April 10th, 2009

Weekly Legislative Wrap Up - week ten of 2009 session

The tenth week of session marked the final week for Senate bills to be heard in House committees. Although a handful of good Democratic-driven bills were heard and passed in committee, yet again too many were denied a hearing and potential passage into law. Case and point: the Appropriations and Budget committee, chaired by Rep. Ken Miller, R-Edmond, granted 110 bills a hearing in the two committee meetings held, of which only 3 of these 110 bills were authored by Democrats. Regardless of Senate bipartisan support and approval of legislation, Democratic bills were victim to the discretionary power of a single Republican House legislator. Bills that did make it out of committee now have until April 23rd to be heard by the full body of the Oklahoma House of Representatives. 

A few Democratic bills have been approved by the Governor to date;  

SB 712 by Senator Gumm and Representative RoanThis bill requires flags to be flown at half-staff on days when a memorial service is held for Oklahoma service persons that have been killed in combat.

SB 903 by Senator Bass and Representative Roan – This bill establishes that a licensed wrecker operator is not liable for damage to a vehicle, vessel, or cargo that obstructs the normal movement of traffic or creates a hazard to traffic and is removed in compliance with the request of a law enforcement officer, unless there is failure to exercise reasonable care in the performance of the act or for conduct that is willful or malicious.

SB 428 by Senator Ellis and Representative Bailey – This bill bans glass containers on scenic rivers or on the Lower Mountain Fork River, south of the Broken Bow Lake Reregulation Dam to US Highway 70.

A number of bills have passed both the House and Senate and await approval by the Governor, of which include 

HB1008 by Representative Carey and Senator Gumm – This bill places a 7-year statute of limitations for prosecuting all degrees of the crime of arson. The current statute of limitations is three years. 

HB1049 by Representative Carey and Senator Paddack - This bill requires law enforcement agencies to make available for public inspection a chronological list of all incidents, including initial offense report information showing the offense, date, time, general location, officer, and a brief summary of what occurred.

HB 1064 by Representative Sherrer and Senator Burrage This bill relates to the nomination and election of judges in District Court 12. 

HB1318 by Representative Shoemake and Senator Ballenger - This bill requires the Used Motor Vehicle and Parts Commission to provide a licensee or applicant the reason for denial of a license in writing and allows the applicant 60 days to resolve any issues.

HB 1365 by Representative Buck and Senator Crutchfield – This bill requires a drug or alcohol test to be administered as soon as practical for any operator of a boat involved in an accident in which there is a death or great bodily injury.

HB1419 by Representative Cannaday and Senator Ellis - This bill makes it illegal to steal dimensional stone product, which is a natural rock material quarried for the purpose of obtaining blocks or slabs of stone.

HB 1420 by Representative Cannaday and Senator Ballenger HB1420 - This bill provides that municipalities with populations under 5,000 persons may employ a part-time city planner, whose duties shall be determined by the governing body of the hiring municipality.

HB1464 by Representative Pruett and Senator Ellis – This bill requires that a license must be obtained in order to hunt black bear.