The Oklahoma Senate


Week In Review
Monday, Mar. 13, to Thurs., Mar. 16, 2017

• On Monday, the Senate met and approved the following legislation:

-SB 170, by Sen. Roger Thompson and Rep. Earl Sears, repeals the individual income tax trigger that would reduce the top marginal rate from 5.0 percent to 4.85 percent. It also repeals statutory language establishing the process for the Board of Equalization to make a finding that would result in the individual income rate decrease and the requirement that the rate decrease when a particular finding is made. The bill passed 39 to 6 with no discussion or debate.

-SB 42, by Sen. Frank Simpson and Rep. Tommy Hardin, modifies references to federal law regarding the Oklahoma National Guard. It updates statutory references. The bill and its emergency clause passed 45 to 0.

-SB 233, by Sen. Frank Simpson and Rep. Tommy Hardin, specifies that leave of absence by soldiers and sailors from civil employment is not to exceed 240 hours in order to receive full regular pay from the employing state agency or political subdivision. The bill passed 44 to 1.

-SB 238, by Sen. Larry Boggs and Rep. John Enns, adds feral swine to the wildlife damage management services of the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture. The bill also authorizes agents of the State Board of Agriculture engaged in wildlife damage management to carry a firearm in the course of their official duties. It requires authorized agents to successfully pass a background check by the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture and be trained in accordance with the United States Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services guidelines for the use of firearms in wildlife damage management. The bill passed 43 to 2.

-SB 456, by Sen. Joe Newhouse and Rep. Kevin McDugle, requires the Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs to establish and administer an Oklahoma veterans registry. It specifies contents of the registry and procedures for collecting information. The bill passed 45 to 0.

-SB 467, by Sen. Dan Newberry, requires 90 percent of all fees and civil penalties collected by the Department of Consumer Credit to be deposited in the Consumer Credit Administrative Expenses Revolving Fund. The bill passed 43 to 2.

-SB 741, by Sen. Adam Pugh and Rep. Tammy West, requires the State Department of Health, subject to the availability of funds, to develop and administer a program with the Oklahoma Health Care Authority that will encourage the timely and appropriate use of primary care services in lieu of emergency room utilization. It permits the Oklahoma Health Care Authority and the State Department of Health to collaborate with city-county and county health departments and other relevant stakeholders in the development of the program. It modifies the program components. The bill passed 45 to 0.

-SB 717, as amended, 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.

-FS for SB 24, by Sen. Mark Allen and Rep. Dustin Roberts, 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.

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

-HB 1326, by Rep. Casey Murdock and Sen. Lonnie Paxton, as amended, prohibits a person from intentionally or knowingly operating an unmanned aircraft over the private agricultural property of another unless otherwise exempted. The bill provides exemptions. It prescribes a punishment for those found in violation of the provision. The amendment requires that notice prescribed therein not be require when the operation of the aircraft in question is being performed to assess the location of actual outage on any electronic delivery infrastructure. It also modifies what constitutes an operator of such an aircraft. The bill, as amended, passed on a vote of 55 to 39.

-HB 1104, by Rep. Bobby Cleveland and Sen. Nathan Dahm, 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. It prohibits the individual from carrying the handgun into a courtroom. The bill passed on a vote of 85 of 11.

-HB 1233, by Rep. Mike Osburn and Sen. Adam Pugh, changes the enforcement of violations involving employment agencies from the Department of Labor to any court of competent jurisdiction. The bill repeals sections of law related to relate to duty to report, fees and fines, witnesses and licenses. The bill passed on a vote of 87 to 7.

-HB 1346, by Rep. Donnie Condit and Sen. Eddie Fields, authorizes a county, municipal corporation, consolidated government or political subdivision to charge a reasonable fee for the rental of booth space or for the reservation of a space at a temporary retail food establishment where honey sold or distributed at a single event or celebration. It prohibits such a body from requiring an inspection of condition or wholesomeness of honey sold or distributed or charge a fee related to an inspection. The bill passed on a vote of 86 to 3.

-HB 1705, by Rep. Randy McDaniel and Sen. Marty Quinn, amends the definition of "eligible retirement plan" to include a SIMPLE IRA effective for distribution after December 18, 2015, for purposes of a rollover contribution to such SIMPLE IRA, but only if such rollover contribution is made after December 18, 2015, and only if such rollover contribution occurs after the two-year period as described in the Internal Revenue Code of 1986. The bill also adds a definition for mandatory distribution. It adds that in the event of a Mandatory Distribution greater than $1,000 made on or after June 28, 2018, if the member does not elect to have such distribution paid directly to an Eligible Retirement Plan specified by the member in a Direct Rollover or to receive the distribution directly, then the State Board will pay the distribution in a Direct Rollover to an individual retirement plan designated by the State Board. The bill and its emergency passed on a vote of 93 to 0.

-HB 1715, by Rep. Lewis Moore and Sen. David Holt, creates the Patriotic Access to Students in Schools Act (PASS Act). The bill provides that any district board of education may encourage increased community involvement in public schools. The bill allows any youth group listed in Title 36 of the United States Code as a patriotic society to use any school building or property to provide services allowing students to participate in activities provided by the groups at times other than instructional time during the school day. The bill requires the principal of each public school, beginning with the 2017-2018 school year, to allow representatives of a patriotic society the opportunity to speak with and recruit students to participate in their organizations during school hours to inform the students of how the patriotic society may further the students' educational interests and civic involvement to better their schools, communities and themselves. The bill requires the patriotic society to provide verbal or written notice to the principal of its intent to speak to the students. It also directs the principal to provide verbal or written approval of the specific day and time for the society to address the students. The bill passed on a vote of 65
to 25. The bill's emergency clause failed on a vote of 60 to 23.

-HB 1836, by Rep. Leslie Osborn and Sen. Kim David, modifies provisions related to authorized gaming as well as authorized operating hours. The bill and its emergency passed on a vote of 92 to 4.

-HB 1858, by Rep. Leslie Osborn and Sen. Kim David, creates the Oklahoma Horse Racing Commission Operational Expenses Revolving Fund to consist of all monies received by the Oklahoma Horse Racing Commission to be appropriated, budgeted and expended by the Commission. It requires expenditures from said fund 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 the Fund be used to fund the operations of the Oklahoma Horse Racing Commission within the limits of the budget. It provides for the fund expenditures and restrictions. It requires the Oklahoma Horse Racing Commission to establish the percentage of adjusted gross gaming revenues necessary for providing adequate operational expenses (Operational Expenses Revolving Fund Retention
Percentage) by vote at a Commission meeting. It specifies requirements for said percentage. It modifies the distribution percentages for each organization licensee therein. The bill and its emergency passed on a vote of 93 to 2.

-HB 1913, by Rep. Chris Kannady, creates the Oklahoma Small Loan Act. It prohibits a person from making small loans unless licensed. It requires a nonresident person seeking a license to apply to the Administrator of the Department of Consumer Credit. It creates requirements for individuals applying for licenses and establishes information to be on each form. It establishes a $200 filing fee, a $515 license fee and a $500 supervision fee. It allows for background and criminal history checks. It establishes requirements for posting the license and renewal periods. The bill passed on a vote of 59 to 31.

-HB 1957, by Rep. Rhonda Baker and Sen. Ron Sharp, removes the requirement that a person enrolled in an alternative teacher placement program have at least two years of work experience which is related to the subject area of specialization if the person has only a baccalaureate degree with no post baccalaureate work in a related area. The bill passed on a vote of 72 to 21. The vote on its emergency passed on a vote of 68 to 23.

-HB 2277, by Rep. Terry O'Donnell and Sen. Marty Quinn, requires pupils in public schools to recite the pledge of allegiance to the flag of the United State of America daily. The bill passed on a vote of 93 to 1.

-HB 2316, by Rep. Charles McCall, allows the governor to have the power to appoint, remove or replace any gubernatorial appointments on any agency, board or commission. It allows the President Pro Tempore and Speaker of the House to appoint, remove or replace any of their respective appointments on any agency, board or commission. It requires certain board and commission members to serve at the pleasure of the governor. The bill passed on a vote of 68 to 24.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

• The Senate met on Tuesday to hear several bills and approved the following:

-SB 774, by Sen. Kim David, modifies the fee for an application for a license, or renewal thereof, to establish or operate a residential care home, changing it from $50 to an amount established by the State Board of Health by rule, provided such fee does not exceed $10 per bed or $500. It requires all residential care homes to have or employ a licensed administrator for the home, replacing the requirement for the homes to have or employ a certified administrator for the home. The bill also requires each home that proposes new construction or major alteration to submit construction plans to the Department for review prior to the start of construction. It permits the
Department to assess a fee for the review in an amount not more than 1.5 percent of $25,000, whichever is less, per project of the total construction cost of the facility or modification. It requires the State Board of Health to promulgate rules for submission and resubmission of construction plans to ensure the timely review. It reduces the number of times residential care homes must be inspected from three times annually to one time annually. It eliminates the requirement that the inspections be unannounced and permits the inspections to be unannounced. It also eliminates the requirement that one person be invited from a statewide organization of the elderly or disabled by the Department to act as a citizen observer in any inspection and changes it to permits one person be invited from a statewide organization of the elderly or disabled by the Department to act as a citizen observer in any inspection. The bill passed 36 to 10.

-SB 444, by Sen. Nathan Dahm and Rep. Jason Murphey, repeals language related to mailings to state employees, which includes the ability of associations to obtain a list of employees from the Office of Management and Enterprise Services.

-SB 34, by Sen. Kim David and Rep. Scott Biggs, prohibits lack of knowledge of the age of a human trafficking victim from constituting a defense to the human trafficking of a minor. The bill passed 44 to 0.

-SB 492, by Sen. John Sparks and Rep. Chuck Hoskin, requires the Department of Environmental Quality to seek and include any response submitted by any of Oklahoma's tribal governments when preparing any response on behalf of the state to the federal government on issues pertaining to air quality. The bill passed 32 to 14.

-SB 493, by Sen. Ron Sharp and Rep. Jeff Coody, exempts persons engaged in selling lumber from provisions of law relating to the misrepresentation of prices to consumers. The bill passed 26 to 20.

-SB 531, with title restored, by Sen. Robert Standridge, authorizes the Department of Labor to regulate any advancement in technology that applies to the alarm or locksmith industry. The bill updates statutory references. It prohibits an alarm business licensed under Alarm, Locksmith and Fire Sprinkler Industry Act from being required to obtain multiple licenses to engage in the practice of locksmithing, closed-circuit television and access control when its activities are performed in combination with the installation, maintenance, moving, repairing, replacing, servicing, or reconfiguration of a burglar alarm system. The bill passed 42 to 3.

-SB 816, by Sen. Kim David, requires any student of this state who is in good academic standing with an accredited medical college in this state receive priority consideration in the process of assigning clinical rotations at a healthcare facility that accepts funding from this state. The bill passed 45 to 0.

-SB 30, with title and emergency clause restored, by Sen. A J Griffin and Rep. Tammy West, requires any facility in which abortions, other than abortions necessary to prevent the death of the
mother, are performed, induced, prescribed for, or where the means for the procedure are provided to post specified signage. It provides for the requirements of said signage's formatting and placement. It requires the State Health Department to only utilize funds specifically set aside for the provisions therein. It requires the Department to use its official, online social media platforms to promote the unique URL specified therein. It requires the Department to promulgate necessary rules. The bill and its emergency clause passed 38 to 0.

-SB 33, with title restored, by Sen. Larry Boggs and Rep. Tommy Hardin, authorizes the Oklahoma Veterans Commission to delegate to the Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs Director the authority to approve change orders on a construction contract up to $40,000 that complies with certain limits. The bill requires change orders approved by the director to be presented to the commission during the next regular meeting and the reasons for the orders recorded in permanent records. The bill passed 37 to 0.

-SB 52, by Sen. Jack Fry and Rep. Scooter Park, requires a person to produce and provide physical possession of a driver license to a peace officer upon the officer's request. The bill passed 35 to 0.

-SB 57, with title restored, by Sen. Larry Boggs and Rep. Chris Kannady, updates federal statutory references related to the Oklahoma Veterans Commission's authorization to make collections from eligible patients and members for care and maintenance. The bill passed 38 to 0.

-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. The bill passed 42 to 0.

-SB 77, by Sen. Jack Fry and Rep. Carl Newton, adds forensic laboratory personnel of the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation designated by the Executive Director to the list of first responders authorized to administer without prescription opiate antagonists when encountering an individual exhibiting signs of an opiate overdose. The bill passed 38 to 0.

-SB 85, by Sen. Jack Fry and Rep. Dustin Roberts, requires municipally-owned utilities in communities of 5,000 or more population to pay the furnish the funds to pay the cost of the removing or relocating of utility facilities located in either privately owned or public rights-of-way for the construction of interstate highways. The bill and its emergency clause passed 39 to 0.

-SB 249, by Sen. Anastasia Pittman and Rep. Emily Virgin, provides a definition for domestic sex trafficking of minors under state law. It defines it as a commercial sex act that is induced by force, fraud or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such an act has not attained 18 years of age. The bill passed 43 to 0.

-SB 344, by Sen. David Holt and Rep. Mike Osburn, increases the penalty for those found in violation of meeting or overtaking a stopped school bus to not less than $250. The bill passed 44 to 0.

-SB 350, by Sen. David Holt and Rep. Jon Echols, 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. The bill passed 41 to 3.

-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. The bill passed 43 to 1.

-SB 466, with title restored, by Sen. Jason Smalley and Rep. Terry O'Donnell, 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. The bill passed 44 to 0.

-SB 688, by Sen. Bryce Marlatt, R-Woodward and Rep. Casey Murdock, R-Felt, removes the requirement that the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services and the Department of Corrections jointly provide firefighting services for Northwest Center for Behavioral Health, the correctional institution at Fort Supply, Oklahoma, and the surrounding community. The bill passed 43 to 0.


• The House passed the following bills on Tuesday:

-HB 1578, by Rep. Chad Caldwell and Sen. Gary Stanislawski, creates the School Finance Review Commission Act. It creates the School Finance Review Commission. It provides for membership. It provides a January 1, 2025 sunset date. It sets about responsibilities and goals of the Commission in reviewing all matter related to school finance. It requires the Commission for Educational Quality and Accountability provide staff and administrative support to the Commission. It requires the State Department of Education to aid either commission in providing necessary staff and administrative support. It requires the Commission submit its findings annually to the Governor, President Pro Tempore and the Speaker until its sunset. The bill passed on a vote of 64 to 26.

-HB 1201, by Rep. Dennis Ray Casey and Sen. Marty Quinn, modifies information relating to the School District Transparency Act. It deletes the requirement for school districts to provide copies of all credit card statements, identified by the department responsible for each credit card. The bill passed on a vote of 80 to 6.

-HB 1263, by Rep. Matt Meredith and Sen. Dewayne Pemberton, 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. The bill passed on a vote of 87 to 0.

-HB 1427, by Rep. Kyle Hilbert and Sen. James Leewright, creates the Out-of-State Tax Collections Enforcement Act of 2017. It requires the Tax Commission to establish one field office in a state other than Oklahoma for the purpose of collecting taxes owed to the state. It allows the Commission to maintain a full-time employee and not less than five out-of-state tax auditors. The bill passed on a vote of 70 to 17.

-HB 1555, by Rep. George Faught and Sen. Marty Quinn, transfers the State Employee Assistance Program from the Office of Management and Enterprise Services to the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services. The bill and its emergency passed on a vote of 88 to 0.

-HB 1583, by Rep. Chad Caldwell and Sen. Kyle Loveless, as amended, consolidates the Office of the State Bond Advisor into the Office of the State Treasurer. It accounts for the transfer in relation to funds and records. The amendment directs the Bond Oversight Revolving Fund to the State Treasurer. The amendment provides for disclosure to be made by any public service provider for the direction of any and all direct financial contribution which exceeds $5,000 on a cumulative basis to any nonprofit organization. It provides a similar procedure for contributions exceeding $100 on a cumulative basis to any elected officials or employees of a State or Local Governmental Entity to which financial services are to be provided in connection with issuance of debt obligations or contributions made to any individuals associated with a nonprofit. It provides when this disclosure must be filed. The bill, as amended, passed on a vote of 84 to 0.

-HB 1667, by Rep. Todd Thomsen and Sen. Eddie Fields, modifies the ways in which the State Board of Education to award contracts for statewide student assessment system which preparing students for college and careers. It allows assessments to be reviewed for alignment to the subject matter standards. The bill requires the six-year subject area textbook adoption cycle to align to the subject matter standards adoption cycle. The bill passed on a vote of 81 to 6.

-HB 1670, by Rep. Todd Thomsen, and Sen. Greg McCortney, increases the separate fee amount to be paid to the court for traffic offenses from $9 to $10; a fee collected by the Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training (CLEET). The bill passed on a vote of 51 to 37. Thomsen served notice for reconsideration on the vote by which the legislation passed.

-HB 1824, by Rep. Chris Kannady and Sen. A J Griffin, as amended, requires a health benefit plan that provides benefits for prescription drugs delivered, issued or renewed after November 1, 2017, to provide for synchronization of prescription drug refills on at least one occasion per insured per year, provided all of the conditions therein are met. It requires such a plan apply a prorated daily-cost sharing rate to any medication dispensed by a network pharmacy when necessary to permit synchronization. It prohibits dispensing fees from being prorated and requires all dispensing fees be based on the number of prescriptions filled or refilled. It defines "synchronization" as used therein. The bill passed on a vote of 92 to 0.

-HB 1889, by Rep. Pat Ownbey and Sen. Frank Simpson, authorizes the Department of Veterans Affairs to construct, establish, administer, operate and maintain a State Veterans' Cemetery System. It directs State Veterans' Cemetery System to consist of one or more cemeteries to serve the veterans, spouses and eligible dependents of the veterans of the State of Oklahoma. The bill also outlines the duties of the ODVA in establishing said cemetery. The bill passed on a vote of 88 to 0.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

• The Senate met on Wednesday for the final day of business before adjourning a day early for spring break. The Senate will not meet Thursday and will reconvene Monday at 1:30 p.m. Thursday, March 23, is the deadline for bills and joint resolutions to be heard in their chamber of origin.

-SB 130, by Sen. Marty Quinn and Rep. Dennis Ray Casey, nullifies action of the Board of Equalization that would result in the individual income tax decreasing from 5.0 percent to 4.85 percent. The bill establishes a new calculation for determining the rate reduction. The bill repeals
language related to the current calculation for reducing the rate from 5.0 percent to 4.85 percent.
The bill would set a $7.5 billion revenue base to which the estimated fiscal impact of the individual income rate reduction would be added before the trigger would cause the rate reduction.

-SB 2, by Sen. J.J. Dossett and Rep. Katie Henke, removes the requirement to administer assessments in U.S. history from the statewide student assessment system. The bill also updates a statutory reference. The bill passed 31 to 10. The emergency passed 34 to 7.

-SB 35, with title restored, by Sen. Kim David and Rep. Kevin McDugle, permits a person 21 years of age or older on active military or National Guard duty, regular military or National Guard reserve duty or retired or honorably discharged from military service and who presents a valid military identification card in lieu of a handgun license to carry a concealed or unconcealed weapon without obtaining a handgun license. It removes language that provides an exemption from the training requirement for those individuals. The bill adds reserve duty law enforcement officers from the list of those exempt from the training and qualification requirement. It removes language requiring the Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training (CLEET) to establish criteria for providing proof of an exemption. The bill permits out-of-state permit holders to carry unconcealed weapons. The bill passed 40 to 2.

-SB 80, with title, effective date and emergency clause restored, 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. It adds that transfer requests need to be in writing to the Office of Management and Enterprise Services. The measure exempts receipt and expenditure for unanticipated federal funds awarded to the department after the commencement of the fiscal year's expenditure limitations. The bill permits the Department of Rehabilitation Services director to request through the Office of Management and Enterprise Services director an early transfer of tax collection to the General Revenue Fund by the Oklahoma Tax Commission; with the purpose to early allocate the department's disbursing funds. The bill and its emergency clause passed 41 to 0.

-SB 91, with title restored, by Sen. Kim David, requires notice to be sent to the last known address of the owner of the real property on which a manufactured home is located if personal property taxes on a manufactured home that is located on property not owned by the owner of the manufactured home. The bill passed 42 to 0.

-SB 120, with title restored, by Sen. Kim David, extends the sunset date to tax years ending before Jan. 1, 2026, the Aerospace Tax Credits. The bill passed 32 to 10.

-SB 147, by Sen. Mike Schulz and Rep. Casey Murdock, updates statutory references in relation
to the Oklahoma Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations Act. The bill provides an exemption to the setback rule allowing for municipality's governing body with a written waiver of the setback for the particular animal feeding operation. It prohibits a change in ownership of the property on which the animal feeding operation is located from affecting the validity of the waiver. The bill passed 43 to 0.

-SB 210, 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 bill and its emergency clause passed 43 to 0.

-SB 234, with title restored, 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. The bill passed 42 to 1.

-SB 325, by Sen. Jack Fry, requires persons convicted in this state who make a request for
transfer to another state pursuant to the Interstate Compact to pay a transfer application fee of $100 for each transfer application submitted. It requires the fee be paid to the Department of Corrections. It permits the Department of Corrections director to waive the fee if it is determined that payment of the fee will constitute an undue economic burden on the offender. It requires the fees collected be deposited into the Department of Corrections Revolving Fund. The bill passed 43 to 0.

-SB 469, with title restored, by Sen. Robert Standridge and Rep. Scott Martin, creates a license to practice funeral directing, but not embalming, upon meeting eligibility requirements. It requires the
curriculum of study for a funeral director license to be in a program of mortuary science prescribed by the Oklahoma Funeral Board. The bill passed 36 to 6.

-SB 730, by Sen. Frank Simpson and Rep. Pat Ownbey, removes the requirement that Veterans Centers be non-smoking by Jan. 1, 2018. The bill passed 38 to 2.

-SR 7, by Senate President Pro Tempore Mike Schulz, Senate Minority Leader John Sparks, and other Senate members, suspends Sen. Ralph Shortey's privileges as a senator to punish him for "disorderly behavior.” There was no discussion or debate of the resolution. All 43 members present during Wednesday afternoon's floor session voted for its adoption in a roll call vote. Among the directives in the resolution was the order to suspend Shortey's positions as vice chair of the Senate Energy Committee and the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Select Agencies and his membership on the Senate Retirement and Insurance Committee, Judiciary Committee and Appropriations Committee. The resolution also suspended Shortey's ability to author and coauthor legislation and permits any other member of the Senate to assume principal authorship of his bills.


Thursday, March 16, 2017


• Due to Spring Break, the Senate and House did not meet on Thursday. Members will convene again on Monday, March 20.


Other News

• This week, Oklahoma Department of Corrections (DOC) Director Joe M. Allbaugh instituted a purchasing freeze to take effect immediately. The announcement is the third administrative action undertaken in less than three weeks to save the agency money. The freeze excludes items deemed critical to day-to-day operations at facilities including food, medical supplies, healthcare treatment and most safety equipment. Exempt purchases will be considered if there is an immediate safety or security concern for a facility or the public. Allbaugh said the agency is continuing to take proactive steps when trying to find the $2.964 million the agency was ordered to cut from its budget by the end of the fiscal year.


• On Tuesday, Governor Mary Fallin the appointment of former Oklahoma Governor Frank Keating
to the University of Oklahoma (OU) Board of Regents. Keating will succeed A. Max Weitzenhoffer and will serve a seven-year term, pending confirmation from the Oklahoma Senate.

Keating is a senior partner in the international law firm of Holland & Knight. He served two terms as governor, from 1995 until 2003, later serving seven years as the president and chief executive officer of the American Council of Life Insurers and then five years as president and CEO of the American Bankers Association (ABA). As governor, Keating won national acclaim in 1995 for his professional handling of the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah building in Oklahoma City. After the attack, Keating raised more than $6 million to fund scholarships for the nearly 200 children left with only one or no parents. His accomplishments as governor include winning a successful public vote on right-to-work, tort reform, tax cuts, and major road building and education reform. Keating and his wife, Cathy, live in Oklahoma City. They have three children and 10 grandchildren.

• Attorney General Mike Hunter announced three new executive staff appointments on Wednesday: Mithun Mansinghani as Solicitor General, Tom Gruber as Senior Deputy Attorney General and Joy Mohorovicic as Managing Attorney of the Tulsa office.

Mansinghani is promoted to Solicitor General and will represent the State’s interests before federal and state appellate courts. He will also represent the State in interactions with the federal government and other states.

Gruber joins the Attorney General’s Office as Senior Deputy Attorney General and will supervise the Legal Counsel Division and Tobacco Enforcement Unit. Gruber is a former First Assistant Attorney General to Drew Edmondson, two-term elected District Attorney and Chairman of the Constitutional Ethics Commission.

Mohorovicic is promoted to Managing Attorney of the Tulsa Office of the Attorney General. In addition to her case load as an Assistant Attorney General for the Workers Compensation and Insurance Fraud Unit, she will be responsible for the general management and oversight of the Tulsa office and serve as a liaison for Deputy AG’s who have staff stationed in Tulsa.

• On Thursday, Gov. Mary Fallin named former state senator James Williamson from Tulsa as her new general counsel. Williamson served in the House from 1980 through 1986, representing the southeast area of Tulsa and Broken Arrow. He later was elected in 1996 to the State Senate where he represented Tulsa and Jenks until 2008. He served as assistant Republican floor leader from 1998 to 2002 and as floor leader in 2003 and 2004. From 2010 to 2012, Williamson served as senior policy analyst and chief legal counsel to then-Senate President Pro Tems Glenn Coffee and Brian Bingman. Williamson replaces Jennifer Chance, who announced her resignation earlier this month.