• The Senate met briefly Monday to formally begin the Second Session of the 56th Legislature before adjourning to a joint session with the House of Representatives. The Senate recognized the seating of Sen. Allison Ikley-Freeman, D-Tulsa, who was formally sworn-in on Thursday, February 1. She replaces former Sen. Dan Newberry, R-Tulsa. After concluding its business, the Senate moved to the House chamber to attend Gov. Mary Fallin's final State of the State address.
• Governor Mary Fallin delivered the annual State of the State Address in front of a joint session of the Oklahoma Legislature. In her speech, she focused on the urgent need to improve the state’s budgeting process, saying the Step Up Oklahoma plan proposed by a group of community and business leaders is the best option for lawmakers to sufficiently fund education, public safety, health, and the state’s infrastructure needs.
• The full Senate convened briefly Tuesday afternoon but took up no legislation.
• Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee considered the first bills of the session Tuesday and approved the following:
-SB 1066, by Sen. A.J. Griffin, relates to deferral of delinquency proceedings and authorizes extension under certain circumstances. The measure proposes that the court may order a one hundred eighty-day extension of the deferral period if the court determines that the child has made satisfactory progress and that such extension is necessary to accomplish treatment goals and objectives.
-SB 1116, by Sen. Ervin Yen, modifies the definition of the Governmental Tort Claims Act.
-SB 1135, by Sen. Kay Floyd, requires a background check shall be required for a prospective guardian and all other household members eighteen (18) years of age and older, consisting of a review of a national fingerprint-based criminal background check, a search of the Department of Corrections' files maintained pursuant to the Sex Offenders Registration Act, and a search of the child abuse and neglect information system maintained for review by authorized entities by the Department of Human Services.
-SB 1447, by Sen. Anthony Sykes, provides a health care provider acting in good faith shall not be held liable, criminally or civilly, for making health care decisions that are consistent with best practices of his or her profession and the laws and regulations governing his or her practice.
-SB 1502, by Sykes, stipulates notwithstanding any other provision of law, a child support obligee has the right to use proceedings in the district court to enforce child support obligations. Any order issued by the district court in such proceedings shall supersede any order entered pursuant to a Department of Human Services administrative hearing.
Wednesday, February 7, 2018
• Wednesday was the annual Rose Day at the Capitol, with hundreds of Oklahomans as well as state lawmakers participating in the pro-life rally in the House chambers. Alveda King, pro-life activist, was the keynote speaker at the rally, with Gov. Mary Fallin speaking briefly about her own experience as a young mother first running for elected office 27 years ago.
• The House's new judiciary committee held its first meeting Wednesday, giving recommendations to seven bills, including the following:
-HB 3073 modifies the time in which any person released on parole reports to the Department of Corrections from a time not less than 180 days to within 30 days. It prohibits the Department from collecting fines, fees and costs for at least 90 days after the initial reporting date to the court.
-HB 3071 identifies larceny of firearms as grand larceny. Grand larceny was one of the crimes lowered from a felony to a misdemeanor as a result of the criminal justice reform state question approved by voters in 2016.
-HB 3072 allows transfer of information of the contents of a wire to be disclosed to a municipal, county or state law enforcement officer of another state pursuant to the Security of Communications Act. It allows recordings, applications, orders and pleadings granted or reviewed by a judge in conformance with this act shall be filed with the Clerk of the Appellate Courts.
• The House Health Services and Long-Term Care Committee approved several bills on Wednesday, including the following:
-HB 2749, by Rep. Elise Hall, requires the State Department of Health to contract with a nonprofit organization to perform informal dispute resolution (IDR) reviews requested from nursing homes, assisted living facilities and Intermediate Care Facilities for Individuals with an Intellectual Disability (ICF/IID). It requires the IDR review to include at least one panel member with clinical experience.
-HB 2537, by Rep. Tammy West, requires an assisted living center to have at least 96 hours of alternative sources of energy sufficient to maintain facility temperatures through the operation of existing heat and air conditioning systems for resident health protection beginning July 1, 2021. It requires newly licensed assisted living center, beginning Nov. 1, 2018, to meet the requirement upon licensure.
-HB 2987, by Rep. Marcus McEntire, expands eligibility for the Oklahoma Medical Loan Repayment Program to physician assistants. It removes a condition for funding for new or expanded primary care residency programs. It allows the Physician Manpower Training Commission to waive the maximum rural population criteria specified. It authorizes the Commission to establish and administer cost-sharing programs for internship and residency physician training.
Thursday, February 8, 2018
• The full Senate convened briefly Thursday morning but no legislation was heard.
• The House of gaveled in and out of special session Thursday morning after convening briefly in regular session.
• The Senate Public Safety Committee met Thursday and approved the following bills:
-SB 1109, by Sen. Jack Fry, originally permitted the Department of Corrections to keep inmate records confidential where disclosure would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy. The amendment lists the specific information that may be kept confidential.
-SB 905, by Sen. Wayne Shaw and Rep. Bobby Cleveland, repeals language that requires the Department of Corrections to make patrols through the town of Taft and the statement of legislative intent that the Department of Public Safety establish a permanent trooper position to be based and stationed in the town of Taft.
-SB 911, by Sen. Wayne Shaw, creates until Dec. 31, 2019, a 12-member task force to oversee an assessment and analysis of existing laws, policies and practices relating to sentencing throughout the criminal justice process. It requires the task force to submit a report of its finding and recommendations by Nov. 30, 2019, to the Governor, Senate President Pro Tempore and House Speaker. It establishes membership requirements. The bill sets meeting requirements.
-SB 937, by Sen. Robert Standridge, adds tribal law enforcement entities to the list of entities authorized at the discretion of the director of the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs to access information the central prescription drug repository.
-SB 1008, by Sen. Kim David, adds soliciting, inducing or enticing another to commit an act of prostitution and human trafficking to the list of activities that define a criminal street gang.
-SB 1023, by Sen. Greg McCortney and Rep. Todd Thomsen, authorizes the Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training (CLEET) to conduct full-time Basic Peace Officer Certification Academies and other law enforcement related training for individuals not commissioned or appointed by a law enforcement agency under rules established by the Council. It provides the tuition and/or fees for attending the Basic Peace Officer Certification Academies and/or other law enforcement related training will be at a rate established by CLEET and approved by the Council and that revenue from tuition and/or fees will be deposited in the Peace Officer Revolving Fund.
-SB 1026, with title stricken, by Sen. Lonnie Paxton, adds entering into cross deputization agreements with any federally recognized Indian Tribe or branch of the federal government to the powers, duties and responsibilities of the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation's director.
-SB 1100, by Sen. Frank Simpson, permits law enforcement to use unmanned aircraft systems, (UAS) in the performance of its mission. It permits law enforcement to identify situations and circumstances in which the use of unmanned aircraft systems may increase situational awareness, enhance personnel safety and improve operational efficiency.
• The Senate Joint Committee on Appropriations and Budget met under the auspices of the second special session Thursday to approve a series of revenue measures and a teacher pay raise.
-CS for HB1033XX, by Rep. Dennis Ray Casey, Rep. Kevin Wallace,
Sen. Eddie Fields,
-CS for HB1037XX, restores the Earned Income Tax Credit and makes it refundable. The bill modifies the standard deduction. It sets a standard deduction of $6,350 for single or married filing separately if the federal adjusted gross income does not exceed $25,000. It sets a standard deduction of $12,700 for married filing jointly or qualifying widower with dependent child if the federal adjusted gross income does not exceed $50,000. It sets a standard deduction of $9,350 for head of household if the federal adjusted gross income does not exceed $37,500. It sets a standard deduction of $5,250 for single or married filing separately if the federal adjusted gross income is greater than $25,000. It sets a standard deduction of $10,500 for married filing jointly or qualifying widower with dependent child if the federal adjusted gross income is greater than $50,000. It sets a standard deduction of $7,700 for head of household if the federal adjusted gross income is greater than 37,500. It makes the bill contingent on the passage of HB2403.
-HB1035XX imposes an $18 million annual cap on the income
tax credits for electric power generation by zero-emission facilities
for tax years beginning on or after Jan. 1, 2018. It requires the Tax
Commission to calculate and publish annually a percentage by which the
credits will be reduced so the total amount of credits used to offset
tax or paid as a refund does not exceed $5 million. It establishes the
formulas for the calculation. It permits the credits to be carried over
-CS for HB1030XX, by Casey, Wallace, Fields and David, provides a $5,000 teacher pay raise. The bill establishes eligibility requirements. It repeals existing minimum teacher pay schedules. The committee substitute adds language that establishes eligibility requirements. It requires a school district to provide written notification to a teacher prior to his or her employment, or if already employed by the district, no later than 30 days prior to the date the district elects to provide retirement benefits such that the teacher's salary would be less than the minimum salary schedule. It also makes implementation contingent on the passage of HB1033XX.
-HB1031XX, by Casey, Wallace, Fields and David, clarifies language related to the prohibition of house-banked table games involving dice and roulette at state licensed gaming facilities. The bill permits certain non-house banked table games under a supplement to the model tribal gaming compact. The bill establishes the form of the supplement. It provides for the allocation of revenue.
-CS for HB1032XX, by Casey, Wallace, Fields and David, modifies the apportionment of revenues to the Rebuilding Oklahoma Access and Driver Safety (ROADS) Fund, the County Improvements for Roads and Bridges (CIRB) Fund and the State Highway Construction and Maintenance Fund.
-HB1034XX, by Casey, Wallace, Fields and David, imposes a $5 million annual cap on the income tax credits for coal production for tax years beginning on or after Jan. 1, 2018. It requires the Tax Commission to calculate and publish annually a percentage by which the credits will be reduced so the total amount of credits used to offset tax or paid as a refund does not exceed $5 million. It establishes the formulas for the calculation. It permits the credits to be carried over until fully used.
-HB1036XX, by Casey, Wallace, Fields and David, imposes $2 million annual cap on income tax credits for railroad reconstruction expenditures for tax years beginning on or after Jan. 1, 2018. It requires the Tax Commission to calculate and publish annually a percentage by which the credits will be reduced so the total amount of credits used to offset tax or paid as a refund does not exceed $5 million. It establishes the formulas for the calculation.
• Governor Mary Fallin announced on Wednesday she has directed the Oklahoma Department of Labor to become the central coordinating entity for the reporting of occupational licensing information from state agencies, boards and commissions. Fallin says this step will make occupational licensing more efficient and consumer friendly for Oklahomans.
The governor took the action after the Occupational Licensing Task Force, which she formed in December 2016, found Oklahoma lacks unified data available to policy makers and the public regarding occupational licensing.
Fallin directed all state agencies, boards and commissions to identify all occupational licenses they issue and the requirements to obtain licenses. Agencies, boards and commissions are to report that and other information to the Labor Department by March 31.
• State Treasurer Ken Miller reported Thursday monthly
gross state collections entered a second year of growth in January, topping
the same month of the prior year by more than 15 percent. January gross
receipts of $1.1 billion show an increase in the monthly reports for the
12th time in 13 months. Prior to January, 2017, monthly receipts had shown
contraction for 20 consecutive months. Miller said combined gross receipts
for the past 12 months have grown by 7.5 percent,