The Oklahoma Senate


Week In Review
Monday, May 15, to Thursday, May 19, 2017

Monday, May 15, 2017

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

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

• The Senate Appropriations Committee advanced five executive nominations on Monday:

-G. Bridger Cox represented two nominations as he was reappointed to two separate boards with Sen. Frank Simpson carrying both nominations respectively. The first of Cox's nominations was to the Oklahoma Industrial Finance Authority for a six-year term ending October 11, 2023.The second, which is to the Oklahoma Development Finance Authority, will also be a six-year term ending October 11, 2023.

-Wendy Ingersoll-Keener, Inola, to the Oklahoma Horse Racing Commission, to serve a six-year term ending June 30, 2023, succeeding Melvin Bollenbach.

-Phillip J. Kirk, Tulsa, to the Oklahoma Horse Racing Commission, to serve a six-year term ending June 30, 2023, succeeding himself.

-R. Joe Lucas, Mustang, to the Oklahoma Horse Racing Commission, to serve a six-year term ending June 30, 2023, succeeding himself.

• The Senate Republican Caucus took a House bill Monday that had gone through the Joint Committee on Appropriations and Budget, replaced its language with $510 million in revenue-raising and increasing provisions and passed it on the floor. The Senate Republicans' plan was inserted into HB 2360. It included:
• A $1.50 per pack cigarette tax increase, generating $215 million in fiscal year 2018;
• A six-cent increase in the gasoline and diesel motor fuel taxes that would produce $125 million;
• Sunsetting a series of oil and gas rebate programs for $43 million;
• Eliminating the manufacturers' sales tax exemption for the wind industry, producing $16 million;
• Modifying revenue apportionment to the Rebuilding Oklahoma Access and Driver Safety.

The bill passed 36 to 10. Its emergency clause passed 38 to 8. The bill then went to the House for consideration.


• The Senate Education Committee met briefly Monday morning to advance nine executive nominations. Committee-approved nominations include:

-Clay A. Alford, Valliant, to the Board of Trustees for Southeastern Oklahoma State University-McCurtain County Campus, to serve a nine-year term ending June 30, 2026, succeeding Bob Wright.

-Ralph E. Blodgett, Norman, to the Oklahoma Lottery Commission Board of Trustees, to serve a five-year term ending January 1, 2022, succeeding R. Deane Wymer. (Standridge)

-Becky J. Frank, Tulsa, to the Oklahoma Arts Council, to serve a three-year term ending July 1, 2020, succeeding Hannah D. Robson.

-Judy J. Hatfield, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Arts Council, a three-year term ending July 1, 2020, succeeding Nancy Leonard.

-Reese Cody Inman, Tulsa, to the Oklahoma Educational Television Authority, to serve an unexpired term ending June 30, 2018, succeeding George K. Kiersch.

-Leticia Kennedy, Chickasha, to the State Textbook Committee, to serve a three-year term ending March 1, 2020, succeeding Tammy L. Bennett.

-Kerry Manning, Durant, to the Board of Trustees for Southeastern Oklahoma State University-McCurtain County Campus, to serve a nine-year term ending June 30, 2025, succeeding Chuck Darby.

-David L. McLaughlin, Oklahoma City, to the Board of Regents of the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma, to serve a seven-year term ending June 30, 2024, succeeding himself.

-Charles N. Moore, Sr., Muskogee, to the Oklahoma Arts Council, to serve a three-year term ending July 1, 2020, succeeding Joseph (J.P.) Richards.

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

-JCR to HB 2364, by Rep. Leslie Osborn and Sen. Kim David, eliminates the excise tax emption on vehicle transfers between husband and wife; parent and child; and an individual and an express trust which that individual or the spouse, child, or parent of what individual has a right to revoke.

-CS to HB 2404, by Rep. Leslie Osborn and Sen. Kim David, eliminates the sales tax exemption for purchases by the State of Oklahoma, any political subdivision, any agency of a political subdivision, institutions of The Oklahoma State System of Higher Education, the Oklahoma Municipal Power Authority, or the Office of Management and Enterprise services when carrying out a public construction contract on behalf of the Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs.

-HB 2349, by Rep. Leslie Osborn and Sen. Kim David, makes video programming services, specified digital products and the storage of furs subject to sales taxation. It defines applicable terms. It eliminates sales tax exemptions to leases of 12 months or more of motor vehicles in which the owners of the vehicles have paid the excise tax levied and certain aircraft leases. It increases the minimum salary schedule for teachers.

-CS to HB 2375, by Rep. Leslie Osborn and Sen. Kim David, directs the Oklahoma Tax Commission to implement a biennial registration for all vehicles beginning Jan. 1, 2018. It establishes a fee and process by which vehicles must be registered. It adds that fees assessed at the time of registration are to be paid for each year of registration. It apportions $10.3 million in fees and penalties each month for a 12-month period beginning Jan. 1, 2018, to the General Revenue Fund.

-CS to HB 2376, by Rep. Leslie Osborn and Sen. Kim David, authorizes non-house-banked table games involving a wheel, ball or dice to be used within the parameters of the Model Tribal Gaming Compact.

-HB 2424, by Rep. Leslie Osborn and Sen. Kim David, updates references to the Workers' Compensation Commission Revolving Fund. It removes language related to the funding of the Attorney General's Workers' Compensation Fraud Investigation Unit being funded by the Workers' Compensation Commission. It requires $5 million be paid from the tax collected from companies writing workers' compensation insurance policies and from the assessment on self-insurers into the Workers' Compensation Commission Revolving Fund. The bill repeals language related to a funding report required to be submitted by the Attorney General to the Workers' Compensation Commission regarding the Workers' Compensation Fraud Investigation Unit and the transfer of funds for the unit.

• Gov. Mary Fallin signed the following legislation Monday afternoon, including:

-HB 2324, by Rep. Jeff Coody and Sen. Paul Scott, allows the holder of a Department of Agriculture, Food, and Forestry permit for engaging in the management of depredating animals by use of aircraft to contract with and authorize other persons to engage in the management of depredating animals by use of an aircraft, provided that the permit holder accompanies the authorized person while engaging in the activity and, if engaging in the activity on private property, the authorized person has consent of the landowner. It provides that any person contracting with or authorized by a permit holder will not be required to have a permit to engage in the management of depredating animals by use of aircraft. It requires the permit be carried in the aircraft when performing management by the use of aircraft. It prohibits the department from requiring the pilot hold a specific type of pilot's license and from requiring the permit holder or pilot to carry liability insurance. It permits the use of any type of firearm. The bill requires authorized persons be made aware of the dangers of firing a firearm out of an aircraft. The bill takes effect upon the governor's signature.

-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 bill takes effect Nov. 1.

-HB 1259, by Rep. Mike Sanders and Sen. Paul Scott, modifies the requirements for individuals seeking election to hold the office of the county sheriff. It requires the person to have served as a duly certified peace officer in a full-time capacity for a period of four years or more prior to the date of filing for the office. It defines the term "peace officer." The bill takes effect Nov. 1.

-HB 1282, by Rep. Kevin Wallace and Sen. Dan Newberry, includes professional structural engineer to the list of professions in which the practice without regulation in the public interest is prohibited. It defines and modifies terms. The measure expands the duties of the State Board of Licensure for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors. The bill requires certain engineers to submit an application and fees for Board consideration as evidence that the applicant is qualified to use certain titles. The bill requires the individuals to have proof of structural engineering experience and education. It sets minimum requirements for individuals to use certain engineering titles and modifies qualifications for licensure. The bill takes effect Nov. 1.

-HB 1483, by Rep. Leslie Osborn and Sen. Kim David, increases the number of days from three to five business days after a court orders a judgment and sentence for the county to transmit information about the sentence to the Department of Corrections. It adds language requiring the Department of Corrections to establish a method for issuing receipts certifying that it has received the judgment and sentencing document. It also requires the department to notify the county in a timely manner when it receives a judgment and sentencing document that includes inaccurate information from the sentencing court. It exempts the department from responsibility for the cost of the inmate's housing in the county jail until an accurate document is received if a corrected judgment and sentencing document is not received within five days of the notification of receipt of the inaccurate information. The bill takes effect Nov. 1.

-HB 2008, by Rep. Charles McCall and Sen. Gary Stanislawski, creates the Dyslexia and Education Task Force for the purpose of creating a dyslexia handbook that will provide guidance for schools, students and parents in identification, intervention and support of students with dyslexia through accommodations and assistive technology. The bill establishes membership and meeting requirements. It requires the Task Force to study how to effectively identify students with dyslexia and make recommendations for appropriate interventions. The bill takes effect on the governor's signature. The bill takes effect 90 days after Sine Die.

-HB 2230, by Rep. Glen Mulready and Sen. Anthony Sykes, exempts commissaries for the benefit of persons lawfully confined in the county jail under the custody of the county sheriff from the requirement to give priority to vending facilities operated by licensed blind operators and established by the State Department of Rehabilitation Services. The bill takes effect 90 days after Sine Die.

-SB 40, 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 in the performance of their duties to point a shotgun, rifle or pistol, or any deadly weapon. The bill takes effect Nov. 1.

-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 takes effect Nov. 1.

-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. The bill takes effect July 1.

-SB 653, by Sen. Joe Newhouse and Rep. Kevin McDugle, prohibits a court when determining alimony from considering disability compensation received by a party from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for service-related injuries for any purpose. It also prohibits a court from offsetting any disability income with other assets of the military member. The bill takes effect Nov. 1.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

• The Senate Energy Committee approved two executive nominations Tuesday as follows:

-Travis A. Lamborn, Tulsa, to the Oklahoma Liquified Petroleum Gas Board , to serve a four-year term ending June 30, 2019, succeeding Larry D. Weese.

-Manu Nair, Edmond, to the Oklahoma Science and Technology Research and Development Board, to serve an unexpired term ending June 30, 2019, succeeding Dr. Paul W. Kincade.

• The Senate Joint Committee on Appropriations and Budget approved several measures on Tuesday

- CS for HB 2414 by Rep. Leslie Osborn, R-Mustang, and Sen. Kim David, adds a $1.50 per pack tax to cigarettes. The bill creates the Health Care Authority Enhancement Fund, the Mental Health and Substance Abuse Enhancement Fund, the Human Services Enhancement Fund, Oklahoma State University Medical Authority Enhancement Fund and the Health Department Enhancement Fund and apportions the first $185 million among the funds for FY2018. It apportions the full amount to the Health Care Enhancement Fund for subsequent fiscal years. The bill also imposes a tax of six cents per gallon on all gasoline used or consumed in this state and diesel fuel used or consumed in this state. The measure also reduces the time in which new wells are allowed an introductory 2 percent gross production tax from 36 months to 18 months. The committee voted 30-8.

-CS for HB 2349, by Rep. Leslie Osborn, Rep. Kevin Wallace, Sen. Kim David and Sen. Eddie Fields, modifies the state's minimum teacher salary schedule. It applies the schedule to all individuals recognized by the State Department of Career and Technology Education as teaching in full-time programs whether at a public school, technology center or skills center site. It provides that the act will not become effective unless HB2414 is enacted as law.

-SB 839, by Sen. Kim David, Sen. Eddie Fields, Rep. Leslie Osborn and Rep. Kevin Wallace, modifies the apportionment of drivers’ license fee revenue. It increases from $10 to $13 the amount to be deposited in the Department of Public Safety Revolving Fund for all original or renewal issuances of licenses by eliminating a $3 apportionment to the State Public Safety Fund. It redirects the apportionment of $2 from the State Public Safety Fund to the Department of Public Safety Revolving.

-CS for SB 858, by Sen. Kim David, Sen. Eddie Fields, Rep. Leslie Osborn and Rep. Kevin Wallace, prohibits a school district from paying any portion of the premiums for any member of the district's board of education. It requires the board member to assume responsibility for the full cost of insurance premiums upon the renewal of the plan if a school board member is participating in a health and/or dental insurance plan offered by a school district when the bill takes effect.

-SB 872, by Sen. Kim David, Sen. Eddie Fields, Rep. Leslie Osborn and Rep. Kevin Wallace, deems the statutory requirement for the issuance of $25 million in bonds by the Oklahoma Capital Improvement Authority for the completion of construction of the Native American Cultural Center and Museum to have been met when $10 million has been deposited in the American Indian Cultural Center and Museum Completion Fund. The bill removes language that requires those funds to come from non-state and non-federal sources. It updates statutory references.

• Zack Taylor, R-Seminole, was sworn into the Oklahoma House of Representatives Tuesday evening to represent House District 28. That seat was vacated when former state Rep. Tom Newell resigned Dec. 31, 2016. The House on Tuesday evening held a vote to officially seat Taylor, bringing the number of representatives to 99 for this session. Two additional special elections will be held later this year to fill seats for House District 75 in Tulsa and House District 76 in Broken Arrow.

• The Senate Education Committee approved the following executive nominations on Tuesday:

-Former House Speaker Jeff Hickman to the State Regents for Higher Education. Hickman, who served a total of 12 years in the Legislature with three years as speaker, would serve a nine-year term ending May 2026. He is set to replace James Dean Harrell and his nomination was carried by Sen. Bryce Marlatt, R-Woodward.

- Judy Hatfield and Roshan Pujari to the Oklahoma Arts Council.

-Dian Jordan to the Board of Trustees for Southeastern Oklahoma State University-McCurtain County Campus.

-Heather D. Weilacher to the State Textbook Committee.

• Gov. Mary Fallin approved the following bills on Tuesday:

-HB 1302, by Rep. Casey Murdock and Sen. Stephanie Bice, 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. The bill takes effect July 1.

-HB 1388, by Rep. John Pfeiffer and Sen. Eddie Fields, provides requirements to determine the established date of operation for agricultural activities. It permits the defendant in any action in which agricultural activities are alleged to be a nuisance that is determined to be malicious to recover the aggregate amount of costs and expenses determined by the court to have been reasonably incurred in connection with defending the action, together with reasonable attorney fees. The bill takes effect Nov. 1.

-HB 1392, by Rep. Dell Kerbs and Sen. Eddie Fields, reauthorizes the Oklahoma Wildlife Diversity Program checkoff. It also creates the Oklahoma Emergency Responders Assistance Program checkoff. The bill takes effect Nov. 1.

-HB 1533, by Rep. John Montgomery and Sen. Greg Treat, requires the State Bond Advisor and Office of Management and Enterprise Services to produce a written debt affordability study for the
Legislature and Governor. It requires the study's recommendations and estimates are advisory and not binding. The bill takes effect Nov. 1.

-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 bill takes effect July 1.

-HB 1708, by Rep. Mike Ritze and Sen. Ervin Yen, the membership of the Oklahoma Board of Mental Health by requiring two members to be an allopathic physician and an osteopathic physician, with both licensed to practice in this state appointed under provided criteria. It ensures at least one of the new members must be a psychiatrist. The bill takes effect Nov. 1.

-HB 1886, by Rep. Pat Ownbey and Sen. Frank Simpson, modifies various definitions and statutory references under the Oklahoma Nursing Practice Act. It allows the Oklahoma Board of Nursing to impose disciplinary action for an individual guilty of deceit or material misrepresentation by trying to obtain a license with or without either prescriptive authority recognition or authorization to order, select, obtain and administer drugs. It also grants the Board authority to impose disciplinary action for an individual who has been terminated from the peer assistance program. The bill allows the Board to take immediate action regarding the summary suspension of a license or certification before the filing of a sworn complaint or at any other time before the outcome of an individual proceeding if they find that preservation of the public health, safety or welfare requires immediate action. It requires the board to notify a licensee within seven days after the summary suspension by letter that the suspension has occurred. It provides the content of such letter. It requires the hearing to take place within 90 days of the summary suspension letter. It requires the meetings outlined therein to not fall under the Open Meeting Act. The bill takes effect Nov. 1.

-SB 27, by Sen. Frank Simpson and Rep. Casey Murdock, removes duplicative language regarding the requirement for certain Department of Public Safety positions that the employee have successfully completed 32 semester hours from an accredited college or university and whose hours are transferable between recognized institutions, and received an honorable discharge in any active military or reserve military service. It also changes the requirement for an honorable discharge and honorable active or reserve military service. It reduces the minimum age for someone to serve in the Communications Division from 20 to 18 years of age. It removes the requirement that the individual have either six months experience as a dispatcher or successfully completed 15 fifteen semester hours from an accredited college or university. The bill takes effect Nov. 1.

-SB 235, 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 bill takes effect July 1.

-SB 408, by Sen. J.J. Dossett and Rep. Eric Proctor, creates the Owasso Rams Supporter, Collinsville Cardinals Supporter, Sperry Pirates Supporter, Skiatook Bulldogs Supporter, Rejoice Christian Eagles Supporter and East Central Cardinals Supporter license plates. It requires an amount of the fee collected from the listed plates be deposited in the Education Reform Revolving Fund. The bill takes effect Nov. 1.

-SB 423, by Sen. Marty Quinn and Rep. Randy McDaniel, modifies the number of days of employment an eligible employee has to choose an alternate retirement plan from 90 days to 30 days. Modifies the number of days of employment an eligible employee has to choose an alternate retirement plan from 90 days to 30 days. The bill takes effect Nov. 1.

-SB 431, by Sen. Bill Brown and Rep. Lewis Moore, prohibits more than 35 percent of a company's assets from being invested in mortgage loans, real property, purchase money mortgages. It eliminates the exemption for domestic health maintenance organizations that contract with the Health Care Authority from the provisions of the Risk-based Capital for Health Maintenance Organizations Act of 2003. The bill takes effect Nov. 1.

-SB 445, by Sen. Joe Newhouse and Rep. Kevin Calvey, modifies the manner in which cap on annual credits is allocated and calculated for the Oklahoma Equal Opportunity Education Scholarship Act. The bill takes effect Nov. 1.

-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. The bill takes effect July 1.


Wednesday, May 17, 2017

• The Senate took up its first conference committee report of the 2017 legislative session Wednesday morning, along with three other bills put on the floor for consideration.

-CCR for SB 211, by Sen. Stephanie Bice and Rep. Glen Mulready, prohibits Sunday sales of alcoholic beverages by retail spirits licensees unless approved by a majority of the registered voters of a county voting in a special election called by the board of county commissioners or a general election. It requires the county commissioners board to call the election upon receipts of a petition signed by not less than 15 percent of the total votes cast in the county in the last general election for the office of governor or it permits the board of county commissioners to call the election on its own motion. It requires the proposition be held on the same date as any regularly scheduled federal, state or county election held in that county; a special election held in that county for a federal, state or county office; or a special election held in that county for another county proposition or a state question. The sales, if approved, would be allowed between noon and midnight. The bill passed 26 to 14 and now goes to the House for consideration.

-SB 85, by Sen. Jack Fry and Rep. Dustin Roberts, requires municipally-owned utilities in communities of 5,000 or more population to pay or furnish the funds to pay the cost of the removing or relocating of utility facilities located in either privately owned or public rights-of-way for the construction of interstate highways. The bill updates statutory references. The bill and its emergency clause passed 38 to 0.

-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 passed 30 to 10.

-SB 733, 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 he 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 bill and its emergency clause passed 39 to 1.

• The Senate Joint Committee on Appropriations and Budget approved a bill Wednesday that eliminates the manufacturers' sales tax exemption for the wind industry.

-SB 861, by Sen. Kim David and Rep. Leslie Osborn, eliminates the manufacturer's sales tax exemption for wind generation of electricity.

• The Senate General Conference Committee on Appropriations held its first meeting of the session meeting and signed out the following bills:

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

-CCS for HB 1459, by Rep. Jon Echols and Sen. A J Griffin, provides an exemption for students in out-of-home placement with the Department of Human Services who were adopted while in the permanent custody of DHS or who were in out-of-home placement with the Office of Juvenile Affairs for eligibility under the Lindsey Nicole Henry Scholarship.

-CCS for HB 1853, by Rep. Charles Ortega and Sen. Roger Thompson, increases the time period for submission of additional information related to property tax relief from 30 days to 60 days. The bill also repeals language related to donations from income tax refunds.

-CCS for HB 2157, by Rep. Jadine Nollan and Sen. Jason Smalley, deletes language modifying the type of retention pay that is not included on the total compensation of teachers. The bill also authorizes school districts' boards of education to enter into a contract with a public school paraprofessional that provides for the payment of compensation for services rendered for the same time period during which the paraprofessional is also assigned to the school district for practice teaching as a student teacher.

• Among the bills signed by Gov. Mary Fallin on Wednesday included:

-HB 1952, by Rep. John Jordan and Sen. Lonnie Paxton, prohibits a school district from taking disciplinary action against a teacher for disclosing public information to correct what he or she reasonably believes evidences a violation of the Oklahoma Constitution or law or a rule promulgated pursuant to law; or for reporting a violation of the Oklahoma Constitution, state or federal law, rule or policy; mismanagement; a gross waste of public funds; an abuse of authority; or a substantial and specific danger to public health or safety or for taking any of the above actions without giving prior notice to his or her supervisor or anyone else in the teacher's chain of command. It requires each district to prominently post or public a copy of this law in locations where it can reasonably be expected to come to the attention of all teachers. The bill takes effect Nov. 1.

-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 takes effect Nov. 1.

-SB 293, by Sen. Kim David and Rep. Leslie Osborn, deletes specified criteria related to start dates for manufacturing facilities qualifying for certain exemptions. The bill repeals language related to requirements for specified manufacturers. The bill takes effect Jan. 1, 2018.

-SB 635, by Sen. Josh Brecheen and Rep. Charles McCall, creates a gun hunting license for deer for youth nonresidents 17 years of age or younger that will be valid for hunting one antlerless deer allowed during the current calendar year deer gun season at a cost of $30; an archery hunting license for deer for youth nonresidents seventeen 17 years of age or younger which shall be valid for hunting one antlerless deer and expire on January 15 of the calendar year after the year purchased or, if purchased during the deer archery season, to expire at the end of that deer archery season at a cost of $30; and a primitive firearms hunting license for deer for youth nonresidents seventeen 17 years of age or younger which shall be valid for hunting one antlerless deer during the current calendar year deer primitive firearms season at a cost of $30. The bill takes effect January 16, 2018.

-SB 787, by Sen. Anthony Sykes and Rep. Dustin Roberts, changes definitions related to sedation. It allows the Executive Director of the Board of Dentistry to sign contracts on behalf of the board. It deletes the retirement age requirement for dentists. It allows a dental student intern with a valid dental student permit to work under the direct supervision of a licensed dentist for compensation given provided criteria is met. It requires a limited faculty permit be valid for one year and be renewed by the Board at the written request of the dean of an accredited dental program or the director of an accredited dental hygiene program. The bill allows courses for Advanced Procedures for Dental Assistants to be taught in an online, interactive online, in-classroom, lab or blended format. It requires all expanded duty courses to include a dentist or dental hygienist that is employed full- or part-time by an educational program approved by the Commission on Dental Accreditation and currently on file with the Board. It adds that courses offered in this manner are to meet all criteria in administrative rules approved by the Board. The bill requires that resident and fellowship permits be valid from July 1st through June 30th of each year and Dental Student Intern permits to be valid from August 1st through July 31st of each year beginning July 1, 2017. The bill takes effect 90 days after the Legislature adjourns Sine Die.


Thursday, May 18, 2017

• The Senate approved four bills Thursday morning in a shortened session.

-HB 1169, by Rep. Mark McBride and Sen. Ervin Yen, modifies definition of amusement ride and allows the Commissioner of Labor to designate other rides that are not included in the definition. It allows the Commissioner to determine the date and frequency of inspection based on the type of amusement ride. It prohibits and permanent or temporary amusement ride to operate without an initial inspection. It ensures the term "Commissioner" is gender inclusive. The bill passed 35 to 6. It now goes to Gov. Mary Fallin for her consideration.

-SB 478, by Sen. Bill Brown and Rep. Lewis Moore, modifies duties of the Insurance Commissioner and creates the Health Care Choice Act. The bill establishes requirements for out-of-state insurers authorized to engage in the business of insurance in other states but not to issue accident and |health policies in Oklahoma through agents licensed in the state authorized in Oklahoma if certain requirements are met. It establishes criteria all approved insurers domiciled in a compacting state selling health and accident insurance policies in Oklahoma must adhere to. It allows the Insurance Commissioner to grant written approval of a compact under certain conditions.

-HB 2367, by Rep. Leslie Osborn and Sen. Kimberly David, repeals language related to deduction for keeping sales tax records, filing reports and remitting taxes when due and deductions for sellers or vendors keeping use tax record, filing reports and remitting tax when due. The bill passed 30 to 9 and its emergency clause passed 34 to 5.

-HB 2380, by Rep Leslie Osborn and Sen. Kim David, authorizes and directs the Oklahoma Tax Commission to establish a Voluntary Disclosure Initiative for certain taxes. It requires a taxpayer to be entitled to a waiver of penalty, interest and other collection fees due on eligible taxes if the taxpayer voluntarily files delinquent tax returns and pays the taxes due during the disclosure initiative. It establishes a time frame by which a voluntary payment of tax liability may be made or the taxpayer may enter into a payment program acceptable to the Tax Commission for payment of the unpaid taxes in full. The bill requires the Tax Commission to abate and not seek to collect any interest, penalties or collection fees that would otherwise be applicable upon payment of the eligible taxes under the Voluntary Disclosure Initiative established. It defines the term "eligible taxes" to include: a mixed beverage tax; a gasoline and diesel tax; a gross production and petroleum excise tax; a sales tax; a use tax; an income tax; and a withholding tax. It provides eligibility for taxpayers to participate in the initiative. The bill requires that if the Tax Commission agrees with the proposed terms for payment of the principal amount of tax due and owing, the penalties and interest otherwise imposed by law upon the principal amount must be waived by operation of law and no further action by the Tax Commission or by the taxpayer will be required for the waiver of the penalty and applicable interest. It limits the period for which additional taxes may be assessed to three taxable years for annually filed taxes or 36 months for taxes that do not have an annual filing frequency. It allows qualified taxpayers to enter into a modified voluntary disclosure agreement. It provides requirements and conditions for such a modified voluntary disclosure agreement. The bill and its emergency clause passed 33 to 8.

• The House passed the following measures on Thursday:

-CCR to HB 1534, by Rep. John Montgomery and Sen. James Leewright, creates the Oklahoma Public and Private Facilities and Infrastructure Act, due to a need for public infrastructure and government facilities in this state that serve a public need and purpose. The bill provides for the purpose of the Act. The bill defines terms. The bill requires a contracting entity to obtain the approval of and contract with the responsible governmental entity under the Act in order to develop or operate a qualifying project. The bill provides for procedure and requirements for proposals of qualifying projects. The bill provides for the approval process and authorizes governmental organization to enter into contracts. The bill specifies duties of the contract and specifies funding mechanisms. The bill provides for public access to records. The bill passed 86 to 7.

-CCR to HB 1679, by Rep. Harold Wright and Sen. Anthony Sykes, exempts Department of Corrections staff or any person who participates in an execution or the administration of one or more controlled dangerous substances from the Controlled Dangerous Substances Act. The bill passed 83 to 7.

-CCR to HB 2276, by Rep. Terry O'Donnell and Sen. Greg Treat, modifies the exceptions to the Oklahoma Consumer Protection Act. The bill passed 87 to 4.

-JCR to SB 870, by Sen. Kim David and Rep. Leslie Osborn, permits court ordered payments by parents in support of a child in Office of Juvenile Affairs custody to be used to pay outcome incentive payments for providers. The bill and its emergency clause passed 93 to 0.


Friday, May 19, 2017

• House and Senate leadership continued budget negotiations Friday and will continue discussions over the weekend.

• The Senate approved the following executive nominations on Friday:

o Dennis J. Bloye, Norman, to the Alarm and Locksmith Industry Committee, to serve a four-year term ending June 30, 2021, succeeding himself. (Business, Commerce & Tourism Committee) Motion to confirm made by Senator Rob Standridge.

o Steven H. Burris, Yukon, to the Oklahoma Real Estate Commission, to serve a four-year term ending July 1, 2021, succeeding Mike Cassidy. (Business, Commerce & Tourism Committee) Motion to confirm made by Senator Stephanie Bice.

o Rodger P. Erker, Sr., Tulsa, to the Oklahoma Real Estate Commission, to serve a four-year term ending July 1, 2021, succeeding himself. (Business, Commerce & Tourism Committee) Motion to confirm made by Senator Gary Stanislawski.

o Janet A. Foss, Norman, to the Board of Juvenile Affairs, to serve a four-year term ending July 1, 2021, succeeding Kristin Jarman. (Health & Human Services Committee) Motion to confirm made by Senator Rob Standridge.

o Rickey S. Garrett, Oklahoma City, to the Oklahoma State Athletic Commission, to serve a three-year term ending June 30, 2020, succeeding Danny Hodge. (Business, Commerce & Tourism Committee) Motion to confirm made by Senator Lonnie Paxton.

o William (Hays) Gilstrap, Eucha, to the J.M. Davis Memorial Commission, to serve a four-year term ending August 1, 2021, succeeding Christopher Sutherland. (Business, Commerce & Tourism Committee) Motion to confirm made by Senator Micheal Bergstrom.

o Odis Clifton Gooding, Oklahoma City, to the Board of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, to serve a seven-year term ending December 31, 2024, succeeding Joel Carson. (Health & Human Services Committee) Motion to confirm made by Senator David Holt.

o Elton Denny Haddox, Claremore, to the J.M. Davis Memorial Commission, to serve a four-year term ending August 1, 2021, succeeding himself. (Business, Commerce & Tourism Committee) Motion to confirm made by Senator Julie Daniels.

o William R. Higgins, Claremore, to the J.M. Davis Memorial Commission, to serve a four-year term ending August 1, 2021, succeeding himself. (Business, Commerce & Tourism Committee) Motion to confirm made by Senator Marty Quinn.

o Patrick Ryan Davis Ivey, Oklahoma City, to the Alarm and Locksmith Industry Committee, to serve a four-year term ending June 30, 2021, succeeding James R. Perry. (Business, Commerce & Tourism Committee) Motion to confirm made by Senator Ervin Yen.

o Megan Vance Ochs, Edmond, to the Oklahoma Motor Vehicle Commission, to serve a six-year term ending June 30, 2023, succeeding Leonard C. Northcutt. (Business, Commerce & Tourism Committee) Motion to confirm made by Senator A. J. Griffin.

o Donnie K. Von Hemel, Piedmont, to the Oklahoma Horse Racing Commission, to serve a six-year term ending June 30, 2023, succeeding Ran Leonard. (Appropriations Committee) Motion to confirm made by Senator Stephanie Bice.

o Douglas E. Wright, Edmond, to the Oklahoma Horse Racing Commission, to serve an unexpired term ending June 30, 2021, succeeding Kinsey Westwood-Money. (Appropriations Committee) Motion to confirm made by Senator Adam Pugh.

Other News

• Governor Mary Fallin has announced the state of Oklahoma has requested a major disaster declaration from the federal government for 18 counties impacted by severe weather that occurred April 28 - May 2. If approved, the designation would deliver federal funding to assist municipalities, counties and rural electric cooperatives with infrastructure repairs, debris removal, and costs associated with responding to the storm.

The counties are: Adair, Beaver, Caddo, Cherokee, Cimarron, Craig, Delaware, Haskell, Kiowa, Lincoln, Logan, Mayes, Muskogee, Ottawa, Pittsburg, Sequoyah, Texas and Washita.

The governor's request would bring SBA low-interest disaster loans for renters, homeowners and business owners to repair or replace any property that was damaged by the flooding and severe storms but was not covered by insurance. The loan program would also be available to assist businesses that sustained economic losses due to the storms. If the request is approved, under SBA rules the assistance would also be available in counties contiguous to Cherokee and Haskell counties. Damage assessments in Cherokee and Haskell counties found at least 63 homes and businesses impacted, which included 55 homes that sustained major damage or were destroyed.

• Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter has signed a letter with 50 other attorneys general from across the United States and Puerto Rico, asking for federal legislation to allow money from prescription drug settlements to return to the states. The letter, addressed from the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) to U.S. Senate Finance Committee Chair Sen. Orrin Hatch and Ranking Member Sen. Ron Wyden, asks for money recovered from pharmaceutical fraud settlements involving the prescription drug benefit known as Medicare Part D be returned to the states.

The NAAG estimates that over the last decade, the federal government has recovered tens of millions of dollars in fraud and over payment from cases involving Medicare Part D drugs. As part of the federal law, the states were required to pay a portion of the costs of prescription medicines but were not included in recovery settlement of false claims. Hunter said change in legislation is needed to ensure a fair partnership with the federal government. According to the NAAG, over the past decade states have contributed approximately $80 billion in payments to the federal government for prescription drugs covered by the Medicare Part D program. In 2017, payments from states are expected to rise to over $11 billion.