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Press Releases

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OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma Senate advanced a slate of pro-life measures, demonstrating the chamber’s commitment to protecting the sanctity of life, the Senate leader said Wednesday.

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OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma Senate unanimously advanced legislation from President Pro Tempore Greg Treat that would modernize the state’s Open Meeting Act.

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The full Senate has given unanimous approval to a measure taking aim at surprise medical bills and the financial devastation that can follow.  Sen. Julie Daniels, R-Bartlesville, is the principal author of Senate Bill 548.

Daniels said under the provisions of SB 548, a health care provider would be prohibited from reporting a healthcare debt to a credit bureau or pursue collection activities unless a good faith estimate of the cost of the procedure or care was presented before the service was provided.

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The full Senate has given approval to a pair of bills aimed at better protecting the health of Oklahoma women who use abortion-inducing drugs to end their pregnancies.  Sen. Julie Daniels, R-Bartlesville, is the principal author of Senate Bills 778 and 779 which were approved on Wednesday.

Daniels said chemical abortions now comprise an estimated 41% of all U.S. abortions, a number that’s growing, and the risk of potentially life-threatening complications is four times greater compared to surgical abortion.

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One year ago, the first case of COVID-19 hit Oklahoma and schools had to shut down to protect the safety of students and staff. While most schools have returned to full in-person learning, some are still utilizing virtual learning. While pay for teachers and administrators is protected and guaranteed under current state law during epidemics and state emergencies, it is not for school support staff. Sen. Chris Kidd, R-Waurika, authored Senate Bill 807 to ensure the pay of these important school staffers is protected.

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In order to save taxpayers millions of dollars on a special election in the event of a future mid-term U.S. Senate seat vacancy, the Senate passed legislation Tuesday night to allow the governor to fill the seat by appointment. Sen. Lonnie Paxton, R-Tuttle, is the author of Senate Bill 959, which would move the special election for the U.S. Senate seat to the next regularly scheduled statewide general election.

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Late Tuesday night, the Senate passed legislation to protect the annual leave of state employees who are unable to use it during a governor-declared emergency. Senate Bill 282, Sen. Frank Simpson, R-Springer, will allow such leave to be carried over until the end of the next fiscal year following the emergency.

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OKLAHOMA CITY – The full Senate on Tuesday evening voted in favor of a measure to reinstate the full sales tax exemption on motor vehicles and trailers.  In 2017, faced with declining revenues due to downturns in the energy industry, the Legislature voted to remove 1.25 percent of that exemption. 

Senate Majority Leader Kim David presented SB 593 on the floor.

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A bill requiring school districts to provide suicide awareness and prevention training to teachers and staff every two years won unanimous approval from the full Senate on Tuesday.  Sen. Kay Floyd, D-Oklahoma City, is the principal author of Senate Bill 21.

Floyd said data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows the problem of suicide in young people has only gotten worse in recent years.

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Hundreds of Oklahoma students complete their college degree each year thanks to the financial assistance provided them through the Oklahoma Higher Learning Access Program (OHLAP), a scholarship program that provides free tuition to state colleges and universities for certain qualifying students. Currently, students must be an Oklahoma resident, have a federally adjusted annual gross family income of $55,000 or less, and enroll in OHLAP in the 8th, 9th or 10th grade. Sen.

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Having a sufficient number of law enforcement officers is crucial to public safety in Oklahoma, and Sen. David Bullard, R-Durant, wants to give high school students a glimpse into career opportunities in this field. Senate Bill 784 authorizes the Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training (CLEET) to develop a statewide law enforcement and public safety youth program designed for high school students.

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The Senate unanimously approved a measure on Monday that would modernize county clerk services. Senate Bill 569, authored by Sen. Joe Newhouse, R-Tulsa, would allow certified copies of county land records to be signed, notarized and recorded electronically.

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The Senate approved a measure on Tuesday to give municipalities local control to adopt policies allowing their employees to carry concealed firearms.

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The Senate gave approval to the Second Amendment Sanctuary State Act on Tuesday, which would preempt the entire field of legislation by any agency or political subdivision of the state to infringe upon the Second Amendment rights of Oklahoma citizens.  

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Sen. Kim David, R-Porter, authored Senate Bill 848 to better address the unique mental health needs of law enforcement officers and other first responders who have witnessed and experienced traumatic events. The bill, which was unanimously approved late Monday by the Senate, came about after listening to public safety officers’ stories in an interim study last September she hosted with Sen. Roger Thompson to learn how the state could improve crisis intervention services for Oklahoma’s heroes.  

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The full Senate gave approval to Senate Bill 312 on Monday, which would create harsher penalties for those who steal the identity of a person under the age of 18. The measure is authored by Sen. George Burns, R-Pollard.

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A bill to modernize the process for filing and storing vehicle titles and liens has cleared the full Senate.  Senate Bill 998, by Sen. Rob Standridge, R-Norman, was approved Monday.

“This is going to speed up the process for titles and liens by moving these records online,” Standridge said.  “It’s going to make buying and selling vehicles more convenient and will even help owners get their permanent tags more quickly.  It’s time to bring our state into the 21st century, and this is a part of that effort.”

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Businesses that host blood drives for their employees could soon qualify for a tax incentive for helping address the state’s blood shortage.  The Senate approved Senate Bill 905 Monday by Sen. David Bullard, R-Durant.

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The Senate has given approval to a bill clarifying and strengthening penalties for people who commit crimes during riots. Senate Bill 806, creating the Oklahoma Citizens’ Protection Act, by Sen. Darrell Weaver, R-Moore, was approved Monday.

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Sen. Darrell Weaver, R-Moore, has won unanimous Senate approval for legislation to give law enforcement another tool to fight child predators. Senate Bill 980 would amend state law for obtaining a court order for a wiretap to include crimes related to child sexual exploitation.

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