Business & Labor


SB 667 (Fisher/Sadler): Creates the Oklahoma Master Business License System Act to provide a one-stop system for business licensing. The bill establishes a Business License Information Office within the Department of Commerce. The Office will be a clearinghouse for state business license information. The Office will develop an automated master application system which businesses will be able to use to apply for all licenses and permits necessary for doing business in this state. The system will not include individual occupational licensing information or application materials. The Office will also make recommendations to state agencies and the Legislature for eliminating, consolidating, simplifying, and expediting licenses and improving licensing procedures.

SB 1143 (Long/Sadler): Adds definition of "electrical construction work" to the Electrical License Act. The definition includes installation, fabrication, or assembly of equipment or systems included in premises wiring per the National Electrical Code, and includes installation of raceway systems used for electrical purposes. It also includes installation of field-assembled systems such as ice and snow melting, pipe tracing, and manufactured wiring systems. It does not include, however, in-plant work performed by employees of the company owning the plant, work performed by telecommunications employees for telecommunications companies, or installation of factory-assembled appliances or machinery.

SB 1309 (Shurden/Beutler): Establishes requirements for response by suppliers to warranty claims of equipment dealers. Suppliers must pay accepted claims within 30 days or provide the reason or reasons for rejecting claims, and they must not exceed certain limits on charges and other expenses. The bill also clarifies that suppliers are barred from compelling equipment dealers to enter into warranty agreements.

SB 1336 (Shurden/Leist): Removes an exemption whereby employees of armored car companies regulated by the Corporation Commission have not been subject to the Security Guard and Private Investigator Act. Effective November 1, 1998, they will be.

SJR 19 (Henry/Weaver): Requires the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission and the Oklahoma Tax Commission to make recommendations for consolidating payroll and other reporting requirements imposed upon employers by federal and state agencies.

HB 2792 (Fields/Long): Relates to the state's unemployment compensation program. Basically, the bill cuts employer contribution rates and increases benefits for the unemployed. Cuts initiated last year for a period ending December 31, 1999, will basically be twice as deep starting July 1, 1998, entirely suspending contributions for about 2/3rds of the state's employers. Effective January 1, 2000, the definition of "taxable wages" will also be changed in a way that reduces costs for those employers still making contributions. For unemployed persons, payments will go up about $15 per week starting July 1, 1998, and the maximum unemployment benefit will go up from $4,560 per year to $5,700 per year. The bill has a number of other features, including one that denies unemployment benefit claims to workers discharged for misconduct, and one that provides "spousal benefits" -- coverage for employees who lose work because they move with a spouse who has been transferred by his or her employer. The bill has some corrective features that would trip in if a severe economic downturn should drive the trust fund that supports the unemployment compensation program down to a dangerously low level.

HB 2978 (Kinnamon/Henry): So-called "flower shop bill" -- makes business site misrepresentation a deceptive trade practice, referring specifically to intentionally vague or misleading indications of the geographic location of a business in local phone directory advertising or in a directory assistance database. Authorizes the Attorney General or a district attorney to seek injunctions, damages, and recovery of reasonable expenses on behalf of an injured party. This bill also makes publishers of local telephone directories who accept a fictitious listing immune from liability.


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