The Oklahoma Senate on Tuesday approved a measure to bring Oklahoma into compliance with the federal REAL ID law. The measure, House Bill 1845, is co-authored by Senate President Pro Tempore Mike Schulz and Oklahoma House Speaker Charles McCall.read more.
The Senate Public Safety Committee gave the green light to the Impaired Driver Elimination Act 2 (IDEA2) Thursday. Sen. Kim David, R-Porter, is the author of Senate Bill 643, which will create the Impaired Driver Accountability Program (IDAP) within the Department of Public Safety for first time DUI offenders while their license is revoked.
Late Wednesday, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved legislation 30-10 to pursue possible relocation of the Talihina Veterans’ Center. Navy veteran and Chairman of the Senate Veterans Committee, Sen. Frank Simpson is the author of the Senate Bill 544 that he filed following the questionable deaths of two center residents in the last five months.
The Senate Appropriations Committee voted Wednesday in favor of a bill that would effectively stop another income tax cut from automatically going into effect based on revenue growth. Sen. Roger Thompson is the author of Senate Bill 170. He’s the chair of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Finance, where the bill easily passed its first hurdle Tuesday.
The full Senate approved legislation Wednesday to transfer oversight of the Compulsory Insurance Online Verification System (OCIVS) for motor vehicle liability policies from the Department of Public Safety (DPS) to the Oklahoma Insurance Department (OID). Sen. Ron Sharp, R-Shawnee, is the principal Senate author of Senate Bill 115 and said the bill is an effort to reduce the number of uninsured drivers in the state.
Sen. Pres. Pro Tempore Mike Schulz issued the following statement Wednesday after the Senate Appropriations Committee approved House Bill 1845, the REAL ID Act, co-authored by Schulz and House Speaker Charles McCall.read more.
State Senate Pres. Pro Tempore Mike Schulz issued the following statement after Tuesday’s vote by the State Board of Equalization certifying there would be a $878 million shortfall in the coming fiscal year, and declaring a revenue failure in the current fiscal year.
The Senate Education Committee approved the Education Compact for Kids in State Care Monday. Sen. Ron Sharp, author of Senate Bill 632, said it will remove the barriers that many young people and their families experience when it is time to transition back to their home school after placement within the Oklahoma Office of Juvenile Affairs (OJA) or the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (OKDHS).
“Senator Standridge is attempting to find a solution to a serious problem for children in failing inner-city schools. While I do not agree with Senate Bill 560 as it is written, I do want to give him the opportunity to make his argument and rewrite the bill so that it does not take away funds from any child in our schools,” said Sen. Micheal Bergstrom. “That is the reason I voted to pass SB560 out of committee. If he is not successful in this attempt, I will be voting against his bill.”read more.
The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Education met Wednesday and approved half a dozen measures to increase teacher pay in Oklahoma. Sen. Jason Smalley, R-Stroud, chairs the subcommittee. He said with 48 members, there were several different ideas of how much the raises should be and how to pay for it.read more.
Student violence towards other students, teachers and school staff in Oklahoma’s elementary schools is a growing problem. Retired educator Sen. Ron Sharp is the author of Senate Bill 81 to address the issue by lowering the grade level from sixth to third at which students can be subject to out-of-school suspension for violent behavior or threats. The Senate Education Committee approved the measure Monday.
OKLAHOMA CITY – – Sen. Ralph Shortey has announced a public forum scheduled for Monday, February 13 at Oklahoma City Community College to discuss questions about Senate Bill 512, which is aimed at changing pieces of the new criminal justice reform laws that were approved by voters last November. State Questions 780 and 781 included changes in the law to make possession of all drugs a misdemeanor and redirects state funds to drug treatment programs among many other changes.
Each year, millions in untaxed money is wired out of the United States to other countries including from Oklahoma. The Senate Appropriations Committee approved Senate Bill 547 Wednesday to charge a fee on international wire transactions for individuals who do not present valid personal identification. Sen. Paul Scott, the principal author, said he filed the legislation to reduce the number of undocumented immigrants sending money out of the state as well as address drug money being funneled to other countries.
The Senate Appropriations Committee approved legislation Wednesday to construct a new state health lab. Sen. Kim David, R-Porter, is the author of Senate Bill 236 to authorize the Oklahoma Capitol Improvement Authority to issue nearly $59 million in bonds for the construction of the new facility.
David said the lab has faced losing its accreditation since 2008, which would be detrimental and extremely costly for the state, and this year the legislature must act.
Sen. Kyle D. Loveless (R-Oklahoma City) and Rep. Jon Echols (R-Oklahoma City) have introduced legislation to spark a new wave of investment in Oklahoma-based start-up companies.
The Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday approved a series of bills aimed at reforming the judiciary, including a series of legislative referendums that would reshape the way judicial appointments are made.read more.
“I commend Governor Fallin on a speech that discussed her vision of how to build a stronger Oklahoma. My colleagues in the Senate and I look forward to learning more about her budget proposals and other policy goals as the session moves forward. Senate Republicans have a shared commitment to putting Oklahoma on a sustainable, long-term path to success. The Senate Republican agenda lays out our vision of how to build a more prosperous state. It begins with growing the economy, investing in our students and teachers, and ensuring our state’s health and safety.read more.
Sen. Frank Simpson said another veteran’s death at the Oklahoma Veterans Center in Talihina on Tuesday is evidence that the center must be relocated as soon as possible. In January, he filed Senate Bill 544 directing and authorizing the Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs (ODVA) to relocate the facility to another location that meets the requirements of the United States Department of Veterans Affairs as a State Veterans' Home.
Senate Democratic Leader John Sparks on Thursday unveiled the Senate Democrat’s 2017 legislative agenda with a focus on specific plans and solutions, which will ensure that core government services in Oklahoma are protected and enhanced in a way that benefits hard working Oklahoma families and our business community.read more.