The Oklahoma Senate


Week In Review
Monday, April 10, to Wednesday, April 12, 2017


Monday, April 10, 2017

• The Senate approved several bills on Monday, including the following:

-HB 2298, with title, effective date and enacting clause restored, by Rep. Charles McCall and Sen. Mike Schulz, would end the zero-emission tax credit for wind energy facilities July 1. The measure passed 40-3.

-HB 2178, by Rep. Charles Ortega and Sen. Gary Stanislawski, allows private schools to charge service fees in relation to the surcharge for the use of credit or debit cards. The bill passed 29 to 14.

-HB 1108, by Rep. Bobby Cleveland and Sen. Ron Sharp, replaces all references to the Association of County Commissioners of Oklahoma to the Oklahoma Cooperative Circuit Engineering Districts Board when relating to the Department of Transportation County Advisory Board. The bill passed 38 to 7.

-HB 1464, by Rep. Jon Echols and Sen. Nathan Dahm, modifies the population requirement for counties from 500,000 to 150,000 in which the board of commissioners may construct, improve or maintain any streets. The bill passed 37 to 8.

-HB 1501, by Rep. Scott Fetgatter and Sen. Roger Thompson, decreases the frequency of required regular meetings of the Oklahoma Wildlife Conservation Commission to nine times per year, not exceeding one meeting per month. The bill passed 43 to 1.

-HB 1559, by Rep. Jon Echols and Sen. Ervin Yen, adds any federal Food and Drug Administration-approved cannabidiol drug or substance to the definition of the term "Marihuana." The bill passed 44 to 0.

-HB 1577, by Rep. Chad Caldwell and Sen. Gary Stanislawski, requires school districts to include on their website an itemized accounting of all vacant or unused properties owned, leased or under the control of a school district. The bill passed 36 to 6.

-HB 1606, by Rep. John Enns and Sen. Roland Pederson, deletes specific herbicide application methods. It requires the approval and registration with the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture Food, and Forestry for herbicides used for eradicating plants. The bill passed 42 to 0.

-HB 1622, by Rep. Michael Rogers and Sen. Gary Stanislawski, requires a school district to notify a teacher if a school district intends to provide retirement benefits to a teacher such that the teacher's salary would be less than the minimum salary schedule. The bill passed 44 to 0.

-HB 1671, 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 bill passed 42 to 0.

-HB 2181, by Rep. Charles Ortega and Sen. Mike Schulz, clarifies the minute clerk of the board of each school district and the clerk of the governing body of each city and town must provide to those who request them the tentative minutes of every regular and/or special meeting within four business days, excluding the day of the meeting. The bill passed 45 to 0.

-HB 2236, by Rep. Glen Mulready and Sen. Gary Stanislawski, reduces the number of employees from 50 to any of an insured employer health benefit plan providing health insurance to employees of employers to meet certain requirements. It requires the carrier, if the carrier requires the employer to submit any changes to the benefit plan prior to the anniversary or annual renewal date, to provide the information not later than 60 days before the date the employer is required to submit any changes. The bill passed 36 to 7.

• The Senate Health and Human Services Committee met on Monday, and passed the following legislation:

-HB 1357, by Rep. Regina Goodwin and Sen. A J Griffin, creates the Oklahoma Caregiver Support Act. It requires the Department of Human Services to work with caregiver community groups across the state in a cost-neutral manner using existing resources for outlined purposes. It also requires the Department of Human Service to work alongside said groups in such a manner to support the awareness certain information related to caregivers.

-CS for HB 1620, by Rep. Cyndi Munson and Sen. Rob Standridge, as amended, requires the State Board of Health to promulgate rules that require all medical and direct care staff of nursing and specialized facilities, adult day care centers, assisted living centers and home health agencies licensed by the State Department of Health to complete, at a minimum, one hour of in service training per year in Alzheimer's and dementia-related care. It provides the curriculum for the training. It requires the Board to promulgate rules establishing appropriate training requirements for support staff working in listed facilities. The amendment removes references to hospice facilities.

-CS for HB 1968, by Rep. Tess Teague and Sen. A J Griffin, allows an individual who inherits or purchases a licensed child care facility and operates the facility with the same personnel employed by the previous owner to continue to operate the facility under the same license and at the same star rating as the previous owner for a period of 90 days. It requires that the Department of Human Services be notified of any change in ownership within one business day and prior to the assumption of operations by the new owner. It provides specified conditions in which operations may continue. It provides for construction.

• Senate General Government Committee met Monday and gave approval to the following bills:

-HB 1374, by Rep. Weldon Watson and Sen. David Holt, creates the Oklahoma Public Safety Protection District Act. It allows the governing body of a municipality to raise property taxes as to initiate the creation of a public safety protection district by the adoption of a resolution calling for the question to be placed before registered voters. It sets for the process by which to submit such a question to voters.

-HB 1810, with title stricken, by Rep. Ben Loring and Sen. Marty Quinn, declares taking an audio or video recording of or listening in by any means, electronic or otherwise, to an executive session without authorization from the public body and disseminating information learned or discussed during an executive session that, due to its nature, should remain undisclosed to be in violation of the Open Meetings Act. It allows a public body to record the proceedings of an executive session to confidentially preserve the minutes. It prohibits any individuals from recording the proceedings other than the public body. It further includes violations of the Oklahoma Open Meeting Act.

-HB 2231, by Rep. Glen Mulready and Sen. Dan Newberry, permits a sheriff to employ outside counsel to provide immediate representation to a deputy of the sheriff in a deputy-involved shooting incident, provided employment of the counsel is not permitted to continue if the deputy involved is charged with any crime arising from the incident.

-HB 2232, by Rep. Glen Mulready and Sen. Dan Newberry, requires that any audio or video recordings from recording equipment attached to the person of a law enforcement officer that depict anything other than an officer-involved shooting, use of lethal force and incidents involving medical treatment be kept at a minimum of one year upon request of the district attorney or a written application.

-HB 2250, by Rep. David Brumbaugh and Sen. David Holt, requires the State Auditor and Inspector to submit to the data.ok.gov web portal all raw data sets collected from certain audits, provided that the State Auditor and Inspector shall redact data points which are exempted from disclosure by the Oklahoma Open Records Act.

• The Senate requested permission from the House to be adjourned for more than three days. The Senate plans to take off Thursday.

• The House passed the following legislation on Tuesday:

-SB 593, by Sen. Mike Schulz and Rep. Charles McCall, modifies the requirements for the notification of intent to build a wind energy facility. The bill specifies the terms of notification and adds a requirement for an affidavit in certain situations. It removes language that prohibits the development of wind energy facilities within 1 1/2 miles of land where an application had been submitted to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for the development of a private airstrip or airport. The bill and its emergency clause passed by a vote of 92 to 1.

• The House Common Education Committee gave its approval to several bills on Monday, including:

-SB 84, as amended, by Sen. Micheal Bergstrom and Rep. Katie Henke, adds the 2019-2020, 2020-2021, 2021-2022 and 2022-2023 school years to the years that each school district is required to report the number of students who did not pass the reading sufficiency test and were promoted to a subsequent grade. The bill also modifies the requirements for the Reading Report Card. The amendment corrects a scrivener's error.

-SB 2, with title stricken, 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.

-SB 81, as amended, by Sen. Ron Sharp and Rep. Jadine Nollan, lowers the grade level to third from sixth at which point a student may be suspended for assaulting, attempting to cause physical bodily injury, or acting in a manner that could reasonably cause bodily injury to an education employee or a person who is volunteering for the school. It provides the term of suspension cannot be less than three days.

-SB 210, by Sen. Eddie Fields, R-Wynona, and Rep. Dennis 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.

-CS to SB 428, by Sen. Jason Smalley and Rep. Katie Henke, allows members who retired as active classroom teachers, who have been retired and receiving a benefit for at least one year, and who have not been employed by any public school during that one year period, to be eligible to be re-employed as an active classroom teacher with no limitations on earnings for a period of three years beginning July 1, 2017.

-CS to SB 514, by Sen. Gary Stanislawski and Rep. Dennis Casey, creates until July 31, 2018, a task force to study and make recommendations to the Legislature on costs, eliminating duplicative overhead costs and improving efficiency among school district operations. The bill specifies the task force's study and specifies membership. The bill requires the task force to submit a report of its findings and recommendations by August 1, 2018, to the Governor, the President Pro Tempore of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the chairs of the education committees of the Senate and the House of Representatives.

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

• The House Appropriations and Budget Subcommittee on Education Monday.

-SB 529, by Sen. Jason Smalley and Rep. Katie Henke, modifies the qualifications and criteria required for students to participate in the Oklahoma Higher Learning Access Program (OHLAP). 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.

-CS to SB 261, by Sen. Eddie Fields and Rep. Dennis Ray Casey, establishes a task force until December 31, 2017 to study and make recommendations to the Legislature on improving the State Aid formula. It directs the task force's study to include but not be limited to the grade level weights, the student category weights and the transportation factor of the State Aid formula. The bill establishes membership and directs the meetings to be subject to the Oklahoma Open Meeting Act. It prohibits members of the task force from receiving compensation or travel reimbursement and directs the State Department of Education to provide staff support. The bill directs the task force to submit a report to the Governor, the President Pro Tempore of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the chairs of the education committees of each chamber. The committee substitute expands the scope of the task force to include the student category weights and the transportation factor of the State Aid formula, and efficiencies and cost-saving measures regarding the footprint of school districts.

-SB 690, by Sen. Kim David and Rep. Lewis Moore, requires the State Regents for Higher Education, Oklahoma Military Department, and schools of social work in this state to develop a Guard Advocacy Program (GAP) for Oklahoma National Guard soldiers and airmen that will include curricula designed to facilitate and improve access to community resources that improve health; increase social support; increase productivity; and prevent life-skills and life-crisis issues from developing into behavioral health emergencies. It requires the State Regents, the Adjutant General and the State Board of Licensed Social Workers to necessary rules.

• The Senate Education met on Monday, approving the following bills:

-CS to HB 1684, with title stricken, by Rep. Harold Wright and Sen. Eddie Fields, requires a school district that adopts a four-day school week and any related rules to submit a plan to the State Board of Education no later than September 1 of each year. It specifies the contents of the report including the goals sought to be achieved, the intended educational and fiscal benefits and the anticipated impacts or outcomes the plan will have in the school district. It adds that schools which adopt a four-day school week by the effective date of this act are required to submit a report to OSDE by August 1 and those who adopt one after that are to submit a plan by August of the following year. The bill specifies content and requires OSDE to compile the reports and submit them to the chairs of the education committees of the Senate and House. The bill also requires that school districts adhere to a minimum of 170 days of instruction. The bill received a do pass recommendation by a vote of 9 to 5.

-HB 1693, by Rep. Scott Martin and Sen. Gary Stanislawski, allows the State Department of Education to develop and adopt an alternate system of accountability for statewide virtual charter school and schools serving only prekindergarten through second grade. It establishes a multi-measures approach in accordance with the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 and establishes guidelines. It deletes language relating to prior assessment guidelines. The bill received a do pass with a 12 to 3 vote.

-HB 1862, by Rep. Leslie Osborn and Sen. Jason Smalley, allows the Oklahoma Educational Television Authority to appoint the chief executive officer of their foundation to serve concurrently as the OETA Executive Director, in which case he or she is to be compensated solely by the foundation. The bill was amended to include language that would require a Senate confirmation hearing for the executive director position.

-CS to HB 1161, by Rep. Michael Rogers and Sen. Gary Stanislawski, modifies the requirements of a policy evaluation and professional development adopted by a board of education of a school district. The bill allows a school district board to adopt additional components and procedures in addition to the mandated components. The bill removes the mandate that every career teacher be evaluated every three years and allows evaluation at the discretion of the school district, provided that every career teacher participates in an annual or biannual profession growth plan review. It allows the board to establish a remediation plan for teachers who receive a rating below the acceptable level of performance. The bill allows the dismissal of a teacher who has engaged in sexual activity or sexual misconduct that has impeded the effectiveness of the individual's performance of school duties.

-CS to HB 1602, with title stricken, by Rep. John Enns and Sen. Ron Sharp, requires each school district board of education to adopt a grading policy for all students attending public school in that district. It requires the policy to include provisions for the assignment of grades on class assignments, examinations and final class grades. It specifies the provisions. It requires the State Board of Education to promulgate rules.

-CS to HB 1623, by Rep. Bobby Cleveland and Sen. Robert Standridge, prohibits school district personnel from using corporal punishment on students who are multiple handicapped or physically handicapped unless addressed in an annual individualized education program (IEP) developed in accordance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

-HB 1760, with title stricken, by Rep. Katie Henke and Sen. Jason Smalley, requires a Student Reading Proficiency Team to develop a new reading program for any third-grade student found not to be reading at grade level as determined by reading assessments. The bill clarifies language related to the demonstration of proficiency. It removes language related students not eligible for automatic promotion and who score at the below proficiency or limited knowledge levels on the reading portion of the third-grade statewide criterion-referenced test for schools years 2016-2017 and 2017-2018. It requires students who score at the unsatisfactory level on the reading portion of the statewide third-grade assessment and who are not subject to a good-cause exemption and who do not qualify for promotion or probationary promotion be retained in the third grade and provided intensive instructional services and supports. It modifies school district reporting requirements.

-HB 1790, by Rep. Edward Cannaday and Sen. Dewayne Pemberton, allows each school district in this state to offer a remediation course for high school students who score below a 19 on the American College Testing (ACT) exam.

-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.

• Gov. Mary Fallin signed SB 36 on Monday by Sen. Micheal Bergstrom and Rep. Bobby Cleveland, which adds the definition of the term "handgun" to the Firearms Act. The bill takes effect November 1.


Tuesday, April 11, 2017

• The House and Senate convened in joint session Tuesday to recognize the service of the 45th Infantry Division and the Oklahoma National Guard. Major General Robbie Asher, adjutant general for Oklahoma, introduced notable legislators and National Guard members as well as Gov. Mary Fallin and Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb. He also highlighted the over 9,000 men and women currently enlisted in the Oklahoma National Guard, while also recalling his personal experiences. Fallin followed Asher with her own presentation, echoing his recognition of the service and sacrifice of the National Guard, both past and present. She said she considered her role as commander-in-chief of the Guard as "one of the greatest honors" of her office.

• The Senate Judiciary Committee approved the following bills on Tuesday:

-CS for HB 1121, by Rep. Ryan Martinez and Sen. Stephanie Bice, creates the Oklahoma Integrated Domestic Violence Court Act of 2017. The bill allows any district or municipal court to establish an integrated domestic violence court subject to the availability of funds. The bill defines integrated domestic court to be a specialized judicial process for civil and criminal domestic matters. The bill requires a single judge to preside over the related criminal, family and matrimonial matters. It requires the Administrative Office of the Courts to promulgate rules and ensure statewide uniformity.

-HB 1468, by Rep. Carol Bush and Sen. David Holt, creates the Hidden Predator Act. The bill modifies the time limitations for prosecuting criminal offenses for sexual crimes against children, specifically. The bill modifies the definition of discovery and provides that any person who knowingly and willfully makes a false claim that the person knows lacks factual foundation may be reported to local law enforcement for criminal investigation and, upon conviction, will be guilty of a felony. It adds that if the defendant is acquitted, the costs, including the fees of all witnesses whom the trial judge certified to have been proper for the defense and prosecution, will be paid by the prosecuting witness, whenever the trial judge is of the opinion that there were no reasonable grounds for the prosecution or that the prosecution was not required in the interests of the public. It re-imposes the statute of limitations for prosecuting criminal offenses for sexual crimes against adults.

-HB 1470, as amended, by Rep. Carol Bush and Sen. David Holt, removes the time limitations for civil actions based on childhood sexual abuse incidents and allows an action to commence by the forty-fifth birthday of the alleged victim. The bill establishes a new time limitation for civil actions and removes language related to evidentiary and discovery requirements. The bill adds that any party bringing an action against an individual in which the defendant is ultimately found not liable for the complaint will be subject to damages if and when the defendant pursues a counterclaim and receives a compensatory or punitive judgment. It requires damages against legal entities to be awarded only if there is a finding of gross negligence on the part of the legal entity. The amendment requires the court to award the prevailing party court costs and attorney fees.

-HB 1478, by Rep. George Young and Sen. Kevin Matthews, prohibits the forwarding of the name of an individual filing a complaint with the Attorney General's Office of Civil Rights Enforcement on reports submitted. It allows the Attorney General to allow for electronic submission of the complaint, contact the complainant if form is incomplete, provide a form in Spanish and create a toll-free number to the Office of Civil Rights Enforcement.

-HB 1679, with title stricken, by Rep. Harold Wright and Sen. Anthony Sykes, clarifies the manner in which a death sentence is carried out by allowing any method not prohibited by the U.S. Constitution. It requires the manner of punishment to be selected by the Director of the Department of Corrections. It requires notice to be given to the inmate beforehand.

-CS for HB 1823, by Rep. Chris Kannady and Sen. Lonnie Paxton, modifies the composition of judicial districts 24 and 26 beginning on January 14, 2019.

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

-HB 1894, by Rep. Kevin Calvey and Sen. Anthony Sykes, modifies the definition of "person legally authorized to make health care decisions" within the Nondiscrimination in Treatment Act. The bill authorizes those reasonably available and willing to make health care decisions for an adult patient or patient under 18 years of age who has consented to have services provided by health professionals but is otherwise persistently unconscious, incompetent or otherwise mentally or physically incapable of communicating under the same standard as that applicable to making life-sustaining treatment decisions. It also establishes procedures for permitting a health care provider or class member to petition a court for jurisdiction over a guardianship proceeding concerning the patient. The bill prohibits an individual who has been found to have committee abuse, verbal abuse or exploitation from making case decisions for an incapacitated person.

-HB 1925, with enacting clause stricken, by Rep. Chris Kannady and Sen. Nathan Dahm, requires a justice in office Nov. 1, 2017 to serve the term for which the justice was appointed or retained or until the successor is appointed. The bill modifies districts in which in Supreme Court Justice represents and aligns them with Congressional Districts.

-HB 2177, by Rep. John R. Bennett and Sen. Micheal Bergstrom, authorizes any county, municipality, city, town, school or any other political subdivision to display, in its public buildings and on its grounds, replicas of historical documents in the form of statues, monuments, memorials, tablets or any other display that respects the dignity and solemnity of such documents. The bill authorizes the Oklahoma Attorney General to prepare and present a legal defense of the display in the event that the legality or constitutionality of any such display is challenged in a court of law.

-HB 2242, by Rep. Glen Mulready and Sen. Anthony Sykes, modifies parties liable for workers' compensation. It permits any individual or business entity that is not required to be covered under a workers' compensation insurance policy or other plan for the payment of workers' compensation to execute an Affidavit of Exempt Status under the Administrative Workers' Compensation Act. It establishes a fee for the affidavit.

• The Senate Energy Committee gave do pass recommendations Tuesday to the following bills:

-HB 1376, by Rep. Weldon Watson and Sen. Bryce Marlatt, relates to the Oklahoma Underground Facilities Damage Prevention Act. It modifies the definition of the term "public agency." It requires a person, rather than an excavator, who causes damage to an underground facility or its protective covering to notify the operator of the underground facility.

-HB 1377, with title and enacting clause stricken, by Rep. Weldon Watson and Sen. Adam Pugh, creates the Twenty-first Century Corporation Commission Task Force to study regulation to determine if the Corporation Commission is properly structured to operate in the 21st century. It establishes membership and requirements for information to be included in the assessment. It requires an organizational meeting to be held no later than December 1, 2017 and allows business to be conducted without a quorum. It prohibits the task force from being subject to the Oklahoma Open Meeting Act. It requires a final report to be developed by December 1, 2018 and requires termination of the task force December 2, 2018.

-HB 1485, with title stricken, by Rep. Weldon Watson and Sen. A J Griffin, requires state agencies to issue permits for activities subject to the Clean Water Act.

-HB 2151, with enacting clause stricken, by Rep. Charles McCall and Sen. Mike Schulz, creates the Oklahoma Oil and Gas Regulation Modernization Task Force to study the regulation related to the identification, exploration and development of oil and natural gas resources and identify opportunities for modernizing regulation to enhance efficiencies related to identification, exploration and development. It establishes membership and requirements for information to be included in the assessment. It requires an organizational meeting to be held no later than December 1, 2017 and allows business to be conducted without a quorum. It prohibits the task force from being subject to the Oklahoma Open Meeting Act. It requires a final report to be developed by December 1, 2018 and requires termination of the task force December 2, 2018.

• The House Public Health Committee approved many bills on Tuesday, including:

-SB 30, 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.

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

-SB 229, as amended, by Sen. A J Griffin, and Rep. Mark Lawson, removes the age limitation from the definition of "assisted outpatient" as it relates to mental health treatment. It specifies the provisions therein are applicable to juveniles already in a specialized treatment plan addressing a mental illness or specialized treatment plan for treatment of mental illness in a secure juvenile facility or placement in a specialized residential program for juveniles.

-SB 734, by Sen. A J Griffin and Rep. Mark Lawson, requires the Board of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services to promulgate rules and standards for certification of behavioral health case managers and peer recovery support specialists who are employed by a tribe or tribal facility that provides behavioral health services or employed by an Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs or a United States Department of Veterans Affairs facility. It eliminates the two-year limitation that any Class II controlled dangerous substance, when used by an opioid substitution treatment program for persons with a history of opioid addiction to or physiologic dependence on controlled dangerous substances be used in treating persons with a history of addiction.

• Gov. Mary Fallin signed six more bills Tuesday, bringing the total this session to 20. The signed bills include:

-HB 1394, by Rep. Tim Downing and Sen. Greg McCortney, eliminates the sunset date for the Domestic Violence Fatality Review Board within the Office of the Attorney General. It takes effect Nov. 1.

-HB 1819, by Rep. Carl Newton and Sen. Stephanie Bice, provides coverage and benefits for prescription eye drops under specified conditions. It takes effect Nov. 1.

-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. The bill takes effect Nov. 1.

-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. The bill takes effect Nov. 1.

-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. The bill takes effect Nov. 1.

-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. It also has a Nov. 1 effective date.


Wednesday, April 12, 2017

• The Senate Business, Commerce and Tourism Committee advanced several measures on Wednesday, including these:

-HB 2186, by Rep. Cory T. Williams and Sen. David Holt, with title stricken, modifies the definition of "motion picture theater" as it relates to the sale of low-point beer. It eliminates beer and wine licensing prohibitions related to motion picture theaters. It allows a retail license or permit to sell-low point beer to be issued to motion picture theaters. It defines terms used therein. It repeals language related to low-point beer sales in motion picture theaters. The legislation passed 7 to 3.

-CS for HB 1302, by Rep. Casey Murdock and Sen. Stephanie Bice, with title stricken, ensures no special event license or charitable alcoholic beverage event license for alcoholic beverages be required for an organization, association or nonprofit corporation whose purpose is to promote the common interest of economic development and business growth within a community, provided said event is not conducted primarily for fundraising purposes and services of a licensed caterer are used to provide and distribute said beverages at the event in question. It makes the use, offering for use, purchasing, offering to purchase, selling, offering to sell or possession of powdered alcohol unlawful. It defines terms used therein. It prescribes violations and punishments.

-HB 1540, by Rep. Emily Virgin and Sen. Stephanie Bice, with title stricken, authorizes a winemaker licensee to sell wine produced at a winery from grapes and other fruits grown in Oklahoma for either on or off-premises consumption. It eliminates the Direct Wine Consumer's Permit. The change in the substitute allows Oklahoma wineries to ship their products within the state, but keeps the restriction on shipping for out-of-state wineries.

• The Senate Rules Committee passed the following measures on Wednesday:

-HB 2316, by Rep. Charles McCall and Sen. Mike Schulz, permits the governor to appoint or replace any officers appointed by the governor. It removes the requirement that the removal be for incompetency, neglect of duty, or malfeasance in office and to then fill the same as provided in cases of vacancy. It also grants the House Speaker and the Senate President Pro Tempore the power to appoint, remove or replace any of their respective appointments on any agency, board or commission, in addition to any appointments created by expiring terms or vacancies provided by law. It exempts appointments to any agency, board or commission if the appointment authority is provided for in the Constitution. It provides that appointments to the following boards and commissions may be removed and replaced without cause by their appointment authority: Oklahoma Employment Security Commission; Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services; Long-Range Capital Planning Commission; Oklahoma Health Care Authority Board; and the State Board of Career Technology Education.

-HB 1562, with title stricken, by Rep. Jon Echols and Sen. Greg Treat, gives the Senate management and control of the east side of the rotunda and the House management and control of the west side of the rotunda, as measured from its center.

-HB 1766, by Rep. Mike Sanders and Sen. Eddie Fields, requires any new member appointed to the Oklahoma Ethics Commission by the President Pro Tempore of the Senate or the Speaker of the House of Representatives to have at least two years of experience in an elected position that required reporting to the Commission. It modifies of provided documents. It allows the Commission to transmit to appropriate civil or criminal law enforcement authorities any information received by the Commission or its employees as the result of a complaint or a formal investigation after a hearing by an administrative judge and notice to the Governor, President Pro Tempore and Speaker. It requires any person adversely affected by a decision of the Commission to be afforded an opportunity for a hearing by an administrative law judge after notification of said adverse decision. It modifies the time limit for the filing of a lawsuit.

• The Senate Appropriations Committee met Wednesday for most of the day, approving almost 40 bills, including the following:

-HB 1114, by Rep. Michael Rogers and Sen. Jason Smalley, increases the minimum salary schedule for teacher, It provides a $1,000 pay raise during the 2017-18 school year, another $2,000 raise during the 2018-19 school year and a $3,000 raise during the 2019-20 school year. The bill specifies who is eligible and what counts toward a teacher's years of service. The bill received a do pass recommendation on a 39 to 3 vote with its title and enacting clause stricken.

-HB 1374, by Rep. Weldon Watson and Sen. David Holt, creates the Oklahoma Public Safety Protection District Act. It allows the governing body of a municipality to raise property taxes as to initiate the creation of a public safety protection district by the adoption of a resolution calling for the question to be placed before registered voters. It sets for the process by which to submit such a question to voters. It provides requires for a public safety protection district. It provides for costs for the aforementioned election. It provides a dissolution process. It defines terms. The amendment eliminates the provision allowing such a resolution be submitted to the voters by way of a special election. The bill passed on a 24 to 17 vote.

-HB 2177, by Rep. John R. Bennett and Sen. Micheal Bergstrom, authorizes any county, municipality, city, town, school or any other political subdivision to display, in its public buildings and on its grounds, replicas of historical documents in the form of statues, monuments, memorials, tablets or any other display that respects the dignity and solemnity of such documents. The bill authorizes the Oklahoma Attorney General to prepare and present a legal defense of the display in the event that the legality or constitutionality of any such display is challenged in a court of law.

-CS for HB 1121, by Rep. Ryan Martinez and Sen. Stephanie Bice, creates the Oklahoma Integrated Domestic Violence Court Act of 2017. The bill allows any district or municipal court to establish an integrated domestic violence court subject to the availability of funds. The bill defines integrated domestic court to be a specialized judicial process for civil and criminal domestic matters. The bill requires a single judge to preside over the related criminal, family and matrimonial matters. It requires the Administrative Office of the Courts to promulgate rules and ensure statewide uniformity. The committee substitute incorporate changes adopted Tuesday by the Senate Judiciary Committee.

-HB 1123, 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.

-HB 1193, by Rep. Rick West and Sen. Roland Pederson, allows the State Board of Agriculture to designate statewide livestock organizations. The bill defines terms. It allows the board to designate a new organization should the designated organization no longer represent a majority of livestock producers.

-HB 1198, by Rep. Tommy Hardin and Sen. Frank Simpson, requires the Department of Veterans Affairs to create and maintain a registry of all veterans in the state. It specifies what information is to be included on the registry. The bill requires a Department of Public Safety employee to check the registry before issuing a driver license or identification care to those requesting to be identified as veterans.

-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.

-HB 1324, by Rep. JJ Humphrey and Sen. Wayne Shaw, modifies the requirements of presentence investigations for persons convicted of a violent felony offense and increases the range of presentence investigation fee from $250 to $500. The bill authorizes a presentence investigation to be made of the offender by a private provider or someone designated by the court. The bill also directs the court to order the defendant to pay to the private provider or court designee assigned to complete the presentence investigation a fee of not less than five dollars nor more than $500. It allows the court to set the amount of the fee and establish a payment schedule in hardship cases.

-CS for 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 committee substitute originally was adopted by the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Finance.

HB 1578, by Rep. Chad Caldwell and Sen. Gary Stanislawski, creates the School Finance Review Commission Act and the School Finance Review Commission. It provides for membership. It provides a January 1, 2025 sunset. 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.

-HB 1681, by Rep. Harold Wright and Sen. Eddie Fields, requires the Aeronautics Commission to administer an airport inspection program for all public use airports and provide a written report to each airport detailing findings of the inspection.

-HB 1693, by Rep. Scott Martin and Sen. Gary Stanislawski, allows the State Department of Education to develop and adopt an alternate system of accountability for statewide virtual charter school and schools serving only prekindergarten through second grade. It establishes a multi-measures approach in accordance with the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 and establishes guideline. It deletes language relating to prior assessment guidelines

-CS for HB 1694, by Rep. Scott Martin and Sen. Gary Stanislawski, modifies provision of information to be included in the personal financial literacy education course taught in public schools. It requires the course to be taught during grades seven through 12 before the 2019-2020 school year and from grade nine to 12 thereafter. The Senate Education Committee first adopted the committee substitute.

-HB 1833, as amended, by Rep. Mike Sanders and Sen. A J Griffin, dedicates a portion of the Insurance Premium Tax to the State Fire Marshal's Office, making it a non-appropriated agency. It also transfers, the duties, responsibilities and equipment of the Oklahoma Council on Firefighter Training and transfers its duties and equipment to the State Fire Marshal. It creates an advisory committee. The amendment clarifies that revenue from the Insurance Premium Tax will be deposited in the office's revolving fund.

-HB 1837, by Rep. Leslie Osborn and Sen. Kimberly David, requires the first $50 million of net revenue from the lottery be transferred to the Oklahoma Education Lottery Trust Fund. It requires net proceeds in excess of $50 million be appropriated by the Legislature on a cash basis to be allocated by the State Department of Education to public schools based on the audited end-of-year average daily membership in grades PK-12 during the preceding school year for the purpose of implementing prekindergarten through third-grade reading intervention initiatives or science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs. It requires the Oklahoma Lottery Commission to submit a written report of its findings and any recommendations regarding the impact of having the net proceeds minimum requirement set at a fixed dollar amount to the Governor, House Speaker and Senate President Pro Tempore not later than October 1, 2019, and annually thereafter. It limits the annual maximum percentage for administrative costs, not including marketing and advertising costs, funds set aside for prizes, commissions paid to retailers, contract fees paid to gaming system vendors and instant ticket providers or emergency-related capital expenses, to no more than 3 percent of sales.

-CS for HB 1868, by Rep. Jason Dunnington and Sen. Roger Thompson, requires any state employee earning less than $30,000 annually to receive overtime pay, instead of compensatory time, for all hours worked over 40 hours a week beginning November 1, 2017. The committee substitute removed language from the bill that would have required any state employee earning less than $35,000 annually to also receive overtime pay, instead of compensatory time for all hours worked over 40 hours a week beginning January 1, 2018 and all employees earning $40,000 annually to receive overtime pay for all hours worked over 40 hours a week beginning January 1, 2019.

• The House passed the following two bills on Wednesday:

SB 425, by Sen. John Sparks and Rep. Chris Kannady, requires any public or private institution of higher education that is a member of a governing authority to have a cause of action against a third party who engages or conspires with another to engage in conduct in violation of the rules of the governing authority that causes the educational institution to incur sanctions by the governing authority or other economic penalties or losses. It allows said educational institution to recover damages in the amount of the sanctions, penalties or economic losses incurred as a result of the conduct of the third party, and reasonable attorney fees and costs. The bill passed 92 to 3 and is heading to the governor’s desk.

-SB 424, as amended, by Sen. John Sparks and Rep. Chris Kannady, allows interrogatories, the request to produce or permit inspection or copying or a request for admission to be served upon or by any party after the filing of an answer. It allows the aforementioned to be served and answered prior to the filing of an answer upon leave of court or otherwise agreed to in writing. The bill passed 98 to 0.

• The House Judiciary- Criminal Justice and Corrections Committee passed a series of bills Wednesday, including:

-SB 603, with title and enacting clause stricken, by Sen. Greg Treat and Rep. Terry O'Donnell, modifies language related to the requirement that the Department of Corrections administer a needs and risk assessment for offenders. It requires the assessment include mental health and substance abuse screens. It exempts for any inmate who had a risk and needs assessment administered by personnel certified by the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services within six months of being sentenced to the custody of the Department of Corrections. It requires the department to develop an individualized case plan based on the results of the assessment to guide an inmate's rehabilitation while in the Department's custody in order to reduce the likelihood of recidivism. It establishes requirements for the case plan.

-SB 649, as amended with title stricken, by Sen. Greg Treat and Rep. Terry O'Donnell, prohibits a previous conviction for possession of a controlled dangerous substance or the equivalent law for possession of a controlled dangerous substance from any other jurisdiction may not be used to enhance certain punishments. It also establishes certain sentencing requirements. The amendment removes language relating to punishment for individuals charged with multiple felony convictions.

-SB 689, as amended, with enacting clause stricken, by Sen. Greg Treat and Rep. Terry
O'Donnell, makes an offender sentenced to life without parole for an offense other than a violent crime who has served at least 10 years of the sentence in the custody of the Department of Corrections eligible for a modification of the sentence by the judge who originally imposed the sentence or revocation of probation or, if the sentencing judge is unavailable, another judge in the judicial district in which the sentence was rendered. It permits the court to modify the sentence upon a finding that the best interests of the public will not be jeopardized.

-CS to SB 786, with title and enacting clause stricken, as amended, by Sen. Greg Treat and Rep, Ben Loring, provides that every person who breaks and enters on any commercial or residential property or any room, booth, tent, railroad car, automobile, truck, trailer, outbuilding or vessel of another, in which any property is kept, with intent to steal any property therein or to commit any felony, is guilty of burglary in the third degree. The bill establishes a penalty for burglary in the third degree. The committee substitute includes outbuilding to the list of third degree burglary places. The bill received a do pass recommendation from the committee with a 6 to 4 vote.

-CS to SB 217, by Sen. A J Griffin and Rep. Mike Osburn, requires the court on the day of pronouncing the judgment and sentence of a person who will be subject to the provisions of the Sex Offenders Registration Act, received a suspended sentence or any probationary term, including a deferred sentence, to order the offender to report to the local law enforcement authority in the municipality or county in which the offender resides and to report to the Oklahoma Department of Corrections probation and parole office in the district in which the offender resides. It requires the court clerk to transmit to the Sex and Violent Offenders Registration Unit of the Department of Corrections by facsimile, electronic mail or actual delivery of a certified copy of the judgment and sentence or plea paperwork, Summary of Facts and Sentence on Plea or Sentencing After Jury Trial Summary of Facts within three business days after the court orders the judgment and sentence. It clarifies language related to the requirement that the Department of Corrections conduct address verification every ninety 90 days if the offender has been determined to be a habitual or aggravated sex offender by the Department of Corrections or has been assigned a level assignment of three.

-CS to SB 650, with title and enacting clause stricken, by Sen. Wayne Shaw and Rep. Ben Loring, modifies availability for persons authorized to file a motion for expungement by minimizing time limits for those convicted of a nonviolent felony offense from in the last 15 years to seven. It allows the petition to be made five years after the felony conviction has passed. It modifies the time period for those convicted of violent crimes from 20 years to 10 years after the conviction has passed. The committee substitute removes the ability for violent offenders to be eligible for expungement. The amendment allows for victims to testify when the convicted individual is eligible for expungement.

-CS to SB 692, by Sen. A J Griffin and Rep. Leslie Osborn, allows a statement made by a vulnerable or incapacitated person which describes an act of financial exploitation or violent act be admissible in criminal and juvenile proceedings in the courts under certain circumstances. It requires the party to make known to the adverse party an intention to offer the statement with an opportunity to prepare to answer the statement in order for the statement to be admissible. The committee substitute replaced the bill's previous language.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

• Due to Good Friday and the Easter holiday weekend, both the Senate and House adjourned on Wednesday for the week and did not meet on Thursday. Legislators will return on Monday, April 17.


Other News

• General Revenue Fund collections for March missed the official estimate by 9 percent, forcing the agency to borrow again from other funds in order for state agencies to receive their monthly allocations, according to Office of Management and Enterprise Services Director Preston Doerflinger. He reiterated they will be looking to April collections and subsequent months to make up the difference and reconcile the borrowed funds as statutorily and constitutionally required.

Doerflinger said the latest borrowing pushes the total amount from about $296M to about $327M. Approximately $240.7M was borrowed from the Constitutional Reserve (Rainy Day) Fund. The amount borrowed from other funds will rise from about $55M to $86M. As state law requires, these funds will be paid back when the FY2017 General Revenue Fund (GRF) has been reconciled and before transfers are made to the FY2018 Cash Flow Reserve Fund at the end of the fiscal year.