Other new laws that take effect Thursday

Oklahoman Modified: October 29, 2012 at 8:20 pm •  Published: October 30, 2012

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.

Public housing

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.

Poaching

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.

Gray water

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.

Designer drugs

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.

Wrecker operators

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.

Insurance

SB 1621 allows small employers to buy group insurance through an employer association, which can pool resources with similar businesses.

Governor's Cabinet

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.

DHS

HB 2251 requires an investigation to be conducted when a drug-endangered child is identified by the state Department of Human Services.

Human trafficking

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.

Clinics

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.

Prescriptions

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.

Feral swine

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.

Schools/fitness

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.

Voters

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.