Vetoed Bills

 

SB 319 (Easley/Beutler): Allows the Corporation Commission to investigate and remedy complaints about gathering rates, contract terms and conditions. Its purpose is to prevent natural gas gatherers from charging any fee or requiring any terms and conditions of service which are unfair, unjust, unreasonable and unduly discriminatory.

Vetoed 6-12-98. Veto message states the bill is vague, extends regulation of gas gathering facilities, and lacks adequate public debate and input. The message further states that a problem does exist and as a result an Executive Order was issued directing the Commission to begin investigations and develop rules to regulate gathering activities. Also, in his message, the Governor said he was convinced there are some problems caused by pipeline companies in this area, and he issued an Executive Order directing the Corporation Commission to begin a Notice of Inquiry to investigate complaints of discrimination and anti-competitive activities by gathering systems and to promulgate rules, including a code of conduct, to regulate gathering activities by January 1, 1999.

 

SB 565 (Easley/Rice): Creates the Natural Gas Restructuring Act of 1998. This measure dealt with two distinctive areas of the natural gas industry: downstream restructuring, meaning the process whereby competition is opened for natural gas service downstream of a citygate where only a public utility company formerly had a monopolistic service; and restructuring upstream of a citygate.

Vetoed 6-11-98. The Governor's veto message said SB 565 would be a step backward for deregulation of the natural gas industry, and the bill would nullify Corporation Commission rules recently promulgated which were designed to transition the industry toward competitive markets.

 

SB 769 (Roberts/Begley): Under SB 769, an administrator is considered as employed on a continuing basis if he or she has not submitted notification of resignation by April 25 or if the board of education has not by April 10 entered into a written contract or has not notified the administrator of nonreemployment; and restructuring upstream of a citygate.

Vetoed 6-5-98. Veto message states the provisions of this act places an unnecessary limitation on the procedure of a local board of education by mandating an automatic approval of a contract between a local school board and an administrator.

 

SB 838 (Hendrick/Toure): Increases the number of district judges in District Court Judicial District No. 7 from fourteen (14) to fifteen (15).

Vetoed 6-10-98. Veto message states that the bill duplicates legislation already passed and signed into law

 

SB 848 (Herbert/Tyler): Deletes language which currently requires $850,000 of the Oklahoma gas tax to be deposited into the Railroad Maintenance Revolving Fund. It also requires approximately $1.2 million motor fuel tax revenues to be deposited into the Passenger Rail Fund.

Vetoed 6-10-98. Veto message states the diversion of funds from the Department of Transportation would be detrimental to the highway system.

 

SB 937 (Haney/Hamilton): Reduces the allocation to the Department of Labor from five percent (5%) to two and one-half percent (2.5%). Creates the Department of Labor Safety Consultation and Regulation Revolving Fund and reallocates the reduced percentage to the Department of Labor to this newly created revolving fund. Specifies use of the monies deposited to this fund.

Vetoed 6-5-98. Veto message states the provisions of this legislation would impose an undue burden on the Department of Labor.

 

SB 973 (Haney /Hamilton): Transfers all monies in excess of the adequate plan reserve amounts for the self-insured health and dental plans, the life insurance plan, and the disability insurance plan, all administered by the State and Education Employees Group Insurance Board, to the Rate Adjustment Pool Fund to be created in section 15 of this act. The money in this fund would be used to subsidize premium rates for health plan coverage.

Vetoed 4-29-98. Senate override successful; House override failed. Veto message states that there is other pending legislation that would better serve the needs of public employees and be a more permanent solution.

 

SB 1018 (Monson/Askins): Expands "child care facility" to include residential family homes which provide care and supervision for eight to twelve children for part of the twenty-four-hour day.

Vetoed 6-11-98. Veto message states this definition could be construed to impose child care licensing requirements on families who provide for the education of their children at home.

 

SB 1059 (Monson/Seikel): Requires health insurance companies to provide benefits to groups with more than fifty (50) employees for the treatment of severe mental illness. Companies that must increase premiums in excess of three (3%) in order to cover these benefits would be excluded from this requirement.

Vetoed 4-22-98. Senate override successful; House override failed. Veto message states that this act will increase health insurance costs thus further prohibiting Oklahomans presently without health care insurance from obtaining coverage.

 

SB 1088 (Monson/Tyler): Deletes certain powers of the Health Care Authority; further defines the responsibilities and duties of the Employees Benefit Council and mandates the creation of a preferred provider organization (PPO).

Vetoed 6-11-98. Veto message states this act excludes participation of the executive department in the development of a PPO. The PPO provisions included in the act fail to address the need for a public-private partnership in state health care delivery.

 

SB 1089 (Monson/Askins): Removes the enrollment freeze for state health insurance plans. Authorizes the appropriation of thirty-five million seven hundred thousand dollars ($35,700.00) from the rainy day fund to subsidize state health insurance plan premiums.

Vetoed 2-25-98. Senate override failed. Veto message states that subsidizing the Group Insurance Board would perpetuate a problem that would be better served by fundamental reform or privatization.

 

SB 1190 (Haney/Adair): Authorizes Native American Cultural and Educational Authority to enter into contract or agreement necessary for the promotion of Native American educational programs and cultural projects. This act also provides for the appointment to this Authority of four at-large members, two of which are appointed by the governor, one appointed by the Senate Pro Tempore, and one by the Speaker of the House.

Vetoed 6-10-98. Veto message states that the addition to an agency of four members, two of which are Legislatively appointed, does not remedy the Constitutional infirmity created by current law which provides for a majority of legislative appointments to an executive board which performs administrative duties.

 

SB 1321 (Monson/Braddock): Mandates the Health Care Authority (HCA) to provide Medicaid coverage for medically directed or supervised treatment for smoking cessation. Coverage includes one ten-week regimen in a twelve-month period but does not include the use of nicotine gum.

Vetoed 6-11-98. Veto message states that the HCA should be encouraged to offer smoking cessation but the Legislature should not impose the type of treatment to be used.

 

SB 1332 (Stipe/Hilliard): Relates to private prisons. Requires certain documentation of private prison contractors to renew a terminated contract. Provides for the procedure for, response to and payment of escapes, riots or other serious disturbances.

Vetoed 6-10-98. Veto message states many of the provisions in this act would severely restrict the ability of the state to enter into agreements for private prison facilities.

 

SB 1353 (Stipe/Tyler): Allows Department of Transportation (ODOT), Oklahoma Turnpike Authority (OTA), and Oklahoma Water Resources Board to enter into contracts with a qualified retired state employer. Also restricts ODOT and OTA from entering into contracts that utilized any method of design/build as defined by the American Consulting Engineers Council.

Vetoed 6-11-98. Veto message states that the design/construct concept could potentially save the state money or provide the state more value for taxpayer's dollars.

 

HB 1198 (Monson/Askins): Clarifies the duties and powers of both the Oklahoma State and Educational Employees Group Insurance Board (OSEEGIB) and the Employees Benefit Council . Mandates the design of a preferred provider organization health benefits plan.

Vetoed 6-11-98. Veto message states that this act restricts OSEEGIB from contracting with out-of-state hospitals for specialized health care which may provide a successful outcome at a lower cost. This act also failed to address the administrative inadequacies of OSEEGIB.

 

HB 1720 (Paulk/Leftwich): New law to be cited as the "Oklahoma Privatization of State Functions Act." Describes process by which an agency may privatize certain functions. Prohibits for two (2) years state employees who authorize a privatization contract from becoming employed by a party of that contract. Disqualifies persons convicted of certain criminal offenses from entering into a privatization contract.

Vetoed 6-10-98. Veto message states this act imposes cumbersome and unnecessary requirements on the process of privatizing functions of state government.

 

HB 2314 (Eddins/Snyder): Prevents small employer carriers from issuing stop-loss or excess-risk insurance policies where the specific individual stop-loss amount is less than Fifteen Thousand Dollars ($15,000.00) or the aggregate stop loss amount or aggregate attachment point is not less than one hundred twenty percent (120%). Policies issued prior to the enactment of the act will not be affected.

Vetoed 5-27-98. Veto message states that this bill would limit health-care insurance options of companies with 50 to 100 employees and would raise health insurance costs for employee.

 

HB 2401 (Erwin/Rabon): New law creates the Oklahoma Emu Promotion Advisory Council, stating the purpose of the council. It designates three (3) appointments, one each by the Governor, Senate Pro Tempore, and the Speaker of the House. Charges the Council to conduct a program of research, education, and advertising of the Emu industry.

Vetoed 6-8-98. Veto message states this act violates the separation of powers in government. The Governor does encourage the State Board of Agriculture to include Emus in their promotional activities.

 

HB 2496 (Cox/Monson): Provides for the placement of unclassified employees of the Health Care Authority into classified service.

Vetoed 6-5-98. Veto message states the mission of the Health Care Authority would be seriously curtailed because placing employees in classified service would reduce flexibility in the types of jobs required to be performed.

 

HB 2566 (Boyd, Laura/Monson): Provides an employee donating annual or sick leave may donate any amount of unused sick leave which the employee has retained at the time the employee leaves state service.

Vetoed 6-5-98. Veto message states the state currently provides a generous sick leave policy to employees and the provisions of this act are so broad that the cost of government would be unnecessarily increased.

 

HB 2647 (Begley/Wilkerson): Includes companies owning certain pipeline property within the definition of "public service corporation" for purposes of ad valorem taxes.

Vetoed 6-10-98. Veto message states this act would result in the unequal taxation of substantially similar taxpayers and place an oppressive administrative burden on the taxpayer and the Oklahoma Tax Commission.

 

HB 2701 (Ross/Monson): Provides for the expansion of Medicaid coverage to a larger segment of the population by: targeting children up to 18 years of age within a specified range of the federal poverty level, contracting for a statewide preferred provider network for children and contracting with essential community and special need providers.

Vetoed 6-10-98. Veto message states that the expansion of Medicaid coverage last year has not been fully implemented and its impact is undetermined; therefore, resources would be best spent implementing the prior expansion.

 

HB 2841 (Stipe/Frame): States that failure of an insurer to provide a claimant with notification of the cause for a delay in payment of a claim where the claim is not paid within 30 days will constitute prima facie evidence that the claim is valid and will be paid in accordance with the terms of the policy. Provides for the payment of interest if the claim is not paid within 6 months after receipt of proof of loss.

Vetoed 6-10-98. Veto message states the imposition of new reporting requirements on selected insurers and the failure to justify the need for this information invades corporate privacy and hinders economic development.

 

HB 2965 (Erwin/Weedn): Requires an affirmative vote of the people of the municipality or county prior to the licensing of an ambulatory surgical center in counties with a population of less than 65,000 people in which a municipal or county hospital having bonded indebtedness is located. Existing ambulatory surgical centers are exempted from the election requirement.

Vetoed 5-27-98. Veto message states that by requiring a vote of the people, the act limits access to health care and discourages competition.

 

HB 3002 (Hamilton/Haney): Provides that the first Nine Hundred Nine Thousand Nine Hundred Twenty-seven Dollars ($909,927.00) collected during the fiscal year will be deposited in the newly created Oklahoma Corporation Commission Fuel Division Revolving Fund. Any unencumbered moneys in this fund at the close of the year will be transferred to the Petroleum Storage Tank Release Environmental Cleanup Indemnity Fund.

Vetoed 5-27-98. Veto message states that this act would result in the misuse of fund because it would alter the original legislation written to protect the Petroleum Storage Tank Release Environmental Cleanup Indemnity Fund, established for the remediation of leaking underground storage tanks.

 

HB 3038 (Hamilton/Haney): Creates three (3) funds for the Office of Juvenile Affairs: the "200 Revolving Fund" funded by nonfederal funds, the "400 Revolving Fund" funded by federal Title IV and Title XIX funds, and the "410 Revolving Fund" funded by federal program grants, all of which may be expended for the general operations of the Office of Juvenile Affairs.

Vetoed 6-5-98. Veto message states this act is not necessary for the establishment of these special funds because an agency can currently establish special funds upon the request and approval of the Director of the Office of Financial Affairs.

 

HB 3070 (Hamilton/Dickerson): Places limitations on those persons who can be involved in the state bidding process. This includes those persons that prepare the invitations to bid (ITB's) or requests for proposals (RFP's), state employees who give or receive advance information and third-parties who evaluate responses to ITB's and RFP's. It also provides for punishment as a Schedule G felony for certain violations.

Vetoed 6-10-98. Veto message states the requirements of this act serve only to impair the ability of state agencies to maintain a constrictive, consultative relationship with vendors to obtain appropriate products and services.

 

HB 3083 (Fields/Dickerson): Modifies the time period and completion date for training peace officers and requires submission of a purchase agreement of a correctional facility financed in whole or part by any governmental entity to the Oklahoma Bond Oversight Committee

Vetoed 6-5-98. Veto message states this act clouds the mechanism for the state to avail itself of the private prison option and it implies the state might reverse its prison privatization process.

 

HB 3113 (Askins/Brown): Creates the Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust Fund to be funded by any settlement with or judgment against any tobacco company or companies and is to be managed by a five-member Board of Trustees. This fund would be used to fund the Teacher Retirement System and for maternal and child health services as well as substance abuse prevention.

Vetoed 6-11-98. Veto message states this act creates a redundant process and would only serve to increase administrative costs.

 

HB 3120 (Begley/Roberts): Creates the "Commission on School Technology" and provides for its membership. The purpose of the Commission is to assess current technology, identify instructional goals and examine available technologies for classroom and develop a basic level of technology for all schools. This act requires school districts to develop technology programs that reflect the plan established by the Commission.

Vetoed 6-11-98. Veto message states the State Board of Education, the State Board of Vocational and Technical Schools and the State Regents for Higher Education can currently work together to establish plans for technology in the classroom and if a commission is required, it should consist of individuals from both the public and private sectors with experience with the purchase and employment of technology.

 

HB 3184 (McCarter/Roberts): Establishes criteria for the dismissal or non-remployment of a full-time certified education administrator. Also establishes procedure for the non re-employment of a full-time certified education administrator.

Vetoed 4-22-98. Veto message states that procedures addressed by this legislation can be implemented now by local Boards of Education; therefore it is unnecessary for the State to impose these directives.

 

HB 3273 (Satterfield/Stipe): Delegates to the Legislature the authority to approve railroad rights-of-way acquisition agreements. In the event the legislature is not in session, the Contingency Review Board would have that authority.

Vetoed 5-20-98. Veto message states that the authority delegated to the Legislature and the Contingency Review Board is outside the constitutional scope of the Legislature.

 

HB 3292 (Mitchell/Monson): Requires the Health Care Authority to expand Medicaid coverage to include children eighteen (18) years of age or younger and to submit an amendment to the Oklahoma State Child Health Plan in order access federal Title XXI funds for those children who meet the eligibility requirements

Vetoed 6-11-98. Veto message states that while coverage of 16 and 17 year olds is encouraged, the expansion of Medicaid coverage last year has not been fully implemented and the act is unacceptable until that implementation is complete. 
 

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