The Oklahoma Senate


Week In Review
Monday, Mar. 27, to Thurs., Mar. 30, 2017


Monday, March 27, 2017

• The Senate met Monday, but with focus back on committee work, no bills were considered. Senators joined House members for a joint session in the afternoon to honor Oklahoma's military veterans.

• The Senate Joint Committee on Appropriations and Budget approved the following measures on Monday:

-CS for HB 2342, by Rep. Leslie Osborn and Sen. Kim David, appropriates for FY2017 $4.2M from the Constitution Reserve Fund (Rainy Day Fund) and $18M from the Unclaimed Property Fund to the Oklahoma Department of Human Services for Developmental Disabilities Services waivers and $11.8M from the Unclaimed Property Fund to the Oklahoma Department of Human Services for the purpose of funding Aging Services waivers. It exempts the appropriation from agency category and budget limits.

-CS for SB 834, by Sen. Eddie Fields, Sen. Kim David, Rep. Kevin Wallace, and Rep. Leslie Osborn, appropriates $710,731 to the Oklahoma Indigent Defense System from the Special Cash Fund. It exempts the appropriation from agency category and budget limits.

-SB 835, by Sen. Eddie Fields, Sen. Kim David, Rep. Kevin Wallace, and Rep. Leslie Osborn, reinstates the requirement, until June 30, 2018, (through the remainder of FY2017 and FY2018) that the Office of Management and Enterprise Services transfer upon the request of the Administrative Director of the Courts funds from the Law Library Revolving Fund to the Supreme Court Administrative Revolving Fund or the Interagency Reimbursement Fund as necessary to
perform the duties imposed upon the Supreme Court, Court of Civil Appeals and district courts by law; from the State Judicial Revolving Fund to the Supreme Court Administrative Revolving Fund as necessary to perform the duties imposed upon the Supreme Court, Court of Civil Appeals and district courts by law; from the Supreme Court Administrative Revolving Fund to the Interagency Reimbursement Fund as necessary to perform the duties imposed upon the Supreme Court, Court of Civil Appeals and district courts by law; and from the Lengthy Trial Fund to the Supreme Court Administrative Revolving Fund or the Interagency Reimbursement Fund as necessary to perform the duties imposed upon the Supreme Court, Court of Civil Appeals and district courts by law. The bill indicates the requirement had expired June 30, 2016.

• The Senate Health and Human Services Committee quickly approved its first series of House bills Monday, including the following:

-HB 1228, by Rep. Tammy West and Sen. Paul Scott, creates the Department of Human Services and Private Adoption Collaboration Program. It requires the Department of Human Services to inform licensed child-placing agencies when a child in their custody becomes eligible for adoption and said child needs permanent placement when such an agency has requested in writing to receive such notice. It allows the Department to provide reimbursement of expenses incurred by the child-placing agency for recruiting, training and conducting a home study for the adoptive parent.

-HB 1887, by Rep. Pat Ownbey and Sen. A J Griffin, decreases the length of time a minor has to live in a prospective adoptive home in order for medical and social history records to be disclosed from two years to 12 months.

-HB 1843, by Rep. Leslie Osborn and Senator Stephanie Bice, modifies the definition to "stretcher van passenger" in relation to the Oklahoma Emergency Response Systems Development Act, adding an exemption.

-The committee also approved five executive nominations on unanimous votes. The nominations included the following:

• Donna B. Bowers, Oklahoma City, to the Oklahoma State Board of Examiners for Long-Term Care Administrators, to serve an unexpired term ending October 31, 2017, succeeding Bill Weaver.

• Donna B. Bowers, Oklahoma City, to the Oklahoma State Board of Examiners for Long-Term Care Administrators, to serve a three-year term ending October 31, 2017, succeeding herself.

• Tricia Everest, Nichols Hills, to the Board of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, to serve a seven-year term ending December 31, 2023, succeeding Paul Pierce.

• Stephen E. Grissom, Tulsa, to the Board of Juvenile Affairs, to serve a four-year term ending July 1, 2021, succeeding himself.

• Karen E. Youngblood, Yukon, to the Board of Juvenile Affairs, to serve an unexpired term ending July 1, 2018, succeeding Wendell M. Hixson.

• The Senate Education Committee began hearing House bills Monday morning and approved the following measures:

-HB 2008, by Rep. Charles McCall and Sen. Gary Stanislawski, creates the Dyslexia and Education Task Force for the purpose of creating a dyslexia handbook that will provide guidance for schools, students and parents in identification, intervention and support of students with dyslexia through accommodations and assistive technology. The bill establishes membership and meeting requirements. It requires the Task Force to study how to effectively identify students with dyslexia and make recommendations for appropriate interventions.

-HB 1188, by Rep. Edward Cannaday and Sen. Frank Simpson, requires unused sick leave of up to 60 days for a teacher employed after July 1, 2017, at the Oklahoma School for the Blind or the Oklahoma School for the Deaf accumulated at another school district to be transferable.

-HB 1219, by Rep. Jason Murphey and Sen. Nathan Dahm, repeals the creation of the Data Coordinating Council and the P-20 Data Coordinating Council Revolving Fund. It repeals the creation of the Educational Quality and Accountability Board and Revolving Fund. It repeals the Oklahoma Race to the Top commission.

-HB 1576, by Rep. Chad Caldwell and Sen. Gary Stanislawski, requires the Oklahoma Commission for Educational Quality and Accountability to adopt rules requiring coursework or training in the use of digital and other instructional technologies by Nov.1, 2017. It requires the professional development procedure for teachers to include digital teaching and learning standards to enhance content delivery to students.

-HB 1875, by Rep. Jason Dunnington and Sen. A J Griffin, allows a school district to allow a school site to elect to donate food to a nonprofit organization through an official on-campus nonprofit representative or designee who is directly affiliated with the school site such as a teacher, counselor or Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) member, and the donated food may be received, stored and redistributed at the school site at any time. It specifies which foods may be donated by the school. The bill allows the State Board of Education to promulgate rules to implement the provisions of this bill.

• The House met briefly on Monday, but took up no legislation. Rep. Josh Cockroft took a moment of personal privilege on the chamber floor to honor fallen Tecumseh Police Officer Justin Terney with a moment of silence. Terney, 22, was shot in the line of duty Sunday.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

• The Senate met on Tuesday and approved a bill making a supplemental to the Oklahoma Indigent Defense System and another which relaxes limitations on the use of the courts' funds.

-JCR for SB 834, by Sen. Eddie Fields, Sen. Kim David, Rep. Kevin Wallace, and Rep. Leslie
Osborn, appropriates $710,731 to the Oklahoma Indigent Defense System from the Unclaimed Property Fund. It exempts the appropriation from agency category and budget limits. The JCR was adopted and the bill passed 36 to 6.

-JCR for SB 835, by Sen. Eddie Fields, Sen. Kim David, Rep. Kevin Wallace, and Rep. Leslie
Osborn. The bill reinstates the requirement, until June 30, 2018, (through the remainder of FY2017 and FY2018) that the Office of Management and Enterprise Services transfer upon the request of the Administrative Director of the Courts funds from the Law Library Revolving Fund to the Supreme Court Administrative Revolving Fund or the Interagency Reimbursement Fund as necessary to perform the duties imposed upon the Supreme Court, Court of Civil Appeals and district courts by law; from the State Judicial Revolving Fund to the Supreme Court Administrative Revolving Fund as necessary to perform the duties imposed upon the Supreme Court, Court of Civil Appeals and district courts by law; from the Supreme Court Administrative Revolving Fund to the Interagency Reimbursement Fund as necessary to perform the duties imposed upon the Supreme Court, Court of Civil Appeals and district courts by law; and from the Lengthy Trial Fund to the Supreme Court Administrative Revolving Fund or the Interagency Reimbursement Fund as necessary to perform the duties imposed upon the Supreme Court, Court of Civil Appeals and district courts by law. The bill indicates the requirement had expired June 30, 2016. The bill passed 41 to 0.

• The House Public Health Committee passed its first two Senate bills Tuesday. The measures received unanimous do-pass recommendations from the committee.

-SB 715, by Sen. Greg McCortney and Rep. Dale Derby, as amended, provides a new
procedure by which speech-language pathologists may receive a temporary license. It adds and modifies terms used therein. It updates statutory language. The amendment adds an emergency clause.

-SB 746, by Sen. Greg McCortney, and Rep. Mike Ritze, permits the Board of Examiners of Perfusionists to review and verify medical credentials and screen applicant records through recognized national information services.

• The House met only briefly Tuesday morning before returning to committee work. No bills were considered.

• The House Veterans and Military Affairs Committee met and approved several bills originating from the Senate, including:

-SB 33, 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.

-SB 42, by Sen. Frank Simpson and Rep. Tommy Hardin, modifies references to federal law regarding the Oklahoma National Guard. It updates statutory references.

-SB 59, by Sen. Larry Boggs, and Rep. Josh West, permits the Adjutant General, pursuant to authority granted under 42 U.S.C. Section 1856a and applicable Army, Air Force or National Guard regulations, to enter into a reciprocal agreement with any city, county, town or municipal corporation or agency of the State of Oklahoma maintaining fire protection facilities in the vicinity of such property, for mutual aid in furnishing fire protection for such property and for other property for which such entity normally provides fire protection. It provides the fire protection units will continue under the command and control of their regular chain of command, but the organizational unit will come under operational control of the fire protection service authorities of the jurisdiction receiving assistance. It requires each agreement include a waiver by each party of all claims against the other party for compensation for any loss, damage, personal injury or death occurring in consequence of the performance of such agreement. It permits the agreements to provide for the reimbursement of any party for all or any part of the cost incurred in furnishing fire protection for or on behalf of any other party. It requires the Adjutant General to promulgate necessary rules.

-SB 543, by Sen. Frank Simpson, and Rep. Pat Ownbey, with title restored, authorizes the Department of Veterans Affairs to construct, establish, administer, operate, and maintain a State Veterans' Cemetery System. It requires the system to consist of one or more cemeteries to serve veterans, spouses and eligible dependents of veterans of the State of Oklahoma.

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

-HB 1889, by 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 this cemetery.

• The House Judiciary - Civil and Environmental Committee met briefly Tuesday, passing all bills with little discussion or debate.

-SB 653, by Sen. Joe Newhouse and Rep. Kevin McDugle, prohibits a court when determining alimony from considering disability compensation received by a party from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for service-related injuries for any purpose. It also prohibits a court from offsetting any disability income with other assets of the military member.

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

-SB 64, by Sen. Stephanie Bice and Rep. Mike Osburn, 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 116, by Sen. Dan Newberry and Rep. Chad Caldwell, limits to six months from the time of the rendition of the initial judgment when an order of sale or execution can be issued upon a judgment.

-SB 645, by Sen. Rob Standridge and Rep. Chris Kannady, modifies the civil penalty relating to the Medicaid False Claims Act from $5,500 to be consistent with the civil penalties provision of the Federal False Claims Act.

• The House Insurance Committee met on Tuesday and gave do pass to the following measures:

-SB 115, by Sen. Ron Sharp and Rep. Lewis Moore, 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. It 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. The bill permits a licensed insurance producer or customer service representative to certify the existence of the required insurance prior to processing any application for motor vehicle registration. It requires every motor license agent or other registering agent to allow submission of proof from a licensed insurance producer or customer service representative via electronic mail at no additional cost to the person registering the vehicle.

-HB2332, 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 and permits the Insurance Commissioner to initiate an administrative proceeding against any insurance company found not to be in compliance with the provisions of the act or rule promulgated by the department.

-SB 372, by Sen. Lonnie Paxton and Rep. Jeff Coody, permits any notice to a party or any other document required under applicable law in an insurance transaction, or that is to serve as evidence of insurance coverage, to be delivered, stored and presented by electronic means, so long as it meets the requirements of the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act. It provides delivery of a notice or document in accordance with the provisions of the bill will be considered equivalent to any delivery method required under applicable law, including delivery by first class mail; first class mail, postage prepaid; certified mail; certificate of mail; or certificate of mailing. It establishes when a notice or document may be delivered by electronic means by an insurer to a party. It establishes that a producer will not be subject to civil liability for any harm or injury that occurs as a result of a party's election to receive any notice or document by electronic means or by an insurer's failure to deliver a notice or document by electronic means. It establishes that the bill cannot be construed to modify, limit or supersede the provisions of the federal Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act. The bill defines applicable terms.

-SB 427, by Sen. Marty Quinn and Rep. Glen Mulready, requires a service warranty seller to clearly identify the obligor of the warrant. It requires information to be printed at the time of sale to be indicated as such. The bill requires each service warranty association to maintain a registry of each sales representative utilized by it in the state. It requires the registry to be provided to the Insurance Commissioner within 10 days upon request. The bill expands the provisions of misrepresentation and false advertising of service warranties.

-SB 431, as amended, by Sen. Bill Brown and Rep. Lewis Moore, prohibits more than 35 percent of a company's assets from being invested in mortgage loans, real property, purchase money mortgages. It eliminates the exemption for domestic health maintenance organizations that contract with the Health Care Authority from the provisions of the Risk-based Capital for Health Maintenance Organizations Act of 2003. The amendment corrects a scrivener's error in where the number "25 percent" was not changed to be consistent with the bill's new 35 percent limit.

-SB 525, by Sen. James Leewright and Rep. Michael Rogers, prohibits any person to be permitted to maintain an office for conducting a bail bond business where persons disqualified are present, except as necessary for such persons to obtain a personal bail bond. It clarifies that the marriage or cohabitation of a bail bond licensee or license applicant with a disqualified person does not constitute the receipt of benefits from the execution of a bail bond. In such circumstances, the receipt of benefits from the execution of a bail bond shall be subject to a factual determination by the Insurance Commissioner. It requires a bondsman to provide notice to the court clerk in writing of any change in residence or business address within five business days after a change as a matter of licensure. It requires law enforcement to post the list of bondsmen described therein conspicuously near all telephones used by prisoners. It requires the list be updated and distributed to law enforcement by the court clerk at least monthly, provided there has been a change to the list.

-SB 673, by Sen. Chris Kidd and Rep. Tim Downing, changes a reference to the Insurance Property and Casualty Rate Board to the Insurance Commissioner as it relates to the responsibility of the Attorney General to represent and protect the collective interests of insurance consumers in rate-related proceedings.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

• The Senate met on Wednesday, but no bills were considered during a brief floor session.

• The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on General Government and Transportation met Wednesday morning and approved the following legislation:

-HB 1449, by Rep. Dustin Roberts and Sen. Stephanie Bice, levies a Motor Fuels Tax Fee of $100 for electric-drive motor vehicles and $30 for hybrid-drive motor vehicles to be paid to the Oklahoma Tax Commission. It requires eighty percent collected be deposited in the State Treasury to the credit of the State Highway Construction and Maintenance Fund and the remaining 20 percent be distributed to the various counties of the state into the County Bridge and Road Improvement Fund. It requires that the formula for said distribution be similar to that currently in use but to also take account of the terrain and traffic volume as related to county road improvement and maintenance costs. It defines terms used therein. It directs the money from apportionment off the top funding back into the General Revenue for appropriation.

• The Senate Appropriations Committee met on Wednesday and approved the following measures:

-HB 2298, by Rep. Charles McCall and Sen. Mike Schulz, modifies the time period by which zero-emission facilities placed in production not later than July 1, 2017, to qualify for tax credits. The do pass motion passed 34 to 6. Because the bill would affect facilities placed in production no later than July 1, it includes an emergency clause. Thirty-four votes is just enough for the emergency clause to pass. If the emergency clause does not pass, the bill would take effect 90 days after the Legislature adjourns sine die. If that occurs in late May, that means it would be near the end of August before the bill takes effect.

-HB1188, by Rep. Edward Cannaday and Sen. Frank Simpson, requires unused sick leave of up to 60 days for a teacher employed after July 1, 2017, at the Oklahoma School for the Blind or the Oklahoma School for the Deaf accumulated at another school district to be transferable.

• The House met Wednesday passed the following bill:

-JCR to HB 2342, by Rep. Leslie Osborn and Sen. Kim David, appropriates for FY2017 $4.2M from the Constitution Reserve Fund (Rainy Day Fund) and $18.0M from the Unclaimed Property Fund to the Oklahoma Department of Human Services for Developmental Disabilities Services waivers and $11.8M from the Unclaimed Property Fund to the Oklahoma Department of Human Services for the purpose of funding Aging Services waivers.

• The House Appropriations and Budget Subcommittee on Finance Wednesday and passed all bills on its agenda with no questions, discussion or debate. The following bills passed:

-SB 74, by Sen. Joe Newhouse and Rep. Eric Proctor, sets a July 1, 2022, sunset date for the aircraft excise tax exemption for aircraft purchased or used by commercial airlines.

-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.

-SB 170, by Sen. Roger Thompson and Rep. Earl Sears, declares null and void 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 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.

-SB 292, by Sen. Roger Thompson and Rep. Earl Sears, authorizes the Oklahoma Tax commission, the Oklahoma Department of Human Services and the Oklahoma Employment Security to require agency employees in positions that have access to Federal Tax Information and data to supply all information and documentation required in order to be subjected to a criminal history search by the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, as well as be fingerprinted for submission of the fingerprints through the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for a national criminal history check. It requires the record check be supplied to the appropriate employer. It also requires the record check include a national criminal record with a fingerprint analysis.

-SB 442, by Sen. Eddie Fields and Rep. David Brumbaugh, requires a charter aircraft to be used as charter for at least 50 percent of its annual operations.

-SB 555, by Sen. Joe Newhouse and Rep. Eric Proctor, limits the time during which the exemption to aircraft excise tax may be used for aircrafts purchased for agricultural spraying, requiring it to expire on July 1, 2022, unless reauthorized by the Oklahoma Legislature.

-SB0557, by Sen. Joe Newhouse and Rep. Eric Proctor, limits the time during which the exemption to aircraft excise tax may be used for aircrafts which have a selling price in excess of $2.5 million and which are transferred to a purchaser who is not a resident of this state for immediate transfer out of state; requiring it to expire on July 1, 2022, unless reauthorized by the Oklahoma Legislature.

-SB 558, by Sen. Joe Newhouse and Rep. Eric Proctor, limits the time period during which the tax credit for ethanol purchases by retail dealers may be claimed, requiring its expiration on July 1, 2022, unless reauthorized by the Oklahoma Legislature.

• The House Public Safety Committee advanced legislation as follows:

-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.

-SB 27, by Sen. Josh Brecheen and Rep. Casey Murdock, with title restored, removes duplicative language regarding the requirement for certain Department of Public Safety positions that the employee have successfully completed 32 semester hours from an accredited college or university and whose hours are transferable between recognized institutions, and received an honorable discharge in any active military or reserve military service. It also changes the requirement for an honorable discharge and honorable active or reserve military service. It reduces the minimum age for someone to serve in the Communications Division from 20 to 18 years of age. It removes the requirement that the individual have either six months experience as a dispatcher or successfully completed 15 fifteen semester hours from an accredited college or university.

-SB 53, by Sen. Jack Fry and Rep. Tess Teague, permits a motorcycle to be equipped with and a motorcycle operator to use the following auxiliary lighting: standard bulb running lights light-emitting diode pods and strips. It requires the lighting to be non-blinking, non-flashing, non-oscillating and directed toward the engine and the drive train of the motorcycle to prevent interference with the driver's operation of the vehicle.

-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.

-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.

-SB 250, by Sen. A J Griffin and Rep. Bobby Cleveland, with title restored, grants the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigations original jurisdiction to investigate all deaths of incarcerated offenders when the death occurs in any jail in the state or in the Oklahoma prison system.

-SB 324, by Sen. Jack Fry and Rep. Mike Sanders, creates the Oklahoma State Award Program Committee to create, establish eligibility requirements and make recommendation for awarding the Oklahoma Medal of Valor for meritorious service and the Oklahoma Purple Heart for serious line of duty injuries for law enforcement and public safety members employed by municipal, county, state and employees of federal agencies working in Oklahoma. It establishes the Oklahoma Medal of Valor and the Oklahoma Purple Heart for award by the Governor, in the name of the state, to any person who has demonstrated meritorious achievement, or a distinct act of courage, or who has incurred injury or wounds, while performing or actively engaged in public service activities. It limits the Oklahoma Purple Heart to law enforcement and public safety members employed by municipal, county, state and employees of federal agencies working in Oklahoma. It establishes membership of the committee. It sets meeting requirements. It establishes committee members' duties. It requires the Commissioner of the Department of Public Safety to promulgate certain rules. It requires the committee to consider candidates for award for the Oklahoma Medal of Valor and the Oklahoma Purple Heart only from the applications received. It permits the committee to go into executive session to deliberate and select recommended recipients. It requires the chair to present to the Governor the names of recommendations as medal recipients.

-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.

-SB 604, by Sen. Greg Treat and Rep. Terry O'Donnell, expands provisions of CLEET courses relating to domestic violence and stalking to include information on personal safety planning necessary at the pretrial stages of a potential criminal case.

-SB 612, by Sen. Joseph Silk and Rep. Rick West, allows the maximum speed limit of a section of highway to be altered by a county commissioner when requested by residents. It requires the commissioner to prepare a request to submit to the transportation district and requires approval by at least 2 percent of the registered voters in that county.

-SB 630, by Sen. Frank Simpson and Rep. Pat Ownbey, with enacting clause stricken, 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. The bill prohibits an individual from operating a robotic vehicle within an area of a wild land fire and establishes punishments.

-CS for SB 793, by Sen. Greg Treat and Rep. Terry O'Donnell, with enacting clause stricken, creates the Corrections and Criminal Justice Oversight Task Force and provides for membership. The bill tasks the committee with tracking implementation and assessing outcomes from the Oklahoma Justice Reform Task Force report of January 2017. It directs the task force to prepare and submit an annual report no later than the first day of the second full week of each regular session of the Legislature on outcomes and performance measures to the Legislature, Governor and Presiding Judge of the Court of Criminal Appeals. It specifies the contents of the report. It requires the Oversight Task Force to use clerical and professional employees of the Department of Corrections. The bill encourages the task force to apply for and may expend grants, gifts or federal funds it receives from other sources to carry out its duties and responsibilities. The bill also directs DOC to collect specified information on certain crimes. The committee substitute updates and clarifies language.


Thursday, March 30, 2017

• On Thursday, the Senate's approval of three bills Thursday cleared the way for them to head to Gov. Mary Fallin's desk for her consideration.

-HB 1576, by Rep. Chad Caldwell and Sen. Gary Stanislawski, requires the Oklahoma State Senate Commission for Educational Quality and Accountability to adopt rules requiring coursework or training in the use of digital and other instructional technologies by Nov.1, 2017. It requires the professional development procedure for teachers to include digital teaching and learning standards to enhance content delivery to students. The bill and its emergency clause passed 36 to 6.

-HB 1875, by Rep. Jason Dunnington and Sen. A J Griffin, allows a school district to allow a school site to elect to donate food to a nonprofit organization through an official on-campus nonprofit representative or designee who is directly affiliated with the school site such as a teacher, counselor or Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) member, and the donated food may be received, stored and redistributed at the school site at any time. It specifies which foods may be donated by the school. The bill allows the State Board of Education to promulgate rules to implement the provisions of this bill. The bill passed 42 to 0.

-HB 1887, by Rep. Pat Ownbey and Sen. A J Griffin, decreases the length of time a minor has to live in a prospective adoptive home in order for medical and social history records to be disclosed. The bill passed 43 to 0.

• Two other bills also won the chamber's approval as follows, but the bills must now return to the House for further consideration.

-HB 1993, by Rep. John Jordan and Sen. A J Griffin, recreates the State Board of Cosmetology and Barbering until July 1, 2021. The bill passed 31 to 12

-HB 1995, by Rep, John Jordan and Sen. Bryce Marlatt, recreates the Oklahoma Energy Resources Board until July 1, 2021. The bill passed 39 to 3.

-The Senate adopted SR 6, by Sen. Jack Fry. The measure congratulates Tinker Air Force Base on 75 years of outstanding service to the state and nation and expresses appreciation the contributions Tinker Air Force Base has made across Oklahoma.

-The Senate also voted 41 to 1 to approve former Sen. Clark Jolley's nomination by Gov. Fallin to the Oklahoma Tax Commission.

• The Senate Public Safety Committee gave its approval Thursday to six bills, including:

-HB 1811, by Rep. Ben Loring and Sen. Wayne Shaw, clarifies the procedures related to the destruction of obscene material or child pornography to ensure the consent of the district attorney.

-HB 1005, by Rep. Scott Biggs and Sen. A J Griffin, 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.

-HB1306, by Rep. Casey Murdock and Sen. James Leewright, creates the Blue Lives Matter in
Oklahoma Act of 2017. The bill modifies the punishment for persons convicted of first degree murder or for persons who plead guilty or nolo contendere to murder in the first degree by requiring he or she be punished by death and not be entitled to or afforded the benefit of receiving a punishment of imprisonment for life without parole, imprisonment for life or deferment of the sentence.

-HB1428, by Rep. Kyle Hilbert and Sen. Jason Smalley, 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.

-HB1609, by Rep. John Enns and Sen. Anthony Sykes, deletes certain misdemeanor crimes
from DNA testing requirements including the unlawful carrying of a firearm, illegal transport of a firearm and the discharging of a firearm.

-HB1671, by Rep. Todd Thomsen and Sen. Greg McCortney, requires all criminal proceedings
initiated against a CLEET-certified peace officer or reserve peace officer to be reported by the officer to CLEET immediately after arrest or discovery of the filings of the criminal proceeding. It requires officers to report when a Victim Protective Order has been issued against the officer.

• The House General Government Oversight and Accountability Committee quickly passed the following bills on Thursday with no discussion or debate.

-SB 320, by Sen. Marty Quinn and Rep. Avery Frix, 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 321, by Sen. Marty Quinn and Rep. Avery Frix, increases from 20 to 21 the number of days prior to the date set for opening bids that notice of all proposals to award public construction contracts must be published in a newspaper of general publication.

-SB 647, by Sen. Anthony Sykes and Rep. George Faught, prohibits political subdivisions from subletting or otherwise allowing the occupancy of public property for use as office space for day-to-day business operations to organizations that engage in collective bargaining. It does not prohibit the organizations from using the facilities for meetings.

• The House Committee on Energy and Natural Resources advanced the following bills on Thursday:

-SB 287, by Sen. A J Griffin and Rep. Weldon Watson, authorizes the Corporation Commission and the Department of Environmental Quality to obtain authorization from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to administer, within their respective jurisdictions, any and all programs regulating oil and gas discharges into the state's waters. It modifies jurisdiction to the Commission and EPA.

-SB 479, by Sen. Nathan Dahm and Rep. Bobby Cleveland, repeals language related to convict employment, Coal Experiment Station, signaling methods, code of signals; sanitary drinking devices, mine closets, dressing rooms, livestock, noon meals, traveling way, eight-hour work day, certificates of competency, granting certificates, certificates from other states, fees for issuance, record of issuance, effect of certificates, power to revoke certificates, power to arrest, mine foreman duties, timbers and drainage, ventilation, shelter holes and manways, air current, daily examination, assistant mine foreman, rules and notices, additional duties, duties of the fire boss, removal of dangers, operators to employ shot-firers, no other permitted activities, explosives, shot-firers' duties, tamping shots, lighting shots, interferences with duties of fire bosses, hours worked, prohibiting convict labor, cheating, report to superintendent and emergency supplies.


Other News

• Governor Mary Fallin Monday ordered special elections to fill the vacancies in Oklahoma Senate District 44, caused by the immediate resignation of Ralph Shortey, and Oklahoma House District 46, caused by Rep. Scott Martin’s decision to resign effective May 31. Shortey, of Oklahoma City, and Martin, of Norman, both announced their resignations last week

The filing period for both special elections is May 1-3. The special primary election is set for July 11 and the special general election is scheduled for Sept. 12. In the event a special primary election is not necessary, the special general election will be July 11.

• The State Senate presented a resolution Thursday morning commemorating the 75th anniversary of Tinker Air Force Base. The resolution was presented by Sen. Jack Fry to Lt. Gen. Lee K. Levy, Air Force Sustainment Center Commander at Tinker Air Force Base and the senior ranking military member in the state.

Lt. Gen. Levy addressed Senate members and those in the gallery following the presentation of the resolution, noting the importance of steadfast community support in the continued success of Tinker and reiterating the importance of STEM education and how future graduates will impact the future of aerospace in Oklahoma. Levy also emphasized an increase in STEM graduates will be essential to keep Tinker thriving and surviving in the future, mentioning he could hire every single four-year engineering graduate the state of Oklahoma produces and still not fill all the available positions.