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Press Releases

Showing: April, 2019

The governor has signed legislation into law to protect the confidentiality of undercover law officers. Senate Bill 679 was authored by Sen. Darrell Weaver, R-Moore, and Rep. Chris Kannady, R-Oklahoma City.

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Senate President Pro Tempore Greg Treat announced Monday his appointment of Daryl Woodard of Tulsa to the board of the Oklahoma Department of Corrections.

Woodard is the chief executive officer of SageNet, a Tulsa-based technology firm. He is Treat’s first appointment to the Department of Corrections (DOC) board.

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The Senate gave final unanimous approval Monday to Senate Bill 446 to better prepare teachers and other school employees to deal with the mental health needs of Oklahoma students. Sen. John Haste, R-Broken Arrow, and Rep. Sheila Dills, R-Tulsa, authored the legislation requiring the State Department of Education and the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, in consultation with school superintendents and school boards, to develop educator training and resources on student mental health.

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Oklahomans will be treated to exhibits of art, music, dance, and food tastings this Wednesday, May 1, as part of a celebration marking the third annual Hispanic Cultural Day at the state Capitol. The event, which will be held in the fourth floor rotunda, will celebrate Oklahoma’s Hispanic influences that began in the 1500’s and continue today.

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State Sen. Roger Thompson has been chosen to serve on the Executive Committee of the Southern Legislative Conference (SLC) of The Council of State Governments (CSG). Oklahoma Senate President Pro Tempore Greg Treat appointed Thompson to the panel, and to the organizations’ Fiscal Affairs and Government Operations Committee.

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Senate President Pro Tempore Greg Treat on Tuesday announced his appointment of Robert “Bob” Boyd of Owasso to the board of the Oklahoma Health Care Authority.

Under legislation signed into law in March, the Health Care Authority (OHCA) is among five of the largest state agencies who now have agency directors who are hired and fired by the governor. The reforms also created nine-member boards at each of the five agencies made up of five appointments by the governor and two each by the Senate pro tem and the House speaker.

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The Senate unanimously approved House Bill 1395 Wednesday to improve the financial transparency and accountability of Oklahoma’s five public virtual charter schools. Sen. Dewayne Pemberton (R-Muskogee) and Rep. Sheila Dills (R-Tulsa) are the authors of the bill, which will subject virtual charter schools to same financial reporting requirements, financial audits, audit procedures and audit requirements as traditional public school districts.

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As part of ongoing criminal justice reform, the Senate approved legislation Thursday to reduce incarceration rates of repeat nonviolent offenders. House Bill 2009, authored by Sen. Bill Coleman, R-Ponca City, and Rep. Garry Mize, R-Guthrie, will reduce the sentences of repeat nonviolent offenders with no history of violent or sexual offenses.

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Bills return to House for action

The Oklahoma Senate on Thursday advanced a series of criminal justice reform measures that provide uniformity of certain drug offenses, improve parole supervision, and cap excessive sentences for nonviolent offenses, among other reforms.

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The Senate approved legislation Tuesday to provide financial relief to certain state employees who are required to work overtime. Sen. Paul Rosino (R-Oklahoma City) is the Senate principal author of House Bill 2465 that beginning January 1, 2020, will require all state employees making less than $31,000 annually to receive overtime pay rather than comp time for all hours worked over 40 per week.

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Court-appointed special advocates will be submitted to Department of Human Services (DHS) child welfare records searches this fall under legislation recently signed into law. Sen. Dewayne Pemberton, R-Muskogee, is the author of Senate Bill 722.

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Governor Stitt recently signed legislation to ensure county records are preserved. Sen. John Haste (R-Broken Arrow) and Rep. Mark Lawson (R-Sapulpa) are the authors of Senate Bill 442 to increase the record preservation fee collected by county clerks from $5 to $10 for each instrument recorded with the Registrar of Deeds.

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Senate Democratic Leader Kay Floyd, D-Oklahoma City, released the following statement after the Oklahoma Supreme Court issued a decision in the case of Beason v. I.E. Miller Services, Inc., ruling that caps on damages for pain and suffering imposed by the Legislature are unconstitutional.

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Senate President Pro Tem Greg Treat criticized the Oklahoma Supreme Court’s use of the “special law” provision of the Oklahoma Constitution to strike down the non-economic damages cap of landmark lawsuit reform laws.

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A bill designed to promote innovation without risking tax dollars has been approved by the Senate and is now heading to the governor for his consideration. Senate Appropriations Chair Roger Thompson is Senate principal author of House Bill 2670, the Pay for Success Act, which was overwhelmingly approved by the Senate Tuesday. The House principal author for the measure is Rep. Kevin Wallace, Chair of the House Appropriations and Budget Committee.

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Oklahoma will be designated as a Purple Heart State beginning November 1st thanks to legislation signed into law recently. Navy veteran, Sen. Frank Simpson said he authored Senate Bill 232 to give Oklahoma’s Purple Heart recipients the recognition they deserve.

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Gov. Kevin Stitt has given his approval to legislation ensuring citizens can get emergency refills on life-saving prescriptions. Sen. Carri Hicks, D-Oklahoma City, is the principal author of Senate Bill 1019. The House principal author is Rep. T.J. Marti, R-Broken Arrow.

Hicks said the legislation sets out the guidelines for pharmacists to prescribe emergency refills of specific kinds of medication if the patient’s doctor cannot be reached after a prescription has expired.

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The Governor signed legislation Monday to help Oklahoma law enforcement investigate sexual assault crimes by creating a statewide tracking system for sexual assault evidence collection kits. Sen. Kay Floyd (D-Oklahoma City) is the author of Senate Bill 967, and was a member of the 2017 Oklahoma Task Force on Sexual Assault Forensic Evidence (SAFE).

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Legislation was signed into law Tuesday to allow school districts to stock inhalers for health emergencies. Sen. Kay Floyd, D-Oklahoma City, authored Senate Bill 381 at the request of constituents who lost a family member to a severe asthma attack at school.

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