was approved without discussion or debate.

• The House met on Wednesday and approved the following bills:

-HB 1013, by Rep. Josh Cockroft and Sen. A J Griffin, removes the requirement for an advanced practice registered nurse to work under a supervising physician in order to have prescribing authority. It removes subsequent references to physician supervision of advanced practice registered nurses. The bill expands the definition of the term "advanced practice registered nurse" to include an individual who has been educationally prepared to assume responsibility and accountability for health promotion and/or maintenance as well as the assessment, diagnosis and management of patient problems which may include the use and prescription of pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions and who has clinical experience of sufficient depth and breadth to reflect the license. The bill lists the scope of practice for advanced practice registered nurses and provides an advanced practice registered nurse may serve as a primary care provider of record. The measure passed 72 to 20.

-HB 1337, by Rep. Chuck Hoskin and Sen. Randy Bass, creates the Freedom to Display the American Flag Act. It prohibits an owners association, condominium association, cooperative association or residential real estate management association from adopting or enforcing any policy or enter into any agreement that would restrict or prevent a member of the association from displaying the flag of the United States at a reasonable height, not to exceed 20 feet, on residential property within the association with respect to which such member has a separate ownership interest or a right to exclusive possession or use. The bill and its emergency clause passed 92 to 0.

-HB 1499, by Rep. Greg Babinec and Sen. Tom Dugger, 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. It allows state law enforcement agencies and the directors and employees of state agencies to lease the aircraft. The bill passed 86 to 5.

-HB 1510, by Rep. Chuck Strohm, establishes the Jenks Trojans License Plate and the Bixby Spartans License Plate. The bill passed 86 to 3.

-HB 1682, by Rep. Harold Wright and Sen. Eddie Fields, increases aircraft registration fees. The bill passed 68 to 24 and its emergency clause failed.

-HB 1794, by Rep. Kevin McDugle, creates the Prisoner of War and Missing in Action License Plate and establishes them as financial assistance license plates. The bill provides for the design of the license plates and requires $20 of the fee to be deposited in the Prisoner of War and Missing in Action License Plate Revolving Fund. It places the fund within the Military Department. The bill passed 92 to 1.


Thursday, March 2, 2017

• The Senate met Thursday morning and after customary guest introductions and Senate Page acknowledgements, members considered only one measure before adjourning for the weekend. The following legislation passed:

-HJR 1028 by Rep. Michael Rogers and Sen. Gary Stanislawski, approves in whole and without instructions the assessment requirements adopted by the State Board of Education and submitted to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President Pro Tempore of the Senate on Feb. 6, 2017. The measure passed 34-8.

• Governor Mary Fallin signed HB 1845, the REAL ID compliance bill into law Thursday afternoon. The new law will allow Oklahomans to obtain a compliant REAL ID driver's license or identification card. Both the House of Representatives and the Senate gave support to HB 1845, with the bill passing in the House 78-18 and 35-11 in the Senate. HB 1845 is the first measure of this year’s legislative session to be signed into law by the governor.

• The Senate Public Safety Committee met Thursday and passed a bill that would make using a cell phone while driving in a work zone or school zone illegal.

-SB 132, by Sen. J.J. Dossett, contains exceptions for hands-free devices and would subject violators to a fine of not more than $2,000 when it involves an accident and a $5,000 fine for an accident involving a death. The measure passed by a vote of 9-1.

-SB 6, by Sen. Josh Brecheen, would allow statewide-elected officers and members of the state’s congressional delegation who have completed a handgun qualification class to carry a weapon anywhere in the state while in the performance of the duties of the office. The measure would only apply to the duration of the politician’s term of office. The measure passed by a vote of 9-1.

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

-HB2128, by Rep. Mark McBride and Sen. A J Griffin, clarifies language relating to torts. It allows a person who is arrested or convicted of trespass to be held liable for any damaged to personal or real property. The bill also allows an entity that compensates a person for trespassing to be held liable for damages. HB 2128 is a companion bill to HB 1123, by Rep. Scott Biggs, which requires that an individual trespassing on property containing critical property be guilty of a misdemeanor. It requires an individual who willfully damages, destroys, vandalizes or tampers with critical infrastructure be guilty of a felony. It requires an organization found to be a conspirator to those committing such crimes pay a fine that is 10 times the amount of an individual. The bill defines related terms. The House gave approval to HB 1123 earlier this week by a vote of 70-24.


Other News

• Standard & Poor's Global Rating lowered Oklahoma's bond rating one level Wednesday, pointing to the state's weak revenue collections and the likelihood it would not enact revenue raising measures. S&P further explained that future ratings could drop or rise depending on what actions are taken to improve Oklahoma's structural budget deficit. S&P lowered general obligation bonds and appropriation debt backed by the state's credit enhancement reserve fund one notch from AA+ to AA and the state's appropriation debt from AA to AA-. S&P also assigned its AA- rating
to the Capitol Restoration Project bonds.

In addition to a series of revenue raising measures that have not been well received by the Legislature, the governor’s executive budget also includes $10.5 million to cover debt service on a bond proposal. The governor listed some projects, which totaled approximately $350 million, but said the list was negotiable. As a result of the downgrade, the $10.5 million would cover a somewhat smaller bond issue, depending on its exact impact on interest rates on state bonds