March 5, 2015

Senate Passed All 25 Bills

The Senate passed all 25 bills heard on Thursday morning with very few questions asked and no debate.

The bill presented with the most questions was Sen. Corey Brook’s SB0663, which creates the Own Risk and Solvency Assessment (ORSA) Act. Sen. Dan Newberry, R-Tulsa, asked Brooks if this was a national registry.

“No, this is not a national registry at all. There is a national association of insurance departments at the state level that get together and talk about best practices and that is where this language is coming from,” said Brooks, R-Washington. “This gives them more accountability and this allows the state regulators to be able to see more clearly going forward if there is any major pitfall, so that together they can work out a solution.”


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March 5, 2015

Senate Energy Committee Thursday

The Senate Energy Committee considered its and the Senate’s first House bills of the session Thursday, moving them forward for floor consideration.

Without discussion or debate, the committee gave do pass recommendations to: HB1450, by Rep. Kevin Calvey, R-Oklahoma City, and Sen. Stephanie Bice, R-Oklahoma City, and HB2177, by Rep. Jeff Hickman, R-Fairview, and Sen. Brian Bingman, R-Sapulpa.



 

March 4, 2015

Senate Appropriations Chair Jolley Asks for New

Senate Appropriations Committee Chair Clark Jolley asked for a proposal for a new maximum security prison from the Oklahoma Department of Corrections Director Robert Patton at a committee meeting Wednesday. The committee met with the department for an in-depth discussion about the budget as a result of the projected increase in the state’s budget deficit.

“Is it time for us to have a discussion of building a new maximum security prison in Oklahoma to cut the cost and provide for a safer environment for the correction officers as well as for the state?” Jolley asked.

“We’re about 10 years late in that discussion sir,” replied Patton. “You hit the nail on the head…it’s 10 generations behind maximum security prisons around the nation, so yes we’re way past the point where we need to start that discussion.”

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March 4, 2015

Senate Gave Approval Wednesday to two Measures

The Senate gave its approval Wednesday to two measures that would create a system for evaluating tax credits and economic incentives to determine their effectiveness. The chamber also gave its approval to a series of other measures but one bill failed and another was laid over before being put to a vote.
 
“Under current law, once tax credits and economic incentives are approved by the Legislature, we don’t have a system to provide us with reliable data on their effectiveness,” Senate President Pro Tempore Brian Bingman, R-Sapulpa, said of his SB0806 and SB0815. “This legislation would correct that problem, and ensure that lawmakers have the information to determine whether incentives are working as intended. Ultimately, our goal is to ensure that Oklahoma job creators are succeeding, and

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March 4, 2015

House Heard 29 Bills Wednesday

The House heard 29 bills Wednesday, passing 25 of them before adjourning at 2:30 in the afternoon.

One of the day’s three failed bills was HB1763 by Rep. John Enns, R-Enid, and Sen. Ron Sharp, R-Shawnee. Enns said the bill was directed at students who receive the required grades in the classroom to graduate from high school but fail to annual state-mandated end-of-instruction tests.

He said school districts ought to have the option to recognize students who do everything asked of them for most of the school year but are unable to achieve at a certain level on a high-stakes test.

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March 4, 2015

A Bill Seeking to Modernize Creek Turnpike

A bill seeking to modernize a portion of the Creek Turnpike with video toll collection was narrowly failed by House members Wednesday afternoon.

HB1568, by Rep. Glen Mulready, R-Tulsa, modifies definitions under the Oklahoma Electronic Toll Collection Act. The bill authorizes the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority to establish a video toll collection system and establishes a notification and fee system for drivers.

The video collection system, Mulready explained, would remove the need for toll booths in the Jenks turnpike and would result in a potential savings of $6 million. Under HB1568, a video monitor would take an image of a vehicle and its license plate and mail toll fees to the person’s address.
 

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