The Oklahoma Senate


Week In Review
Monday, April 17, to Wednesday, April 20, 2017


Monday, April 17, 2017

• The Senate approved several bills in its first floor session of the week, including the following:

-HB 1162, by Rep. Randy McDaniel and Sen. Gary Stanislawski, creates the Pension Protection Act. The bill increases the vesting schedule from five years to seven years for members of the Teachers' Retirement System. The bill passed 34 to 7. It now goes to Gov. Mary Fallin for her consideration.

-HB 1006, by Rep. Jason Murphey and Sen. Nathan Dahm, repeals the creation of the Task Force on the Promotion of Children's Health; the purpose duties, members, meeting, staff and reports of the Oklahoma Task Force to Eliminate Health Disparities; the Task Force on Nursing Home Insurance Access; and the Advisory Council on Cord Blood Donations. The bill passed 40 to 0.

-HB 1163, by Rep. Steven Vaughan and Sen. Frank Simpson, modifies the criteria upon which the annual retirement pay provided by the Oklahoma Law Enforcement Retirement System is based to include the top base salary currently paid to the highest nonsupervisory position in the participating agency. It allows the Board of Trustees for the System to waive the requirement that the disability application be filed before the member's date of termination from service if good cause is shown. It prohibits members from being eligible to receive any disability benefit if the member's completed application is filed more than six months after the member's date of termination from service. The bill and its emergency clause passed 44 to 0.

-HB 1206, by Rep. Dennis Ray Casey and Sen. Dewayne Pemberton, allows a special education teacher who has not completed an Oklahoma Commission for Teacher Preparation approved education program in elementary education or early childhood but who has completed the subject area portion of the exam to be certified in special education settings only. The bill passed 45 to 0.

-HB 1395, by Rep. Tim Downing and Sen. Greg McCortney, removes the 10-day limit for safe deposit box access after death. It requires the financial institution to release all contents of the safe deposit box to a qualified affiant. It requires the affiant to take possession of all contents of the safe deposit box and to have the power to terminate the lease on the safe deposit box and close it. It modifies certain notice requirements. The bill passed 38 to 6.

-HB 1448, by Rep. George Faught and Sen. A J Griffin, requires chiropractic license applicants for an original license to submit to a national criminal history record check and pay the costs associated with the check. The bill passed 39 to 4.

-HB 1506, by Rep. Chuck Strohm and Sen. Gary Stanislawski, allows school districts to store all
student records in either a single or multiple file formats and include all academic and extracurricular honors and awards received, all degrees conferred and extracurricular or after-school activities. The bill and its emergency clause passed 41 to 0.

-HB 1607, by Rep. John Enns and Sen. Roland Pederson, exempts the rear-facing child passenger restraint system requirement prescribed therein shall in instances of a child passenger being transported by a parent who has been rightfully issued a detachable placard indicating physical disability or a physically disabled license place. The bill passed 42 to 2.

-HB 1755, by Rep. Katie Henke and Sen. Jason Smalley, modifies the requirement for evaluation of out-of-country teacher certifications. It removes the requirement that they be analyzed by an educational credential evaluation service approved by the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES) and requires that they be analyzed by an educational credential evaluation service in accordance with industry standards and guidelines and approved by the State Department of Education. The bill and its emergency clause passed 45 to 0.

-HB 1789, by Rep. Edward Cannaday and Sen. Dewayne Pemberton, requires quality training to be provided in multisensory structured language teaching methods in order to meet the needs of students identified as having dyslexia. It establishes criteria for quality training. The bill also requires teacher candidates to study multisensory structured teaching methods proven effective for students with dyslexia. The bill and its emergency clause passed 45 to 0.

-HB 1790, by Rep. Edward Cannaday and Sen. Dewayne Pemberton, allows each school district in Oklahoma to offer a remediation course for high school students who score below a 19 on the American College Testing (ACT) exam. The bill passed 44 to 1.

-HB 1957, by Rep. Rhonda Baker and Sen. Ron Sharp, removes the requirement that a person enrolled in an alternative teacher placement program have at least two years of work experience which is related to the subject area of specialization if the person has only a baccalaureate degree with no post baccalaureate work in a related area. The bill and its emergency clause passed 42 to 0.

-HB 1996, by Rep. John Paul Jordan and Sen. Chris Kidd, recreates the Oklahoma Partnership for School Readiness Board until July 1, 2021. The bill passed 34 to 10.

-HB 1162, by Rep. Randy McDaniel and Sen. Gary Stanislawski, creates the Pension Protection Act. The bill increases the vesting schedule from five years to seven years for members of the Teachers' Retirement System.

• The Senate Joint Committee on Appropriations and Budget approved a list of bills on Monday, including the following:

-CS for HB 2350 by Rep. Leslie Osborn and Sen. Kim David, eliminates sales tax exemptions for tickets to certain types of professional athletic and sporting events.

-HB 2343, by Rep. Leslie Osborn and Sen. Kim David, limits the definition of the term "noncompliant" taxpayer to include only those operating under a sales tax permit who fails within any consecutive 24-month period to file reports or remit tax due for any two months as required for sales taxes under the provisions of any tax law, not only the Oklahoma Tax Code. The bill also exempts nonpayment of income taxes from the definition.

-HB 2344, by Rep. Leslie Osborn and Sen. KimDavid, reduces the total amount of rebates available in any one fiscal year under the Oklahoma Film Enhancement Rebate Program from $5 million to $4 million.

• The House passed the following measures on Monday:

-SB 731, by Sen. Bryce Marlatt and Rep. Kevin Calvey, requires when royalty proceeds are withheld incorrectly as a result of an error or omission the party whose error or omission caused the incorrect royalty payments be liable for the additional royalty proceeds on such production and all resulting costs or damages incurred. It clarifies language related to compounding interest. It permits the operator to deem all accrued proceeds related to such interest to be abandoned and remit such proceeds as payment pursuant to the Unclaimed Property Act in the event title remains unmarketable for two years after an operator provides written notice of the unmarketable title. It exempts interest on proceeds that has not been paid prior to applicable time periods under
certain conditions. The bill passed 60 to 23.

-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. The bill passed 89 to 2.

-SB 34, by Sen. Kim David and Rep. Scott Biggs, prohibits lack of knowledge of the age of a human trafficking victim from constituting a defense to the human trafficking of a minor. The bill passed 87 to 0.

-SB 233, by Sen. Frank Simpson and Rep. Tommy Hardin, specifies that leave of absence by soldiers and sailors from civil employment is not to exceed 240 hours in order to receive full regular pay from the employing state agency or political subdivision. The bill passed 87 to 0.

-SB 301, by Sen. A J Griffin and Rep. Jon Echols, exempts a student who was in out-of-home placement with the Department of Human Services or the Office of Juvenile Affairs from certain requirements for participation in the Lindsey Nicole Henry Scholarships for Students with Disabilities Program. The bill passed 87 to 0.

-SB 508, by Sen. Nathan Dahm and Rep. Jeff Coody, modifies the definition to "home food establishment" in relation to the Home Bakery Act of 2013 to permit food prepared at a residence to be sold at farmers markets, on site, at cooperatives, through membership-based buying clubs or for delivery. It moves regulation under the act from the Oklahoma State Department of Health to the Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry and authorizes the department to promulgate necessary rules. It permits the department to request written documentation to verify the gross annual sales of a home food establishment upon a consumer complaint. The bill passed 65 to 24.

-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 bill passed 86 to 0.

-SB 12, by Sen. Josh Brecheen and Rep. John R. Bennett, permits private K-12 schools to establish police departments under the Oklahoma Campus Security Act. The bill passed 73 to 22.

-SB 23, by Sen. Mark Allen and Rep. Steven Vaughan, reduces the maximum number of people to be carried in a taxicab from 10 to eight. The bill passed 89 to 3.

-SB 45, by Sen. Ron Sharp and Rep. Tammy West, authorizes the State Department of
Education to directly contract with educators who are current or retired employees of Oklahoma public school districts, for services to assist the department as necessary when such services require the expertise and qualifications of an Oklahoma certified educator. The bill exempts the contracts from the competitive bidding requirements of the Oklahoma Central Purchasing Act and from being included in the calculation of the educator's salary for purposes of meeting the district or statutory minimum salary schedule or for purposes of calculating Teachers' Retirement System of Oklahoma contributions or benefits. The bill passed 81 to 9 and its emergency clause passed 79 to 5.

-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. The bill passed 92 to 2.

-SB 151, by Sen. Tom Dugger and Rep. Greg Babinec, exempts any employee of the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation who is elected to a local board of education from the prohibition on dual office holding. The bill passed 94 to 0.

-SB 174, by Sen. Stephanie Bice and Rep. Glen Mulready, permits a spouse of a retail spirits license holder to hold a separate interest in up to two package stores. The bill passed 78 to 17.

-SB 211, as amended, by Sen. Stephanie Bice and Rep. Glen Mulready, requires all sales of alcoholic beverages on Sundays by retail spirits licensees be unlawful in any county unless approved by a majority of the registered voters of the county voting at a special election called by the board of county commissioners. The bill requires the election be called by the board of county commissioners upon receipt of a petition signed by registered voters constituting not less than 15 percent of the total votes cast in the county in the last General Election for the Office of Governor, or the election may be called by the board of county commissioners upon its own motion. It allows for counties to opt to sales between the hours of noon and midnight on Sunday. The bill passed 60 to 35. The amendment requires the vote to take place during a general election or a special election, not a standalone vote.

-SB 411, by Sen. Stephanie Bice and Rep. Glen Mulready, modifies the hours during which alcoholic beverages may be sold, limiting the sales and sampling of beer at a brewery to only occur between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 a.m. It modifies the times in which holders of a Retail Wine License or Retail Beer License or retail licensee may buy alcoholic beverages. The bill passed 70 to 21.

• Members of the House Appropriation and Budget Committee gave their approval to many bills Monday, including these:

-SB 323, as amended, by Sen. Lonnie Paxton and Rep. Kevin Wallace, modifies the requirement for a petition supporting a candidate's filing. It requires the petition be signed by not fewer than 2 percent of the number of registered voters in the district, county or state, as appropriate for the office sought. It modifies the amount of fees to file as candidate for certain offices. It increases the fee for presidential candidates who submit a petition supporting their filling from $2,500 to $5,000.

-CS to SB 28, by Sen. Roger Thompson and Rep. Avery Frix, modifies language related to the Oklahoma Law Enforcement Telecommunications System. It requires the Commissioner of Public Safety to assess and collect costs and fees from subscribers to the system. It modifies language related to expenditures from the fund and permits expenditures from the Department of Public Safety Restricted Revolving Fund for personnel, recurring user fees, necessary hardware and accessories, of equipment, maintenance and operational expenses of the system.

-SB 40, as amended, by Sen. Micheal Bergstrom and Rep. Bobby Cleveland, permits
the pointing of a shotgun, rifle or pistol, or any deadly weapon for acts of self-defense. It also permits armed security guards or armed private investigators licensed by the Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training under the Oklahoma Security Guard and Private Investigator Act and in the performance of their duties to point a shotgun, rifle or pistol, or any deadly weapon. The amendment takes out private investigators.

-SB 58, with the title and the enacting clause stricken, by Sen. Stephanie Bice and Rep. Glen Mulready, modifies the apportionment of alcoholic beverage taxes. It provides that revenue in excess of $13 million will be apportioned to the General Revenue Fund.

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

-SB 154, by Sen. Tom Dugger and Rep. Greg Babinec, expands actions which may be taken by the Incentive Evaluation Commission to include modification of evaluations provided. The bill also modifies the date in which the Commission must hold at least one public meeting to from November 1 to the 30 to October 1 through November 30. It also permits the commission to modify an incentive evaluation prepared by its contractor and requires the modification and the original evaluation to be documented in its annual report.

-SB 235, with the title restored, as amended, by Sen. Roger Thompson and Rep. John Pfeiffer, provides a sales tax exemption on sales of tangible personal property or services to any person who has entered a contract with the Department of Tourism and Recreation to assist the agency in the development and production of advertising, promotion, publicity and public relations programs when the purchase is necessary for carrying out the contract. The amendment adds an emergency clause.

-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 and efficiencies and cost-saving measures regarding the footprint of school districts. 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.

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

-SB 312, as amended, by Sen. Frank Simpson and Rep. Pat Ownbey, requires churches which temporarily accommodate overnight visitors have a hard-wired stand-alone fire and smoke alarm or battery operated fire and smoke alarm in the area of overnight accommodations in addition to illuminated interior exits signs, a means of egress from the interior overnight accommodations area to the exterior of the building which is maintained and free from obstructions or impediments for full and instant use in case of fire or emergency, including all exits, exit access and exist discharge from the interior of the building leading to the exterior public way, exit court or yard area. It limits the total number of days the facility can be used for temporary housing to 75 days.

-CS for 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. 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.

-SB 588, with the enacting clause stricken, by Sen. Joseph Silk and Rep. Johnny Tadlock, transfers the Forest Heritage Center from the Department of Tourism to the Department of Agriculture.

-SB 705, with the enacting clause stricken, by Sen. Eddie Fields, and Rep. Harold Wright, modifies allocation of the aircraft excise tax. It requires the first $6 million to be placed to the credit of the Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission for fiscal years beginning July 1, 2016, and each fiscal year thereafter. It requires revenues in excess of $6 million to be credited to the General Revenue Fund.

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

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

-SB 749, by Sen. Kevin Matthews and Rep. Monroe Nichols IV, creates the Urban Gardens Grant Act to be administered by the Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry and creates the Urban Gardens Grant Revolving Fund that will consist of all monies received by the State Board of Agriculture from state-appropriated funds, federal funds, donations, grants and contributions from any public or private source.

• Gov. Mary Fallin signed the following legislation into law on Monday:

-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 first tax year affected by the change to the placed in service date is 2027. The potential increase in income tax collections would occur in FY28. Current law authorizes the incentive to 2021.

-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 takes effect Nov. 1.

-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 1.5 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 took effect immediately upon Fallin's signing it.

• Members of the House honored the late Rep. David Brumbaugh Monday by allowing his seatmate Rep. Mike Ritze and Rep. George Faught to honor his memory after a brief moment of silence was observed. Brumbaugh, 56, died Saturday after collapsing in his house. He had represented House District 76 since 2011. He was named the chamber's majority caucus chair in 2014. He also was vice chair of the House Appropriations and Budget Subcommittee on General Government. Brumbaugh will lie in repose in the rotunda of the second floor Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. His funeral is set for Saturday.


Tuesday, April 18, 2017

• The Senate approved the following floor actions on Tuesday:

• HB 1197, by Rep. Tommy Hardin and Sen. Frank Simpson, modifies the definition of veteran to include an individual who has served the full obligation for active duty, reserve or National Guard service in the military, or received an early discharge for a medical condition, hardship or reduction in force and has been separated from such service honorably. The bill passed 38 to 0.

-HB 1304, by Rep. Casey Murdock and Sen. Darcy Jech, modifies definitions within the Oklahoma Swine Feeding Operations Act. It removes language regarding operations subject to the Oklahoma Swine Feeding Operations Act and provides an exception to setback requirements. It specifies that no concentrated swine feeding operation is to be established if located on land within three miles of the limits of any municipality unless the municipality's governing body executes a written waiver of the setback for the particular animal feeding operation. It prohibits a change in ownership of the property on which the operation is located from affecting the validity of the waiver. The bill passed 37 to 1.

-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 of certain information related to caregivers. The bill passed 39 to 0.

-HB 1392, with title and enacting clause restored, by Rep. Dell Kerbs and Sen. Eddie Fields, reauthorizes the Oklahoma Wildlife Diversity Program checkoff. It also creates an Oklahoma Emergency Responders Assistance Program checkoff. The bill passed 36 to 5.

-HB 1429, by Rep. Kyle Hilbert and Sen. James Leewright, requires an individual to notify an organization in writing before filing civil action relating to websites not conforming to law, codes and standards for the visually or hearing impaired. It requires the court to dismiss action against the organization if the defendant corrects the alleged website defect. It allows for extension of time if the defendant has made a reasonable effort to correct the defect. The bill passed 38 to 6.

• The House met on Tuesday, and approved the following legislation:

-SB 60, by Sen. Stephanie Bice and Rep. Ryan Martinez, removes the requirement that the Tax Commission issue decals that contain two-letter county abbreviations for all-terrain vehicles, utility vehicles and motorcycles used exclusively off roads and highways. The bill requires the commission to distribute all decals containing a two-letter abbreviation before beginning to distribute those that do not. It removes outdated language concerning motor vehicle tags. The bill
passed 83 to 2.

-SB 117, by Sen. Gary Stanislawski and Rep. Randy McDaniel, appropriates $6 million to the Employment Security Administration Fund from the funds made available to the state by the federal Unemployment Compensation Modernization Transfer made on June 25, 2009, pursuant to Section 903(f) of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C., Section 1103(f), as amended, to be used by the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission for the purpose of paying administrative expenses. The bill sets certain limits on the expenditures. The bill passed 91 to 0.

-SB 229, 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. The bill passed by a vote of 85 to 0.

-SB 234, by Sen. Frank Simpson and Rep. Tommy Hardin, creates a petty cash fund for
programs of the Oklahoma Military Department, including but not limited to billeting funds, youth programs and military awards and decoration programs, the sum of which will be determined as agreeable to the Oklahoma Military Department and the Director of the Office of Management and Enterprise Services. It directs the Director to establish procedures for the administration of this petty cash fund. The bill passed by a vote of 89 to 0.

-SB 254, by Sen. Adam Pugh and Rep. Harold Wright, directs the Aeronautics Commission to administer an airport inspection program for all public-use airports within the State of Oklahoma. It requires the inspection program to occur on a three-year cycle and requires it to be administered by the Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission. The bill also requires airport owners including individuals and municipalities to provide access to airport facilities for conducting the inspections. The bill directs the Commission to provide a written report to each public-use airport detailing the findings of such inspections. The bill passed by a vote of 83 to 4.

-SB 357, by Sen. David Holt and Rep. Harold Wright, removes language allowing the State Regents to notify a licensing board of the default payment of a student loan. The bill passed by a vote of 77 to 10. The emergency passed 68 to 23.

-SB 456, by Sen. Joe Newhouse and Rep. Kevin McDugle, requires the Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs to establish and administer an Oklahoma veteran’s registry. It specifies contents of the registry and procedures for collecting information. The bill passed 90 to 1.

-SB 531, by Sen. Rob Standridge and Rep. George Faught, authorizes the Department of Labor to regulate any advancement in technology that applies to the alarm or locksmith industry. The bill updates statutory references. It prohibits an alarm business licensed under Alarm, Locksmith and Fire Sprinkler Industry Act from being required to obtain multiple licenses to engage in the practice of locksmithing, closed-circuit television and access control when its activities are performed in combination with the installation, maintenance, moving, repairing, replacing, servicing, or reconfiguration of a burglar alarm system. The bill passed 83 to 0.

-JCR to HB 2343, by Rep. Leslie Osborn and Sen. Kim David, limits the definition of the term "noncompliant" taxpayer to include only those operating under a sales tax permit who fails within any consecutive 24-month period to file reports or remit tax due for any two months as required for sales taxes under the provisions of any tax law, not only the Oklahoma Tax Code. The bill also exempts nonpayment of income taxes from the definition. The bill and its emergency clause passed by a vote of 87 to 7.

-JCR to HB 2344, by Rep. Leslie Osborn and Sen. Kim David, reduces the total amount of rebates available in any one fiscal year under the Oklahoma Film Enhancement Rebate Program from $5 million to $4 million. The bill and its emergency clause passed 83 to 3.

-JCR to HB 2350, by Rep. Leslie Osborn and Sen. Kim David, eliminates sales tax exemptions for tickets to certain types of professional athletic and sporting events. The bill and its emergency clause passed 86 to 3.

-SB 237, by Sen. Eddie Fields and Rep. John Pfeiffer, allows the Board of Directors of the Oklahoma Historical Society to contract with other state agencies and/or non-profit organizations to create an irrevocable endowment with associated management and administration costs to trade, sell or barter donated and deaccessioned collection items that do not conform to collection policies of the Oklahoma Historical Society. It directs proceeds from the endowment to be used for the acquisition, conservation or use of collections at museums, historic sites or research facilities owned and operated by the Oklahoma Historical Society. The bill passed 87 to 3.

-SB 653, as amended, 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. The bill passed 92 to 0. The amendment allows for the increases in disability income as a result of the veteran having dependents to be included in divorce calculations.

-SB 657, with enacting clause stricken, by Sen. Josh Brecheen and Rep. Mike Ritze, creates the Protection against Sexual Exploitation by a Mental Health Services Provider Act. It defines applicable terms. It establishes the following criminal sanctions for a licensed mental health services provider who engages in sexual exploitation or therapeutic deception of a patient or former patient shall be subject to any applicable criminal sanctions as follows: a single act of sexual exploitation or therapeutic deception by a mental health services provider with one current or former patient shall be a misdemeanor punishable by a fine not exceeding $5,000; multiple acts of sexual conduct, sexual exploitation or therapeutic deception by a mental health services provider with one current or former patient shall be a misdemeanor punishable by a fine not exceeding $10,000; and multiple acts of sexual conduct, sexual exploitation or therapeutic deception by a mental health services provider with two or more current or former patients shall be a felony punishable by a fine not exceeding $20,000. The bill passed 95 to 0.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

• The Senate passed several measures on Wednesday, including:

-HB 1110, with title, effective date and emergency clause restored, by Rep. Randy McDaniel and Sen. Dan Newberry, allows a Professional Employer Organization to be given credit for the taxable wages paid on each employee in the immediately previous account under which client wages were reported. The bill updates statutory references. It repeals language relating to group accounts in the Employment Security Act of 1980. It prohibits the provisions from preventing the Commission from disclosing or being liable whatsoever in the disclosure of the release of employer tax information and benefit claim information to employees of a county public defender's office in Oklahoma and the Oklahoma Indigent Defense System for the purpose of determining financial eligibility for the services provided by such entities. It requires the tax rate computed for or assigned to an employer be reduced by five percent for the time period beginning January 1, 2018, and ending December 31, 2022. The bill and its emergency clause passed 39 to 5.

-HB 1305, with title restored, by Rep. Casey Murdock and Sen. Larry Boggs, authorizes boards of county commissioners to issue permits which authorize and regulate the harvesting of hay along the right-of-way of public roads of the county highway system within their respective counties. It requires the applicant for a permit to be informed in writing and to sign a release acknowledging that he or she will assume all risk and liability for hay quality and for any accidents and damages that may occur as a result of the work and that the county and State of Oklahoma assume no liability for the hay quality or for work done by the permittee. It requires any person who stores the harvested hay along the right-of-way for later removal to store the harvested hay at the outer edge of the right-of-way and to remove the harvested hay within two days after harvesting. It grants the owner or the owner's assignee of land abutting the right-of-way priority to receive a permit for their land. The bill passed 40 to 2.

-HB 1423, by Rep. Mark Lepak and Sen. Jack Fry, reauthorizes the income tax checkoff effective January 1, 2017, for contributions to the Support of the Folds of Honor Scholarship Program. The bill passed 43 to 0.

-HB 1552, by Rep. George Faught and Sen. David Holt, requires approval by joint resolution of any proposed rule which modifies the scope of practice of any occupation contained within Title 59, provided the resolution becomes law in accordance with Section 11 of Article VI of the Oklahoma Constitution. It provides the rule will be deemed disapproved if the Legislature fails to approve the rule on or before the last day of the legislative session. It exempts any proposed rule that modifies the scope of practice from the other procedures governing legislative approval of administrative rules. The bill passed 43 to 0.

-HB 1706, by Rep. Randy McDaniel and Sen. Marty Quinn, ensures the Oklahoma Law Enforcement Retirement System remains in compliance with the Internal Revenue Service by allowing the agency to roll money from its system to an IRA. The bill and its emergency clause passed 41 to 0.

-HB 1759, by Rep. Katie Henke and Sen. Dave Rader, exempts from the prohibition on dual office holding someone who holds a county office and serves as a reserve force deputy sheriff, or a reserve special agent with the Oklahoma State Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs

-HB 1836, with title, effective date and emergency clause restored, by Rep. Leslie Osborn and Sen. Kim David, removes limitations on authorized gaming at horse racing facilities, except for the prohibition of Christmas Day. The bill and its emergency clause passed 33 to 9.

-HB 1994, by Rep. John Jordan and Sen. Chris Kidd, terminates the Oklahoma Oilseed Resources Fund as of November 1, 2017 and privatizes the Oklahoma Oilseed Commission. The bill passed 40 to 3.

-HB 2156, by Rep. Jadine Nollan and Sen. Ron Sharp, expands the core curriculum of a public school to include world language or a foreign or non-English language. The bill passed 36 to 5.

-HB 2211, by Rep. Avery Frix and Sen. Dave Rader, authorizes the Metropolitan Area Planning Commission to adopt regulations permitting staff to approve or deny plats, lot-splits and other matters. The bill passed 41 to 0.

-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. The bill passed 38 to 4.

• The House passed several measures on Wednesday, including:

-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 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. The bill passed by a vote of 75 to 12. It now returns to Senate. The bill was sent over from the Senate with its title off. The title was restored by the House Appropriations and Budget Committee. The bill must be reconsidered by the Senate and passed with its title on before it can be sent to Gov. Mary Fallin.

-SB 89, by Sen. Greg McCortney and Rep. Todd Thomsen, increases to $30 from $20 the registration fee the Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training (CLEET) is authorized to charge to cover the cost of meals it provides during training for peace officers. It expands the list of meals to include dinner. The bill ultimately passed by a vote of 65 to 25.

-SB 26, by Sen. Mark Allen, R-Spiro, and Rep. Steven Vaughan, modifies the definition of the term "bus" by reducing the minimum number of passengers from 10 to eight. The bill passed 76 to 3.

-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. The bill and its emergency clause passed 78 to 0.

-SB 35, by Sen. Kim David and Rep. Kevin McDugle, permits a person 21 years of age or older on active military or National Guard duty, regular military or National Guard reserve duty or retired or honorably discharged from military service and who presents a valid military identification card in lieu of a handgun license to carry a concealed or unconcealed weapon without obtaining a handgun license. It removes language that provides an exemption from the training requirement for those individuals. The bill adds reserve duty law enforcement officers from the list of those exempt from the training and qualification requirement. It removes language requiring the Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training (CLEET) to establish criteria for providing proof of an exemption. The bill permits out-of-state permit holders to carry unconcealed weapons. The bill
passed 85 to 0.

-SB 39, by Sen. Roger Thompson and Rep. Kevin Wallace, increases the fingerprinting
fee to $10 from $5. The bill passed 72 to 20.

-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. The bill passed 73 to 16.

-SB 146, by Sen. Eddie Fields and Rep. Todd Russ, modifies election costs paid from state funds. It prohibits the State Election Board from subsidizing the costs of elections called by counties, municipalities, school districts or other governmental entities. The bill requires the Board be reimbursed for expenses listed therein incurred to conduct such an election. It prohibits the Board from being reimbursed for election programming and ballot generation for elections held concurrently with a regularly scheduled federal or state election. It prohibits the Board from being reimbursed for expenses related to the training of precinct officials or county election boards, procedural support and oversight of county election boards or salary and benefits of the county election board secretary. It requires the Secretary of the State Election Board to create a document defining the expenses to be provided to each county election board. It establishes a rate of reimbursement. The bill passed 59 to 29.

-SB 697, by Sen. Anthony Sykes and Rep. George Faught, declares all rulemaking authority delegated by the Legislature to executive branch agencies be used only to implement law or policy as set by the Legislature. It requires all administrative rules, including those already in existence, to include a specific reference to the statutory provision or federal regulation that delegates the authority for promulgation of such rule within three years. The bill passed by a vote of 57 to 35.

-SB 52, by Sen. Jack Fry and Rep. Scooter Park, requires a person to produce and provide physical possession of a driver license to a peace officer upon the officer's request. The bill passed 75 to 16.

-SB 189, by Sen. Kay Floyd and Rep. Claudia Griffith, exempts from sales tax sales of tangible personal property or services to an organization exempt from taxation under the provisions of the Internal Revenue Code, 26 U.S.C., Section 501(c)(3) and operates as a collaborative model which connects community agencies in one location to serve individuals and families affected by violence and where victims have access to services and advocacy at no cost to the victim. The bill passed 80 to 11.

-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. The bill passed by a vote of 87 to 4.

-SB 227, by Sen. Frank Simpson and Rep. Tommy Hardin, allows a member of the Armed Forces of the United States who is called into active federal service to terminate or suspend services with a telecommunications service provider, an internet service provider, a health club, a health spa or a provider of television services, so long as he or she provides proof to the service provider of the official orders showing that he or she has been called into active service at the time written notice is given or within 90 days if precluded by military necessity or circumstances. It states that a termination or suspension of services is effective on the day written notice is given. The bill allows a service member who is no longer in active service to reinstate the provision of services on the same terms and conditions as originally agreed to before the termination or suspension. It requires written notice to be given within 90 days after termination of the service member's active service. The bill passed 88 to 0.

-SB 273, by Sen. Jason Smalley and Rep. Scott Biggs, modifies the law to include persons like a subcontractor or employee of a subcontractor of the contractor of a state or federal government, a county, a municipality or a political subdivision of this state to the definitions of forcible sodomy, rape and sexual battery. The bill and emergency clause passed by a vote of 86 to 0.

-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 waters of this state. It modifies jurisdiction to the Commission and EPA. The bill passed by a vote of 82 to 6.

-SB 297, with the title stricken, by Sen. Stephanie Bice and Rep. Glen Mulready, modifies acts authorized by a small farm winery license to include: serving free samples of wine produced by the licensee to visitors 21 years or older; selling wine produced by the small farm winery for either on-premises consumption or off-premises to consumer on that winery's premises; and to sell wine at public events. It prohibits any visitor from sampling more than a total of six fluid ounces of wine per day. It establishes requirements for the sampling area. The bill passed by a vote of 81 to 11.

-SB 712, by Sen. Stephanie Bice and Rep. Glen Mulready, permits spirits to be stored, possessed or consumed on the licensed premises of an on-premises beer and wine license when the premises also has a mixed beverage license. The bill passed 74 to 15.

-SB 816, by Sen. Kim David and Rep. Leslie Osborn, requires any student of this state
who is in good academic standing with an accredited medical college in this state receive priority consideration in the process of assigning clinical rotations at a healthcare facility that accepts funding from this state. The bill passed by a vote of 91 to 0.


Thursday, April 20, 2017

• The Senate approved several bills before adjourning for the weekend on Thursday morning, including the following:

-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. The bill passed 31 to 13 and its emergency clause passed 32 to 12.

-JCR for HB 2343, by Rep. Leslie Osborn and Sen. Kim David, limits the definition of the term "noncompliant" taxpayer to include only those operating under a sales tax permit who fails within any consecutive 24-month period to file reports or remit tax due for any two months as required for sales taxes under the provisions of any tax law, not only the Oklahoma Tax Code. The bill also exempts nonpayment of income taxes from the definition.

-JCR for HB 2344, by Rep. Leslie Osborn and Sen. Kim David, reduces the total amount of rebates available in any one fiscal year under the Oklahoma Film Enhancement Rebate Program from $5 million to $4 million.

• House members gave the stamp of approval for the following bills on Thursday:

-SB 793, with the title stricken, by Sen. Greg Treat and Rep, Terry O'Donnell, 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 bill passed 71 to 23.

-SB 342, with the title stricken, by Sen. David Holt and Rep. Terry O'Donnell, creates a task force to oversee an assessment and analysis of existing laws, policies and practices relating to fines, fees and costs assessed on persons interacting with the criminal justice process until December 31, 2019. It sets the duties of the task force. It provides for task force membership, the naming of a chair, achieving a quorum and the frequency of meetings. It subjects the meetings to the Oklahoma Open Meeting Act. It requires that members receive no compensation or travel reimbursement. It requires staff support be provided by the Governor's Office, the Senate and the House of Representatives. The motion to strike title was approved on a 54 to 22 vote. The bill passed 72 to 21.

-SB 603, 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. The bill passed 94 to 0.

-SB 649, by Sen. Greg Treat and Rep. Terry O'Donnell, modifies all references from the State Penitentiary to the Department of Corrections when relating to the Elderly and Incapacitated Victim's Protection Program. It 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 bill passed 54 to 36.

-SB 689, 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. It moves the requirement for the implementation of procedures and rules for methods of establishing payment plans of fines, costs, fees, and assessments by indigents from the Court of Criminal Appeals to the Supreme Court. It requires they be based on income. It requires court to waive outstanding fines, court costs and fees if the offender has secured admission to and is enrolled in a state higher education institution, a technology
center school or a workforce training program intended to expand further employment opportunities based on the equivalent value of the potential gross income of the offender as established by the minimum wage rate of the state upon the offender's completion of each 40- hour work week. The bill passed 65 to 18.

-SB 642, as amended, by Sen. Anthony Sykes and Rep. Chris Kannady, designates the section of Interstate 44 from Southwest 119th Street extending south to Southwest 149th Street as LCPL Trevor A. Roberts Memorial Highway. The bill was amended to include the naming of a bridge over North Aspen Avenue in Broken Arrow as the Rep. David Brumbaugh Memorial Bridge, in honor of the Broken Arrow Representative who unexpectedly passed away last week. The bill passed 95 to 0.

Other News

• Governor Mary Fallin on Friday announced the appointment of retired District Judge C. Allen McCall to the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board. He will serve a term that expires in January 2019. By law, Pardon and Parole Board terms are concurrent with the governor. Confirmation from the Oklahoma Senate is not required. McCall, of Lawton, succeeds Patricia High. McCall is a retired district judge for Comanche and Cotton Counties, but still is available to preside in cases. He is on the Oklahoma Supreme Court’s active retired judge list.

• Governor Mary Fallin joined Kodak and community officials in Weatherford Thursday to announce the company is adding new jobs at its facility in Weatherford. Fallin said the announcement is great news for the Weatherford community and represents the kind of diversity in jobs that state leaders are working to attract. She noted the announcement is another great example that Oklahoma’s pro-growth, pro-business policies are working and are making the state an even better place to do business.