The Oklahoma Senate


Week In Review
Monday, May 22, to Thursday, May 26, 2017

Monday, May 22, 2017

• The Senate approved three bills on Monday, sending one to Gov. Mary Fallin and the other two to the House.

-HB 2157, by Rep. Jadine Nollan and Sen. Jason Smalley, deletes language modifying the type of retention pay that is not included in 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. The bill and its emergency clause passed 40 to 0. The bill now goes to Gov. Fallin for her consideration.

-SB 493, by Sen. Ron Sharp and Rep. Jeff Coody, exempts persons primarily engaged in selling lumber and other building materials classified under Industry Group No. 4441 of the North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS), except for national home centers classified under NAICS code 444110, from the state's weights and measure's misrepresentation statute, which makes it unlawful to sell, offer, or expose for sale a quantity less than the quantity represented; to take more than the represented quantity when, as a buyer, the person furnishes the weight or measure by means of which the quantity is determined; to represent the quantity in any manner calculated or tending to mislead or in any way deceive another person; to misrepresent the price of any commodity or service sold, offered, exposed, or advertised for sale by weight, measure, or count or represent the price in any manner calculated or tending to mislead or in any way deceive a person; or for a store to charge a retail price for any consumer item which exceeds the lowest then price in that store, whether a shelf, sale, advertised, or otherwise publicly communicated price, of the consumer item. The bill passed 36 to 6. The bill now goes to the House.

-SB 770, by Sen. Robert Standridge and Rep. Chris Kannady, adds any material, compound, mixture, or preparation which contains any quantity of the following hallucinogenic substances, their salts, isomers, and salts of isomers, unless specifically excepted, when the existence of these salts, isomers, and salts of isomers is possible within the specific chemical designation to the list of Schedule I drugs: 3,4-Dichloro-N-[2-(dimethylamino)cyclohexyl]-N-methylbenzamide (U-47700). The bill excludes Ioflupane from the list of coca products on the list of Schedule II drugs. It adds to Schedule II Phenazepam; Etizolam; or Clonazolam. The bill grants any employee of the Oklahoma State Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Control in a classified position under the Merit System of the Personnel Administration who is appointed Director, Deputy Director, Acting Director or Acting Deputy Director a right to return to the highest previously held classified position without any loss of rights, privileges or benefits immediately upon completion of the duties of the employee, provided the employee is not otherwise disqualified. It also permits the Director to designate noncommissioned personnel as compliance inspectors for the purpose of conducting certain inspections. It also permits a person having knowledge by virtue of their office to divulge knowledge related to the abuse or misuse of controlled dangerous substances.
The bill passed and its emergency clause passed 37 to 3. It also goes to the House.
• The House passed the following measures on Monday:

-HB 2403, by Rep. Leslie Osborn and Sen. Kim David, sets a $17,000 limit on the net amount of itemized deductions, excluding contributions to charitable organizations, allowed on an Oklahoma individual tax return for tax years 2017, 2018 and 2019. The bill passed 56 to 40.

-CCR to HB 1449, by Rep. Dustin Roberts and Sen. Stephanie Bice, levies a Motor Fuels Tax Fee of $100 for electric-drive motor vehicles and $30 for hybrid-drive motor vehicles to be paid to the Oklahoma Tax Commission. It requires eighty percent collected be deposited in the State Treasury to the credit of the State Highway Construction and Maintenance Fund and the remaining 20 percent be distributed to the various counties of the state into the County Bridge and Road Improvement Fund. It requires that the formula for said distribution be similar to that currently in use but to also take account of the terrain and traffic volume as related to county road improvement and maintenance costs. It defines terms used therein. It directs the money from apportionment off the top funding back into the General Revenue for appropriation. The bill passed 61 to 36.

-CCR to HB 2186, by Rep. Cory T. Williams and Sen. David Holt, modifies the definition of "motion picture theater" as it relates to the sale of low-point beer. It eliminates beer and wine licensing prohibitions related to motion picture theaters. It allows a retail license or permit to sell-low point beer to be issued to motion picture theaters. It defines terms used therein. It repeals language related to low-point beer sales in motion picture theaters. The bill passed 60 to 33.

-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 67 to 29.

• Gov. Mary Fallin signed several bills on Monday, including the following:

-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 takes effect on Nov. 1.

-HB 1485, by Rep. Weldon Watson and Sen. A J Griffin, requires state agencies to issue permits for activities subject to the Clean Water Act. The takes effect upon the governor's signature.

-SB 85, by Sen. Jack Fry and Rep. Dustin Roberts, requires municipally-owned utilities in communities of 5,000 or more population to pay the furnish the funds to pay the cost of the removing or relocating of utility facilities located in either privately owned or public rights-of-way for the construction of interstate highways. The bill updates statutory references. The bill takes effect on July 1.

-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 takes effect on Nov. 1.

-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 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 bill takes effect on July 1.

-SB 828, by Sen. A J Griffin and Rep. Chad Caldwell, creates the Nursing Facility Supplemental Payment Program Revolving Fund for the Oklahoma Health Care Authority in the State Treasury. It specifies contents of the fund and authorized expenditures. It requires the Health Care Authority to promulgate administrative rules. It repeals language related to wage and salary adjustments. It clarifies what the fund may be used for. The bill takes effect on July 1.


Tuesday, May 23, 2017

• The Senate passed the following legislation on Tuesday:

-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 26 to 16. It goes to the House for its consideration.

-HB 1583, by Rep. Chad Caldwell and Sen. Eddie Fields, consolidates the Office of the State Bond Advisor into the Office of the State Treasurer. It accounts for the transfer in relation to funds and records. The bill transfers the Bond Oversight Revolving Fund to the State Treasurer. It repeals language related to the fund. The bill provides for disclosure to be made by any public service provider for the direction of any and all direct financial contribution which exceed $5,000 on a cumulative basis to any nonprofit organization. It provides a similar procedure for contributions exceeding $100 on a cumulative basis to any elected officials or employees of a State or Local Governmental Entity to which financial services are to be provided in connection with issuance of debt obligations or contributions made to any individuals associated with a nonprofit. It provides when this disclosure must be filed. The bill passed 43 to 0. The bill now goes to Gov. Fallin for her consideration.

-JCR for HB 2343, by Rep. Leslie Osborn and Sen. Kim David, clarifies language related to the Workers' Compensation Court of Existing Claims, the Workers' Compensation Commission and the Oklahoma Occupational Health and Safety Standards Act. The bill and its emergency clause passed 43 to 0.

• The following measures were signed out of the Senate General Conference Committee on Appropriations on Tuesday:

-SB 105, by Sen. Roger Thompson and Rep. Leslie Osborn, modifies the duties of the Chief Information Officer. It requires that any information technology product or service cost at least $25,000 before requiring approval of the Chief Information Officer if the product is listed on an information technology or telecommunications statewide contract, and the product is listed on either the Approved Hardware or Approved Software list located on the Office of Management and Enterprise Services.

-SB 214, by Sen. A J Griffin and Rep. John Pfeiffer, modifies definitions related to the Oklahoma Private Activity Bond Allocation Act. It requires 53 percent of the state ceiling be reserved and placed in a pool to be designated the Oklahoma Housing Finance Agency Pool. It modifies designations to the state ceiling pool designations application requirements.

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

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

-HB 1868, by Rep. Jason Dunnington and Sen. Roger Thompson, requires any state employee earning less than $30,000 annually to receive overtime pay, instead of compensatory time, for all hours worked over 40 hours a week beginning November 1, 2017.

• The Senate Joint Committee on Appropriations and Budget approved several bills on Tuesday, including the following:

-HB 2406, by Rep. Leslie Osborn and Sen. Kim David, received a do pass recommendation from the committee. The bill creates the Oklahoma Individual Health Insurance Market Stabilization Act and defines related terms. The measure provides that any permanent Oklahoma resident who is qualified for and enrolled in health coverage through the market is eligible for coverage under the Oklahoma Individual Health Insurance Market Stabilization program, with certain exceptions. The bill creates the program and establishes a nine-member board of directors. It directs the board to adopt a plan of operation and submit its articles, bylaws and operating rules to the Insurance Commissioner for approval. It adds that if they fail to do that, the Insurance Commissioner is to promulgate rules for the operation of the board. The board is directed to implement the stabilization program, contingent upon approval for and receipt of federal funds, as well as to collect assessments due from insurers, make payments to provide for market stabilization activities, determine eligibility for coverage, determine amount of assessment and/or percentage of premiums paid to health insurance plans for coverage by eligible individuals, establish the reimbursement rate for health insurance plans, and to apply for and receive federal funding of the program through approval of a Section 1332 waiver under the Affordable Care Act and/or participation in federal grant programs. The bill passed 31 to 12.

-SB 873, by Sen. Kim David and Rep. Leslie Osborn, modifies the Office of Management and Enterprise Services' Roof Asset Management Program (RAMP).

-SJR 47, by Sen. Mike Schulz and Rep. Charles McCall, creates until Dec. 31 the 12-member Joint Task Force on Apportionment of State Revenues. The task force will be made up of the House Appropriations and Budget Committee Chair, the Senate Appropriations Committee Chair and five additional members from the House and five additional members of the Senate. It establishes meeting requirements. It establishes the duty of the task force as reviewing the apportionment of all state tax revenue. It establishes a process of the view. It requires the task force to consider each apportionment separately and to make a finding as to whether each apportionment will cease, continue or be modified. It states it is the intent of the Legislature that both chambers vote on legislation during the Second Session of the 56th Legislature (2018 session) implementing recommendation or findings of the task force at the earliest possible date. It requires the legislation be exempt from the regular legislative deadlines and be assigned directly to the calendar for action on the floor of the Senate and the House. The resolution requires the task force submit a report of its finding and recommendations by Nov. 30 to the Senate President Pro Tempore and the House Speaker.

-HB 2386, by Rep. Leslie Osborn and Sen. Kim David, expands the definition of "teacher" to include any person who is employed to serve as district superintendent, principal, supervisor, or school nurse.

• The House narrowly approved a measure Monday night that increases the gross production tax to 4 percent for certain horizontally-drilled wells. The current gross production tax on oil and gas is 2 percent for the first 36 months of production. That structure replaced a 1 percent for the first 48 months of production incentive that was sunset in 2015.

-HB 2429, by Rep. Leslie Osborn and Sen. Kim David, increases the gross production tax from 1 percent to 4 percent for horizontally-drilled wells that began production prior to July 1, 2015, and are subject to a 48-month incentive rate. The bill passed 54 to 44 and its emergency clause passed 68 to 30.


• The House passed several measures on Tuesday, including the following:

-CCR to HB 1338, by Rep. Greg Babinec and Sen. Tom Dugger, allows inmates 50 years of age or older, medically frail and serving time for a nonviolent offense to request a medical parole review. The conference committee report modified the eligible crimes to concealing stolen property, burglary, possession of a controlled and dangerous substance and forgery. The bill passed by a vote of 81-15.

-CCR to HB 1680, by Rep. Harold Wright and Sen. Anthony Sykes, requires the Department of Corrections to give notice of the date projected date of release of the inmate to the designated Oklahoma service provider of the Victim Information and Notification Everyday service within 60 days, but not less than seven prior to the release date. The bill requires opinions of the Oklahoma Court of the Criminal Appeals designated for publication to be published on the Oklahoma State Courts Network website. The bill passed 92 to 0.

-CCR to HB 1707, by Rep. Randy McDaniel and Sen. Gary Stanislawski, requires county sheriffs to cause the property sold at a public auction on the date and at the time designated in a notice of sale in relation to property subject to forced sale. It allows bids for such a sale to be submitted and accepted electronically using a designated auction telephone number, in person at an open public outcry auction, or by a combination of said methods. The bill passed 98 to 22.

-CCR to HB 1720, by Rep. Lewis Moore and Sen. John Sparks, requires insurance companies to provide a premium discount or insurance rate reduction in an amount and manner as established therein commencing on January 1, 2018. It allows insurance companies to offer additional adjustments in deductible, other credit rate differentials or a combination thereof. The bill requires said adjustments be available under terms specified therein to any owner who builds or locates a new insurable property in Oklahoma to resist loss due to tornado or other catastrophic windstorm events. It provides procedures by which to obtain said adjustments. It provides requirements for the owner of insurable property claiming such an adjustment. It provides for the submission of rates and rating plans by insurers. It defines terms used therein. It requires said provisions only apply to new insurance policies written, or existing policies renewed, on or after January 1, 2018. It requires the Insurance Commissioner to promulgate rules. The bill passed 92 to 0.

-CCR to 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. The bill passed 90 to 1.

-JCR to HB 1862, by Leslie Osborn and Sen. Jason Smalley, allows the Oklahoma Educational Television Authority to appoint the chief executive officer of their foundation to serve concurrently as the OETA Executive Director, in which case he or she is to be compensated solely by the foundation. The bill requires Senate confirmation for the appointed individual. The bill passed 58 to 38 and the emergency passed 68 to 23.

-CCR to HB 2234, by Rep. Glen Mulready and Sen. John Sparks, requires any controlling person of a domestic insurer seeking to divest its controlling interest in the domestic insurer to file with the Insurance Commissioner a confidential notice of his or her proposed divestiture at least 30 days prior to the cessation of control. The bill passed 86 to 1.

-CCR to 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. It requires the Commissioner to obtain verification in writing by the regulating authority of the domiciliary state, certifying the insurer has met the financial solvency requirements of the insurer's domiciliary state. It prohibits approval without such verification. It establishes processes for approval, disapproval and negotiation of compacts. It provides an application process. The bill requires insurers to adhere to all mandated health benefit requirements and polices in Oklahoma. It requires the Commissioner to promulgate necessary rules. The bill passed 88 to 1.

-JCR to SB 872, by Sen. Kim David and Rep. Leslie Osborn, 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. The bill and its emergency clause passed 80 to 15.


Wednesday, May 24, 2017

• The Senate passed several bills on Wednesday, including the following:

-HB 1110, 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. It requires it not be reduced to less than one percent. The bill and its emergency clause passed 39 to 4.

-HB 1283, by Rep. Kevin Wallace and Sen. Dan Newberry, allows a provisional license to be renewed if an applicant is otherwise compliant with the requirements of the Oklahoma Inspectors Act including meeting continuing education requirements if the licensed building and construction inspector is not employed at the time of renewal. It requires however said application reflects the change in employment along with a request to renew as inactive status. It allows an inactive license status to be change to active upon notification of employment to the Construction
Industries Board. The bill passed 29 to 15.

-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 43 to 0.

-HB 2276, by Rep. Terry O'Donnell and Sen. Greg Treat, exempts from the Oklahoma Consumer Protection Act the collection of gross receipts tax on mixed beverages, sales tax, or use tax, or asserted injuries or damages that are monies that have been collected as, or denominated as, gross receipts tax on mixed beverages, sales tax, or use tax, and which have been remitted to the Oklahoma Tax Commission or other governmental taxing authority. The bill passed 43 to 0.

-SB 845, by Sen. Kim David and Rep. Leslie Osborn, creates the Smoking Cessation Act of 2017. The bill requests that Indian tribes and nations who have entered into compacts relating to cigarettes and tobacco products to use any revenues derived from them for the purposes of preventing Oklahomans from smoking cigarettes and encouraging Oklahomans who already do so to cease cigarette smoking. It requires signs prohibit smoking be conspicuous and in prominent locations. The bill requires the State Department of Health and the Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust to work together to inform the public about the dangers of smoking in motor vehicles where children are present. The bill prohibits the use of any tobacco product on all state properties and in all state vehicles, whether owned, leased or contracted, except for Oklahoma Veterans Centers. It requires the Oklahoma State Department of Health and the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services to work together to develop new and innovative strategies to prevent tobacco use by minors. The bill establishes a $1.50 per pack of cigarettes smoking cessation fee to be paid by wholesalers to the Oklahoma Tax Commission. It allocates the first $1 million in revenue from the fee to the ABLE Commission Revolving Fund and subsequent revenue to the Health Care Enhancement Fund. It requires funds in the Health Care Enhancement Fund to be appropriated by the Legislature for the purpose of enhancing Oklahomans' health. It establishes requirements for wholesaler compliance. The bill passed on a vote of 28 to 18 and its emergency passed on a vote of 38 to 8.

• The House passed the following measures on Wednesday:

-JCR to HB 2433, by Rep. Leslie Osborn and Sen. Kim David, adds a 1.25 percent sales tax to the purchase of motor vehicles. The bill prohibits local jurisdictions from assessing a sales tax on motor vehicle purchases. The JCR was adopted 59 to 37. The bill passed 52 to 47. The emergency passed 68 to 31.

-JCR to SB 867, by Sen. Mike Schulz and Rep. Charles McCall, creates the Oklahoma Energy Jobs Act of 2017. It grants the Corporation Commission jurisdiction upon the filing of a proper application and to establish spacing rules for horizontally drilled oil or gas wells whereby horizontally drilled oil or gas wells may have well spacing units established of up to 1,280 acres plus tolerances and variances. It requires the Corporation Commission to promulgate rules. It provides specifics for the creation and continuation of any horizontal spacing unit that exceeds 640 acres plus tolerances and variances. It defines terms. The bill authorizes the Corporation Commission to allow multiunit horizontal wells in any targeted reservoir or in more than one targeted reservoir, or in a targeted reservoir and an adjacent common source of supply, upon an appropriate finding by the Commission of the necessity to comingle production from more than one targeted reservoir or an adjacent common source of supply in such multiunit horizontal well, in order to prevent waste and protect the correlative rights of the owners of oil and gas rights. The bill passed 51 to 46. The emergency passed 60 to 32.

-JCR to HB 2316, by Rep. Charles McCall and Sen. Mike Schulz, permits the governor to appoint or replace any officers appointed by the governor. It removes the requirement that the removal be for in incompetency, neglect of duty, or malfeasance in office and to then fill the same as provided in cases of vacancy. It also grants the House Speaker and the Senate President Pro Tempore the power to appoint, remove or replace any of their respective appointments on any agency, board or commission, in addition to any appointments created by expiring terms or vacancies provided by law. It exempts appointments to any agency, board or commission if the appointment authority is provided for in the Constitution. It provides that appointments to the following boards and commissions may be removed and replaced without cause by their appointment authority: Oklahoma Employment Security Commission; Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services; Long-Range Capital Planning Commission; Oklahoma Health Care Authority Board; and the State Board of Career Technology Education. The bill passed 67 to 26.

-JCR to HB 2386, by Rep. Leslie Osborn and Sen. Kim David, expands the definition of "teacher" to include any person who is employed to serve as district superintendent, principal, supervisor, or school nurse. The bill and its emergency clause passed 74 to 19.

-JCR to HB 2406, by Rep. Leslie Osborn and Sen. Kim David, creates the Oklahoma Individual Health Insurance Market Stabilization Act and defines related terms. The measure provides that any permanent Oklahoma resident who is qualified for and enrolled in health coverage through the market is eligible for coverage under the Oklahoma Individual Health Insurance Market Stabilization program, with certain exceptions. The bill creates the program and establishes a nine-member board of directors. It directs the board to adopt a plan of operation and submit its articles, bylaws and operating rules to the Insurance Commissioner for approval. The bill passed 88 to 6.

• Gov. Mary Fallin signed two bills Wednesday that will bring in nearly $30 million in new revenue for the upcoming fiscal year.

-HB 2367, by Rep. Leslie Osborn and Sen. Kim 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. It is expected to generate $14.1 million in new revenue to be appropriated for FY2018.

-HB 2380, also 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 has an estimated fiscal impact of $14.6 million in new revenue

-SB 842, by Sen. Kim David and Rep. Leslie Osborn, appropriates $60,185,000 from the Constitutional Reserve Fund to the State Board of Education for the purpose of reimbursing counties for school districts that claim a loss of revenue due to a tax exemption granted under provisions of the Oklahoma Constitution. The bill takes effect June 15.

-SB 841, by Sen. Kim David and Rep. Leslie Osborn, clarifies which monies are to be deposited in the 1921 Tulsa Race Riot Centennial Memorial Revolving Fund and the Urban Gardens Grant Revolving Fund. The bill takes effect July 1.


Thursday, May 25, 2017

• The Senate approved the following measures on Thursday:

-JCR for HB 2429, by Rep. Leslie Osborn and Sen. Kim David, increases the gross production tax from 1 percent to 4 percent for horizontally-drilled wells that began production prior to July 1, 2015, and are subject to a 48-month incentive rate. The bill and its emergency clause passed 37 to 7. It now goes to Gov. Mary Fallin for her consideration.

-CS for HB 2360, by Rep. Leslie Osborn and Sen. Kim David, appropriates an additional $18 million from the Constitutional Reserve Fund to the State Department of Education for the financial support of public schools. The bill and its emergency clause passed 38 to 6.

-SB 105, by Sen. Roger Thompson and Rep. Leslie Osborn, modifies the duties of the Chief Information Officer. It requires that any information technology product or service cost at least $25,000 before requiring approval of the Chief Information Officer if the product is listed on an information technology or telecommunications statewide contract, and the product is listed on either the Approved Hardware or Approved Software list located on the Office of Management and Enterprise Services. The bill and its emergency clause passed 42 to 0.

-SB 207, by Sen. Stephanie Bice and Rep. Leslie Osborn, establishes conditions that require copies of the full and complete report of the facts developed by the autopsy together with the findings of the person making the report be released by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner to the public in the most expedient manner available or as requested by the records requester. It requires the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner to produce a summary report of investigation by the medical examiner at the same time the full and complete report of the facts developed by the autopsy together with the findings of the person making the report is released be made available for public inspection and copying and any person can obtain a copy of the summary report of investigation in the most expedient manner available or as requested by the records requester. It establishes requirements for the summary report. It requires the full and complete report be made available as a public record at the end of the 10-day period except when a prosecutor or law enforcement agency declares that the full and complete report contains information that would materially compromise an ongoing criminal investigation. It establishes procedure for requesting an extension of time during which the full and complete autopsy report, not including information in the summary report, may be withheld.

-SB 214, by Sen. A J Griffin and Rep. John Pfeiffer, modifies definitions related to the Oklahoma Private Activity Bond Allocation Act. It requires 53 percent of the state ceiling be reserved and placed in a pool to be designated the Oklahoma Housing Finance Agency Pool. It modifies designations to the state ceiling pool designations application requirements. The bill passed 32 to 8.

-SB 292, by Sen. Roger Thompson and Rep. Earl Sears, authorizes the Oklahoma Tax commission, the Oklahoma Department of Human Services and the Oklahoma Employment Security to require agency employees in positions that have access to Federal Tax Information and data to supply all information and documentation required in order to be subjected to a criminal history search by the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, as well as be fingerprinted for submission of the fingerprints through the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for a national criminal history check. It requires the record check be supplied to the appropriate employer. It also requires the record check include a national criminal record with a fingerprint analysis. The bill passed 42 to 2.

-SB 297, 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 30 to 12.

-SB 353, by Sen. Kim David and Rep. Lewis Moore, exempts the National Guard Association of Oklahoma and the Marine Corp League from sales tax. The bill and its emergency clause passed 37 to 5.

-SB 646, by Sen. Stephanie Bice and Rep. Glen Mulready, permits beer distributors to hold an interim license. It establishes criteria. The measure also provides that any license issued by the ABLE Commission may be relied upon by other licensees as a valid license, and no other licensee has any obligation to independently determine the validity of such license or be held liable solely as a consequence of another licensee's failure to maintain a valid license. The bill modifies language related to marketing and branding of alcoholic beverages. It also repeals various sections of law relating to the sale, shipment, licensing and taxing of, and legal remedies associated with, low-point beer and alcoholic beverages. The bill passed 31 to 13.

-SB 661, by Sen. John Sparks and Rep Chris Kannady, increases the maximum amount of claims that may be pursued in small claims court from $7,500 to $10,000. It also permits the court, upon application supported by sufficient documentation, to award attorney fees not to exceed 25 percent of the judgment. It establishes separate procedures for the transfer of claims from small claims court to other courts for claims less than $7,500 and for claims more than $10,000. The bill permits a small claims action in which the claim is $7,500 or more and on motion of the defendant to be transferred from the small claims docket to another docket of the court provided, that the motion is filed and notice is given by the defendant to the opposing party or parties by mailing a copy of the motion at least 48 prior to the time fixed in the order for defendant to appear or answer and provided that the defendant deposit the sum of $50 as the court cost. The bill provides a reasonable attorney fee will be allowed to be taxed as costs in the case, in addition to any sanctions which the court may deem appropriate for matters in which the claim is $7,500 or more, if attorney fees are otherwise allowed by law.

-SB 774, by Sen. Kim David and Rep. Chad Caldwell, modifies the fee for an application for a license, or renewal thereof, to establish or operate a residential care home, changing it from $50 to an amount established by the State Board of Health by rule, provided such fee does not exceed $10 per bed or $500. It requires all residential care homes to have or employ a licensed administrator for the home, replacing the requirement for the homes to have or employ a certified administrator for the home. The bill also requires each home that proposes new construction or major alteration to submit construction plans to the Department for review prior to the start of construction. It permits the Department to assess a fee for the review in an amount not more than 0.15 percent of $25,000, whichever is less, per project of the total construction cost of the facility or modification. It requires the State Board of Health to promulgate rules for submission and resubmission of construction plans to ensure the timely review. It reduces the number of times residential care homes must be inspected from three times annually to one time annually. It
eliminates the requirement that the inspections be unannounced and permits the inspections to be unannounced. It also eliminates the requirement that one person be invited from a statewide organization of the elderly or disabled by the Department to act as a citizen observer in any inspection and changes it to permits one person be invited from a statewide organization of the elderly or disabled by the Department to act as a citizen observer in any inspection. The bill passed 42 to 2.

-SB 799, by Sen. Anthony Sykes and Rep. Chris Kannady, authorizes an agency, board, commission or other entity of state government to adopt policies permitting employees to use accrued leave for the purposes of physical fitness and wellness. The bill establishes eligibility criteria and limitations and directs the Director of the Office of Management and Enterprise Services to promulgate necessary rules. The bill passed 25 to 18.

-HB 1449, by Rep. Dustin Roberts and Sen. Stephanie Bice, levies a Motor Fuels Tax Fee of $100 for electric-drive motor vehicles and $30 for hybrid-drive motor vehicles to be paid to the Oklahoma Tax Commission. It requires eighty percent collected be deposited in the State Treasury to the credit of the State Highway Construction and Maintenance Fund and the remaining 20 percent be distributed to the various counties of the state into the County Bridge and Road Improvement Fund. It requires that the formula for said distribution be similar to that currently in use but to also take account of the terrain and traffic volume as related to county road improvement and maintenance costs. It defines terms used therein. It directs the money from apportionment off the top funding back into the General Revenue for appropriation. The bill passed 29 to 11.

-HB 1680, by Rep. Harold Wright and Sen. Anthony Sykes, requires the Department of Corrections to give notice of the date projected date of release of the inmate to the designated Oklahoma service provider of the Victim Information and Notification Everyday service within 60 days but not less than seven prior to the release date. The bill requires opinions of the Oklahoma Court of the Criminal Appeals designated for publication to be published on the Oklahoma State Courts Network website. The bill passed 43 to 0.

• The House passed several bills on Thursday, including the following:

-HB 1578, by Rep. Chad Caldwell and Sen. Gary Stanislawski, creates both a commission and a task force, only one of which is required to have bipartisan membership. The bill passed 63 to 32 and the emergency clause passed 68 to 25.

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

-CCR to HB 1826, by Rep. Chris Kannady and Sen. Greg Treat, requires certified copies of all the recorded covenants and restrictions of a real estate development be provided by the title company to the buyer of property in the real estate development as a part of the closing of the real estate sale. The bill passed 58 to 17.

-CCR to SB 692, by Sen. A J Griffin, R-Guthrie, and Rep. Scott Biggs, R-Chickasha, exempts offenders sentenced to five years or less in the custody of the Department of Corrections from having a district attorney prepare a written narrative. The bill passed 71 to 22.

-HB 2360 appropriates an additional $18 million from the Constitutional Reserve Fund for the financial support of public schools. The measure is a trailer bill to the general appropriations bill that would backfill dollars for common education in order to keep them at a flat appropriation. The bill passed 92 to 5. The emergency passed 92 to 5.

-CCR to HB 1335, by Rep. Chuck Hoskin and Sen. John Sparks, adds a definition for "court" or "sentencing court" as it relates to acts committed by person found not guilty by reason of mental illness or guilty with mental defect. The bill also provides videoconferencing of a hearing. The bill passed 88 to 0.

-CCR to HB 1465, by Rep. Jon Echols and Sen. Nathan Dahm, creates a biometric exemption to the Real ID Act. The CCR was adopted 62 to 26. The bill passed 67 to 29. The emergency passed 68 to 29.

-CCR to HB 1491, by Rep. Carl Newton and Sen. Bryce Marlatt, modifies provisions of the Oklahoma Child Care Facilities Licensing Act. It lowers the age of children at summer youth camp exempt from provisions of the Act from five to four and increases the number of hours for child care facilities exempt from 15 to 21. It requires the care and supervision be provided for school-aged children only in a center based program in cities with populations of less than 100,000 for 21 or fewer hours a week. The bill and the emergency passed 84 to 11.

-CCR to HB 1868, by Rep. Jason Dunnington and Sen. Roger Thompson, requires any state employee earning less than $30,000 annually to receive overtime pay, instead of compensatory time, for all hours worked over 40 hours a week beginning November 1, 2017. The bill passed 69 to 23.

-CCR to SB 46, by Sen. Nathan Dahm and Rep. John Jordan, extends the sunset date for the Public Employees Relations Board to July 1, 2018, from July 1, 2016. The bill and emergency clause passed by a vote of 91 to 0.

-CCR to SB 207, by Sen. Stephanie Bice and Rep. Leslie Osborn, establishes conditions that require copies of the full and complete report of the facts developed by the autopsy together with the findings of the person making the report be released by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner to the public in the most expedient manner available or as requested by the records requester. It requires the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner to produce a summary report of investigation by the medical examiner at the same time the full and complete report of the facts developed by the autopsy together with the findings of the person making the report is released be made available for public inspection and copying and any person can obtain a copy of the summary report of investigation in the most expedient manner available or as requested by the records requester. It establishes requirements for the summary report. It requires the full and complete report be made available as a public record at the end of the 10 day period except when a prosecutor or law enforcement agency declares that the full and complete report contains information that would materially compromise an ongoing criminal investigation. It establishes procedure for requesting an extension of time during which the full and complete autopsy report, not including information in the summary report, may be withheld. The bill passed 95 to 0.

-CCR to SB 292, by Sen. Roger Thompson and Rep. Earl Sears, authorizes the Oklahoma Tax commission, the Oklahoma Department of Human Services and the Oklahoma Employment Security to require agency employees in positions that have access to Federal Tax Information and data to supply all information and documentation required in order to be subjected to a criminal history search by the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, as well as be fingerprinted for submission of the fingerprints through the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for a national criminal history check. It requires the record check be supplied to the appropriate employer. It also requires the record check include a national criminal record with a fingerprint analysis. The bill passed 94 to 2.

-CCR to SB 297, by Sen. Stephanie Bice and Rep. Glen Mulready, removes the fine associated with the improper delivery of alcoholic beverages. It requires that packages containing wine shipped directly to a resident be conspicuously labeled with wording preapproved by the ABLE Commission. The bill also removes the prohibition on the shipment of wine already available in Oklahoma. It directs carriers to file a report with the ABLE Commission and specifies contents of
the report. The bill passed 80 to 12.

-CCR to SB 353, by Sen. Kim David and Rep. Lewis Moore, exempts the National Guard Association of Oklahoma and the Marine Corp League from sales tax. The bill passed 94 to 0.

-CCR to SB 643, by Sen. Kim David and Rep. Scott Biggs, creates the Impaired Driving Elimination Act 2 (IDEA2). It modifies requirements related the Department of Public Safety providing certain notices related to driving privileges. It requires a prosecutor to forward to the Department of Public Safety a notice of a deferred prosecution agreement whenever a person arrested for any offense for which the mandatory revocation of the driving privilege of such person by the Department of Public Safety and enters into a deferred prosecution agreement related to such offense. The bill modifies when driving privileges are required to be revoked to include when a person receives a deferred sentence, or a conviction, when such conviction has become final, or a deferred prosecution for certain offenses. It modifies license revocation processes and periods of time. It requires the Department of Public Safety to establish the Impaired Driver Accountability Program. It requires the Department to set eligibility requirements and consequences for violations. The bill passed 58 to 26.

-CCR to 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 63 to 20.

-CCR to SB 646, by Sen. Stephanie Bice and Rep. Glen Mulready, permits beer distributors to hold an interim license. It establishes criteria. The measure also provides that any license issued by the ABLE Commission may be relied upon by other licensees as a valid license, and no other licensee has any obligation to independently determine the validity of such license or be held liable solely as a consequence of another licensee's failure to maintain a valid license. The bill modifies language related to marketing and branding of alcoholic beverages. It also repeals various sections of law relating to the sale, shipment, licensing and taxing of, and legal remedies associated with, low-point beer and alcoholic beverages. The bill passed by a vote of 68 to 19.


• Gov. Mary Fallin signed the following bills on Thursday:

-HB 2377, by Rep. Leslie Osborn and Sen. Kim David, establishes a July 1, 2017, sunset date for the following gross production tax credit: secondary recovery projects; tertiary recovery projects; reestablished production; production enhancement projects; production of oil, gas or oil and gas from wells spudded or reentered between July 1, 1995, and July 1, 2015; and three-dimensional seismic shoots on or after July 1, 2000. The bill establishes a Sept. 30, 2017, deadline to submit claims for refunds. It provides that claims for refunds for production periods ending on or before December 31, 2016, shall be paid pursuant to the provisions of this subsection. It requires claims for refunds be paid in equal payments over 36 months and requires the first payment be made after July 1, 2018, but prior to August 1, 2018. The bill requires the Tax Commission to provide not later than June 30, 2018, a schedule of rebates to be paid out over the 36-month period to the operator or designated interest owner. HB2377 takes effect July 1. It is forecast to have a $46.3 million impact.

-HB 2356, by Rep. Kevin Wallace, Rep. Leslie Osborn, Sen. Eddie Fields, and Sen. Kim David, modifies the due and payable date for the franchise tax to May 1 for taxpayers that remitted the maximum amount of franchise tax for the preceding tax year. It provides if the payment is not paid on or before June 1 that penalties will be applied. HB2356 takes effect Nov. 1.

-HB 2351, by Rep. Leslie Osborn and Sen. Kim David, permits manufacturing facilities applying for the manufacturer's ad valorem tax exemption on or after Nov. 1, 2017, to be eligible to delay the five-year period of exemption from ad valorem taxes following the expiration or termination of the ad valorem exemption, abatement or other incentive provided through the tax incentive district established under the Local Development Act. It establishes qualification requirements. The bill exempts electric power generation facilities from the opportunity to delay the exemption.

-HB 2387, by Rep. Leslie Osborn and Sen. Kim David, directs the Office of Juvenile Affairs to plan and execute a construction strategy through a best-value analysis of two financing sources. It authorizes the Oklahoma Office of Management and Enterprise Services (OMES) and the Commissioners of the Land Office (CLO) to assist OJA in assessing the best option and proceeding with necessary steps. It also authorizes OJA to pursue one of these two options based upon the input from the OJA governing board, OMES and the CLO. The bill requires a memorandum reflecting the decision of the participating agencies to be transmitted to the Governor, the Speaker of the Oklahoma House of Representatives and the President Pro Tempore of the Oklahoma State Senate by March 31, 2018, or 180 days from such date if the provisions of this act become effective as law later than July 1, 2017. It establishes procedures for best-value options. It also authorizes the Oklahoma Capitol Improvement Authority to issue obligations to acquire real property, together with improvements located thereon, and personal property to construct improvements to real property and to provide funding for repairs, refurbishments and improvements to real and personal property of the Office of Juvenile Affairs sufficient to generate net proceeds in the amount of $45 million. It specifies additional authority of the Oklahoma Capitol Improvement Authority. The bill takes effect July 1.

-HB 2389, by Rep. Leslie Osborn and Sen. Kim David, authorizes the Oklahoma Capital Improvement Authority to issue $59.555 million in bonds to fund a State Department of Health laboratory. The bill takes effect July 1.

-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 takes effect Nov. 1.

-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. The bill takes effect July 1.

-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 takes effect Oct. 1, 2018.

-SB 342, 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 bill takes effect July 1.

-SB 727, by Sen. A J Griffin and Rep. Pat Ownbey, requires the Department of Human Services to engage in a collaborative decision-making process to address each child's needs related to safety and whether the child's condition warrants a safety intervention including but not limited to a change in placement, and those involved in the collaborative decision-making process shall include at a minimum appropriate Department staff, the parents of the child and, if the parent requests, an advocate or representative; to protect the safety of those involved and to promote efficiency, the Department may limit participants as determined to be in the best interests of the child; the Department shall make reasonable efforts to provide a trained facilitator to guide the decision-making process; and any determination that a collaborative decision-making process is not possible or is unnecessary shall require supervisor approval and documentation of the reasons supporting the determination. The bill takes effect Nov. 1.

-SB 840, by Sen. Kim David and Rep. Leslie Osborn, increases the fee amount to be paid to the court for traffic offenses from $9 to $10, which would go to the Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training (CLEET). It adds monies related to specimen storage and drug screen service fees to the Chief Medical Examiner Revolving Fund. The bill takes effect July 1.

-SB 870, by Rep. Leslie Osborn and Sen. Kim David, 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 takes effect July 1.

Friday, May 26, 2017

• The Senate met Friday morning, taking up bills before adjourning Sine Die at approximately 11:50 a.m.

-HB 2386 by Rep. Leslie Osborn and Sen. Kim David, clarifies the definition of “teacher” in order to stabilize funds for certain positions in the administration of the Oklahoma Teacher Retirement System, and to provide clarification in other education related areas. Measure passed 43-0.

-HB2406, by Rep. Leslie Osborn and Sen. Kim David, creates the Oklahoma Individual Health Insurance Market Stabilization Act. The measure provides that any permanent Oklahoma resident who is qualified for and enrolled in health coverage through the market is eligible for coverage under the Oklahoma Individual Health Insurance Market Stabilization program, with certain exceptions. The program is to be operated by a nonprofit legal entity, with administrative and operational support from the Insurance Department. The program is directed to implement the stabilization program, contingent upon approval for and receipt of federal funds, as well as to collect assessments due from insurers, make payments to provide for market stabilization activities, determine eligibility for coverage, determine amount of assessment and/or percentage of premiums paid to health insurance plans for coverage by eligible individuals, establish the reimbursement rate for health insurance plans, and to apply for and receive federal funding of the program through approval of a Section 1332 waiver under the Affordable Care Act and/or participation in federal grant programs. The measure passed 32-11.

-HB 2433, by Rep. Leslie Osborn and Sen. Kim David, modifies the sales tax exemption for motor vehicles. Currently, sales of motor vehicles or any optional equipment or accessories attached to a motor vehicle are exempt from state and local sales tax and subject to an in lieu motor vehicle excise tax. The measure keeps the sales tax exemption for motor vehicles, but reduces it from a full exemption to all but 1.25 percent of the gross receipts for such sales. As a result, motor vehicle sales will now be subject to both motor vehicle excise tax equal to 3.25 percent and state sales tax equal to 1.25 percent. Measure passed 25-18.

-HB 1465, by Rep. Jon Echols and Sen. Nathan Dahm, provides that a child passenger being transported by a driver of a vehicle who has been issued a detachable placard indicating physical disability or a physically disabled license plate and valid letter of forward-facing exemption issued from the Department of Public Safety is permitted to transport a child under four (4) years of age in a forward-facing child passenger restraint system. The placard and forward-facing exemption letter must be present in the vehicle to be in compliance. Vote was 31-11.

-HB 1491, by Rep. Carl Newton and Sen. Bryce Marlatt, modifies the Oklahoma Child Care Facilities Licensing Act. Passed 25-18.

-HB 1578, by Rep. Chad Caldwell and Sen. Gary Stanislawski, creates the School Finance Review Commission Act. Passed 41-3.

-HB 2186, by Rep. Katie Henke and Sen. David Holt, would allow motion picture theaters to be licensed to sell low-point beer. The measure requires that upon proof of legal age to consume alcohol, the patrons being served in a movie theater or other events are required to wear a wrist bracelet or hand stamp. Measure was approved by a vote of 26-17.


Other News

• A new partnership between the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority and the Department of Public Safety (DPS) was announced Thursday afternoon to fund the 2018 Oklahoma Highway Patrol Academy. The agreement, outlined by DPS Commissioner Mike Thompson, funds the 2018 Academy to the tune of $5 million from the Turnpike Authority. He said the goal was to put close to 30 troops through the upcoming academy. The offer covers patrol school, training, equipment and a year's worth of salary and benefits.

Colonel Ricky Adams, chief of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol (OHP), said the academy would go a long way in putting a stable level of state troopers is on the roadway in 2018. The agency currently accounts for 790 troopers across the state, with the Academy representing an opportunity bulk up those numbers.

• The State Regents for Higher Education and the Tribal Education Departments National Assembly (TEDNA) signed a memoriam of understanding Thursday that expands collaboration and support between the agencies. An independent national non-profit organization, TEDNA aims to bolster relationships with other governmental and educational agencies and organizations in addition to facilitating communication and cultivate consensus among its members and encouraging goals for students, families and communities.

The organization supports higher education programs providing opportunities for tribal nation populations, and the partnership agreement provides the framework for a concerted effort to promote college degree completion. The State Regents is the coordinating body of Oklahoma's higher education system, comprised of 25 colleges and universities. Its responsibilities include prescribing academic standards, managing scholarships and special programs, approving allocations and granting degrees.


• Governor Mary Fallin announced Thursday the appointment of Paul Hesse as Canadian County district judge, effective immediately. He is replacing Gary E. Miller, who retired. Hesse, of Mustang, is first assistant district attorney in the Canadian County district attorney's office, where he supervises five attorneys and is responsible for the prosecution of all serious felony offenses and representing Canadian County in civil matters and advising county officials. Prior to that, he worked as a law clerk for the Oklahoma Tax Commission.

Hesse earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Central Oklahoma and a law degree from the University of Oklahoma College of Law. He is a Citizens’ Advisory Board member for the C.A.R.T House., a children's advocacy center in El Reno and is a board member of the Intervention & Crisis Advocacy Network.