May 27, 2016

House adjourns sine die after passing multiple

A bill that states legislative intent regarding how funds may be used within the Department of Human Services for the upcoming fiscal year generated some frustration among members first thing in the morning on the last day of the session.

CCR to SB0694, by Sen. A J Griffin, R-Guthrie and Rep. Harold Wright, R-Weatherford, requires the Department of Human Services appropriated funds to be used for certain purpose. It also states legislative intent.

The bill states that $119.8 million must be used on Phase One, Two, Three and Four of the Pinnacle Plan and it must fully fund the Developmental Disabilities Services programs and services, along with a multitude of other programs.

 

gb

 

May 27, 2016

Jolley’s final bill of career becomes Senate’s

Sen. Clark Jolley presented the final bill of his legislative career on Friday, a bill he said he would rather not be presenting, and it turned out to be the final bill of the 2016 legislative session for the Senate. The chamber adjourned sine die shortly after the bill was considered.               

That bill, HB3231, authorizes the Oklahoma Capitol Improvement Authority to issue $200 million in bonds to finance specific Department of Transportation projects. The bill lists the specific projects.               

“This is not the bill I want to be my last bill, Jolley said in debate.


gb

May 27, 2016

Budget wins House approval in narrow vote

The House gave its approval to a $6.8 billion 2017 fiscal year budget after nearly three hours of discussion, debate and much finger pointing from both sides of the aisle with vote to spare.               

House Democrats questioned why more money was not tapped out of the Rainy Day Fund or on why the House could not negotiate a higher bond proposal with the Senate.

For over an hour, House Appropriations and Budget Chair Earl Sears, R-Bartlesville, went back and forth with House Democrats after criticizing their unwillingness to vote for the proposed cigarette tax, which some in the majority pointed out would have helped protect certain core government services who will receive a cut under this budget plan. Sears expressed that he would have liked the Democratic Caucus to have been more supportive of the various budget measures.

gb

May 27, 2016

Budget wins House approval in narrow vote

The House gave its approval to a $6.8 billion 2017 fiscal year budget after nearly three hours of discussion, debate and much finger pointing from both sides of the aisle with vote to spare.               

House Democrats questioned why more money was not tapped out of the Rainy Day Fund or on why the House could not negotiate a higher bond proposal with the Senate.

For over an hour, House Appropriations and Budget Chair Earl Sears, R-Bartlesville, went back and forth with House Democrats after criticizing their unwillingness to vote for the proposed cigarette tax, which some in the majority pointed out would have helped protect certain core government services who will receive a cut under this budget plan. Sears expressed that he would have liked the Democratic Caucus to have been more supportive of the various budget measures.

 

gb

 

May 27, 2016

Legislature fails to take administrative rules

The legislative session ended Friday without the Legislature taking up an omnibus resolution approving and disapproving administrative rules. It marked the third consecutive year in a row in which the resolution was not considered, leaving the final decision to Gov. Mary Fallin.               

HJR1072, by Rep. George Faught, R-Muskogee, and Sen. Nathan Dahm, R-Broken Arrow, approves and disapproves certain administrative rules promulgated by state agencies, was on the Senate’s agenda Friday but it was not taken up before that chamber adjourned sine die just after noon. The resolution passed 64 to 26 in the House on May 12.               

A 2013 law requires all rules to be approved by general reference in an omnibus joint resolution and for disapproved rules to be listed individually. The omnibus resolutions in 2014 and 2015 also failed to receive legislative approval. In both instances, Fallin chose to approve administrative rules that the resolutions proposed disapproving and disapproving others that the resolution would have approved.

 

gb

 

May 26, 2016

Alcohol modernization bills pass House

A bill aimed at modernizing antiquated alcohol laws received fail passage from the House and will make its way to the governor’s desk. The bill is a companion to SJR0068, which also passed Thursday.

CCR to SB0383 by Sen. Stephanie Bice, R-Oklahoma City, and Rep. Glen Mulready, R-Tulsa, creates the Oklahoma Alcoholic Beverage Control Act,.

The bill narrowly passed by a vote of 52 to 45 after multiple members requested to send the bill back to conference to amend the age limit in which clerks can sell alcohol.

 

gb