AT A GLANCE
Other new laws that take effect Thursday
House Bill 2258 requires the Oklahoma Tax Commission, Oklahoma Workers' Compensation Court and Oklahoma Employment Security Commission to share information through a secure database with the intent of detecting employers who intentionally misclassify workers.
HB 2582 sets up a system to fingerprint people applying for certain jobs in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, residential care facilities, hospice companies, home health care companies and homes for the developmentally disabled. Existing employees are not automatically subject to the checks, but employers may voluntarily request checks of current workers.
HB 2396 extends the validity of a protective order from three to five years and it authorizes a continuous protective order if the court finds certain conditions exist.
HB 3133 authorizes the prosecution of individuals who appear in deprived child proceedings and knowingly and intentionally falsify any document containing a material fact in the case.
Senate Bill 1887 directs courts hearing divorces involving military members to submit clear and concise written findings in a decree or final order if the court determines military retired or retainer pay should be either separate or marital property. If the court determines the property to be marital property, the court must award an amount consistent with the rank, pay grade and time of service of the member at the date of filing the petition, unless the court finds a more equitable date. It also requires court orders for division of a military member's retirement or retainer pay to include language that awards such property based on an enumerated formula.
HB 3053 adds the Merit Protection Commission to the state finance office. It also gives the state finance office a new name — the Office of Management and Enterprise Services. The bill also consolidates the Oklahoma State and Education Employees Group Insurance Board and the Employment Benefits Council Board into the newly created Oklahoma Employees Insurance and Benefits Board, which will be housed in the Office of Management and Enterprise Services.
State pension system
SB 1001 increases the state contributions to the Oklahoma Law Enforcement Retirement Systems plan by 1 percentage point. State agencies must contribute to the Law Enforcement Retirement System 11 percent of the base salary of each member; this is an increase from 10 percent. Also, members joining on or after Nov. 1 may no longer use the salary of an active member in a comparable position rather than the final salary of the member when calculating retirement benefits.
SB 1743 allows hunters to use suppressors on firearms when hunting on private land with the landowner's consent. However, it establishes an additional fine of $500 to $ 1,000 or imprisonment in the county jail for up to a year for anyone using a suppressed firearm in hunting antelope, moose, whitetail or mule deer, bear, elk, mountain lion, Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep, wild turkey, or any endangered or threatened species.
Fresh water council
HB 3055 sets a statewide goal of using no more freshwater in 2060 than is used now and forms an advisory council to make recommendations.
SB 1760 prevents the governor or any local official from confiscating firearms and ammunition during a declared state of emergency, such as after a natural disaster or a terrorist attack.
SB 1814 creates the Oklahoma Gold Star Medal to be awarded to members of the military who voluntarily performed a deed of bravery or self-sacrifice during combat occurring after Sept. 11, 2001, that resulted in their death.
Oil, natural gas
SB 1665 creates the Energy Litigation Reform Act, which establishes rules and guidelines to be applied by the courts in oil and natural gas legal issues. It also provides rules for certain oil and gas agreements and specifies terms that must apply to any action brought to recover proceeds and/or interest. In addition, it changes the definitions of seismic exploration, operator, surface estate and surface owner and establishes regulations on entities conducting seismic test hole blasting within 200 feet of any habitable dwelling, building or water well.
SB 1019 helps public housing authorities collect debts owed to them by tenants by allowing them to file claims with the Oklahoma Tax Commission to deduct debts owed to them from tenants' personal income tax refunds.
HB 2573 increases the fine for those convicted of poaching and requires that repeat poachers lose their hunting and fishing licenses. It increases the fine for a first offense from $500 to $1,500. The penalty for a second offense is a fine of $ 1,500 to $2,500, six months in the county jail, or both, and the possible loss of the hunting and fishing licenses for up to 10 years.
Assisted living centers
HB 2566 allows assisted living center residents to continue doing business with local pharmacies without fear of penalty. It bans assisted living centers from penalizing residents for using their choice of providers for medical services and supplies.
HB 2835 gives homeowners more flexibility to reuse gray water on their property. Gray water is water left over from domestic activities such as laundry, dishwashing and bathing that is safe for reuse in irrigation activities like watering flower beds.
SB 987 provides that synthetic drug manufacturers and dealers may face first-degree murder charges for fatal overdoses. It also allows first-degree murder charges to be filed if someone dies as a result of the manufacturing of an illegal substance. Under the legislation, deaths resulting from the manufacture or distribution of a synthetic drug could result in felony charges for the drug dealer or manufacturer.
HB 2374 provides that any vehicle that is towed by a licensed wrecker operator as an abandoned vehicle is exempt from confiscation by any law enforcement officer.
SB 1621 allows small employers to buy group insurance through an employer association, which can pool resources with similar businesses.
HB 2834 gives the governor flexibility to alter her Cabinet at any time during her term of office. Now, each Cabinet member is locked into four-year terms as required by Oklahoma statute. Cabinet members will still require Senate confirmation.
HB 2251 requires an investigation to be conducted when a drug-endangered child is identified by the state Department of Human Services.
HB 2518 expands the definition of human trafficking to include the recruiting, harboring and transporting of a minor for the purpose of prostitution. It also prohibits claiming consent of the minor as a means of defense.
HB 2521 redefines a free clinic as a charitable clinic and limits liability for volunteer physicians and other health care providers working at the clinic. The legislation defines a charitable clinic as a nonprofit entity organized for the purpose of providing health care services at no charge or for a minimal fee.
SB 1179 allows doctors who prescribe a medication to send it electronically to a pharmacy. Right now, medical officials can send only prescriptions for Schedule II drugs, such as morphine and methadone, but the bill extends the electronic prescription to Schedule III and IV drugs.
SB 1751 allows landowners to put a tracking device on a trapped feral hog within 24 hours and release it so that it will return to its herd. The landowner will be able to find the herd and eliminate as many of the hogs as possible.
SB 1518 prohibits anyone from importing live feral swine into the state unless the hogs are going directly to a slaughter facility. The feral hogs must be shipped in a sealed trailer.
SB 1882 limits the legal liability of school districts that open indoor or outdoor facilities on a voluntary basis to community groups or individuals for physical activity.
SB 301 allows any person to submit a death certificate to the county election board for purposes of canceling the registration of a deceased voter.