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Around 240 new laws take effect Nov. 1 in Oklahoma

Hundreds of new laws will become active Friday. They will deal with a range of issues, from horse slaughter to abortion.
by Graham Lee Brewer Published: November 1, 2013

Senate Bill 587 requires the individual families to pay for and maintain the cameras.

Dusty Darr, associate state director for advocacy for the American Association of Retired Persons of Oklahoma, said that close to 70 percent of nursing home residents share a room, and the bill allows homes to make housing adjustments for patients who do not wish to share a room with a resident who has a camera in place.

DNA testing

Another new law ends Oklahoma's status of being the only state without a post-conviction DNA testing statute.

House Bill 1068, by Rep. Lee Denny, R-Cushing, and Sen. James Halligan, R-Stillwater, will allow some felons who profess their innocence to request forensic DNA testing of biological material involved in their investigation and prosecution.

Tiffany Murphy, a clinical professor at Oklahoma City University School of Law and the director of the Oklahoma Innocence Project, said she was ecstatic when the bill passed.

“I think that it will be a wonderful opportunity for those with physical evidence that can be evaluated to have their cases heard as soon as possible,” Murphy said.

“I am anticipating that we will be getting more requests than what we have received.”

Other key laws

Senate Bill 652 will raise the fee for driver's licenses. Classes A, B and C licenses will all increase by $10, and a commercial D license, which is the standard license for most Oklahoma drivers, will increase by $12 to $33.50.

One of the more contentious bills last session was House Bill 1999, allowing facilities that slaughter horses to be built in the state. Many animal rights advocates strongly opposed the bill by Rep. Skye McNeil, R-Bristow, and Sen. Eddie Fields, R-Wynona.

While the consumption of horse meat is banned in the U.S., it is allowed in some countries. Some local supporters of the measure said that it gives ranchers more options when trying to find affordable ways to deal with lame or injured horses.

by Graham Lee Brewer
General Assignment/Breaking News Reporter
Graham Lee Brewer began his career as a journalist covering Oklahoma's vibrant music scene in 2006. After working as a public radio reporter for KGOU and then Oklahoma Watch, where he covered areas such as immigration and drug addiction, he went...
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