Legislative Update
Friday, April 7, 2017

Good News!
HB 1482 has been pulled from Senate Public Safety Committee!

The bill would reinstate felony drug possession crimes in Oklahoma. No doubt, due to all of your efforts during this legislative session, Senator Sykes pulled his bill from committee consideration.

Related story: HB 1482


Marsy’s Law

Oklahomans will now be able to vote to amend our state constitution to give victims the same rights as suspects on the November 2018 ballot.

Marsy’s Law supporters are looking for volunteers to help get the measure passed in 2018; if you’d like to help, contact Woodrow Johnston at wjohnston@marsyslaw.us.


Violence Prevention & Response
HB 1005, Support – Rep. Scott Biggs is the House Author. Sen. AJ Griffin is the Senate Author.

The bill makes rape by instrumentation a first degree crime, eliminating the requirement that it result in bodily injury and regardless of the age of the victim.

The bill passed Appropriations with the title and enacting clause struck.


HB 2284 Support – Rep. Terry O’Donnell is the House Author. Sen. Greg Treat is the Senate Author.

The bill requires a board of county commissioners, along with the office of the public defender, to provide and coordinate training and continuing legal education for attorneys employed by the office of the public defender. It provides requirements for the training curriculum. It requires the office of the county indigent defender to provide and coordinate training and continuing legal education for attorneys within the office. It requires training to include nationally recognized defense seminars as well as behavioral health and treatment needs of defendants. It modifies the training and continuing legal education required for district attorneys and their assistants. It modifies the annual domestic violence education training for judiciary members provided by the Administrative Office of the Courts

The bill passed the Public Safety Committee and was referred to Appropriations.


SB 34, Support – Sen. Kimberly David is the Senate Author. Rep. Scott Biggs is the House Author.

The bill prohibits lack of knowledge of the age of a human trafficking victim from constituting a defense to the human trafficking of a minor.

Sen. Anastasia Pittman signed on as coauthor.

The bill passed the Judiciary – Criminal Justice and Corrections Committee


SB 50, Support – Sen. Kay Floyd is the Senate Author. Rep. Jadine Nollan is the House Author.

The bill modifies the duties of guardians and requires their written reports to be factual. It specifies that the court determines what is in the best interest of the child.

Sen. Anastasia Pittman signed on as co-author.

The bill has been sent to the Governor to be signed.


Alternatives to Incarceration
HB 2286 Support – Rep. Terry O’Donnell is the House Author. Sen. Greg Treat is the Senate Author.

The bill states the legislative intent in relation to the Pardon and Parole Board. It requires any person in the custody of the Department of Corrections must serve one-fourth of the sentence before the application of earned credits or any other type of credits, such that no credits shall have the effect of reducing the length of the sentence to less than one-fourth of the sentence imposed for crimes committed on or after July 1, 2017. The bill requires parole eligibility for inmates described therein who is at least 50 years of age and has served at least ten years of their sentence. It provides exemptions. The bill prohibits an individual from parole consideration if serving a sentence for a felony sex offense required to register to the Sex Offenders Registration Act, a sentence of death or life without the possibility of parole, or convicted of a crime which requires service of minimum percentage of sentence

The bill passed the Public Safety Committee with the enacting clause stricken and was referred to Appropriations.


HB 2290, Support – Rep. Scott Biggs is the House Author. Sen. Greg Treat is the Senate Author.

The bill expands the parameters of drug court program objectives. It provides procedures for offenders upon the successful completion of drug court. It eliminates a section relating to revocation hearings as well as provisions allowing for the introduction of alternative treatment plans in lieu of revocation.

Sen. Anastasia Pittman signed on as coauthor

The bill passed the Public Safety Committee.


SB 185, Support – Sen. Kay Floyd is the Senate Author. Rep. Greg Babinec is the House Author.

The bill empowers the Pardon and Parole Board to parole a prisoner who is 70 years of age or older; has served, in actual custody, the shorter of 10 years of the term or terms of imprisonment, or one-third of the total term or terms of imprisonment; poses minimal public safety risks warranting continued imprisonment; is not imprisoned for an crime that requires an offender to serve at least 85 percent of the sentence; and who has not been convicted of a crime that would require the person to be subject to the registration requirements of the Sex Offenders Registration Act. It permits the board to grant parole to a prisoner if it finds by a preponderance of the evidence that the prisoner, if released, can live and remain at liberty without posing a substantial risk to public safety. It allows the board to provide the prisoner the opportunity to speak on his or her own behalf and the option of having counsel present at the parole hearing.

Rep. Scott Biggs was replaced as the principle author and substituted with Rep. Greg Babinec.


The bill passed the Judiciary – Criminal Justice and Corrections Committee with the title stricken.

SB 342, Support – Sen. David Holt is the Senate Author. Rep. Terry O’Donnell is the House Author.

The bill creates a task force to oversee an assessment and analysis of existing laws, policies and practices relating to fines, fees and costs assessed on persons interacting with the criminal justice process until December 31, 2019. It sets the duties of the task force. It provides for task force membership, the naming of a chair, achieving a quorum and the frequency of meetings. It subjects the meetings to the Oklahoma Open Meeting Act. It requires that members receive no compensation or travel reimbursement. It requires staff support be provided by the Governor’s Office, the Senate and the House of Representatives.

The bill passed the Appropriations and Budget Committee.


SB 649, Support – Sen. Greg Treat is the Senate Author. Rep. Terry O’Donnell is the House Author.

The bill modifies all references from the State Penitentiary to the Department of Corrections when relating to the Elderly and Incapacitated Victim’s Protection Program. It prohibits a previous conviction for possession of a controlled dangerous substance or the equivalent law for possession of a controlled dangerous substance from any other jurisdiction may not be used to enhance certain punishments. It also establishes certain sentencing requirements.

The bill was withdrawn from the Public Safety Committee and referred to the Judiciary – Criminal Justice and Corrections Committee.
SB 689, Support – Sen. Greg Treat is the Senate Author. Rep. Terry O’Donnell is the House Author.

The bill makes an offender sentenced to life without parole for an offense other than a violent crime who has served at least 10 years of the sentence in the custody of the Department of Corrections eligible for a modification of the sentence by the judge who originally imposed the sentence or revocation of probation or, if the sentencing judge is unavailable, another judge in the judicial district in which the sentence was rendered. It permits the court to modify the sentence upon a finding that the best interests of the public will not be jeopardized. It moves the requirement for the implementation of procedures and rules for methods of establishing payment plans of fines, costs, fees, and assessments by indigents from the Court of Criminal Appeals to the Supreme Court. It requires they be based on income. It requires court to waive outstanding fines, court costs and fees if the offender has secured admission to and is enrolled in a state higher education institution, a technology center school or a workforce training program intended to expand further employment opportunities based on the equivalent value of the potential gross income of the offender as established by the minimum wage rate of the state upon the offender’s completion of each 40- hour work week.

The bill was withdrawn from the Public Safety Committee and referred to the Judiciary – Criminal Justice and Corrections Committee.


SB 786, Support – Sen. Greg Treat is the Senate Author. Rep. Ben Loring and Rep. Terry O’Donnell are the House Authors.

The bill provides that every person who breaks and enters on any commercial or residential property or any room, booth, tent, railroad car, automobile, truck, trailer or vessel of another, in which any property is kept, with intent to steal any property therein or to commit any felony, is guilty of burglary in the third degree. The bill establishes a penalty for burglary in the third degree.

The bill was withdrawn from the Public Safety Committee and referred to the Judiciary – Criminal Justice and Corrections Committee.


SB 793, Support – Sen. Greg Treat is the Senate Author. Rep. Terry O’Donnell is the House Author.

The bill creates the Corrections and Criminal Justice Oversight Task Force and provides for membership. The bill tasks the committee with tracking implementation and assessing outcomes from the Oklahoma Justice Reform Task Force report of January 2017. It directs the task force to prepare and submit an annual report no later than the first day of the second full week of each regular session of the Legislature on outcomes and performance measures to the Legislature, Governor and Presiding Judge of the Court of Criminal Appeals. It specifies the contents of the report. It requires the Oversight Task Force to use clerical and professional employees of the Department of Corrections. The bill encourages the task force to apply for and may expend grants, gifts or federal funds it receives from other sources to carry out its duties and responsibilities. The bill also directs DOC to collect specified information on certain crimes

The bill passed the Public Safety Committee with the title and emergency restored.


Economic Security
HB 1466, Support – Rep. Elise Hall is the House Author. Sen. AJ Griffin is the Senate Author.

The bill allows a court to issue an order directing a wireless service provider or household utility account to transfer the billing responsibility for and rights to the wireless telephone number and household utility account of the petitioner if the petitioner is not the accountholder. It requires the order to list the name and billing telephone number or account number of the accountholder, the name and contact information of the person to whom the telephone numbers or accounts will be transferred and each to be transferred to that person. The bill also provides procedures for wireless providers or public utility providers who cannot operationally or technically effectuate the order due to certain circumstances.

The bill passed the Judiciary committee and is waiting to be heard in the full Senate.


Deadlines:

April 13- Deadline for reporting Senate bills and joint resolutions from House committees.

April 13- Deadline for reporting House Measures from Senate Committtees Deadline


With your help and support, eight bills that we believe will improve the lives of women and girls in our state were passed in 2016!  

SB 1249
Co-authored by Senator Kay Floyd & Representative Lee Denney.
This bill establishes the deadline for determination of final protective order to be within six months.

SB 1196
Authored by Representative Jason Nelson & Senator AJ Griffin.
This bill allows minors to self-consent to Sexual Assault Nurse Examinations if they have been a victim of sexual assault.

HB 2398
Authored by Senator AJ Griffin and Representative Scott Biggs.
This bill closed a loophole in Oklahoma’s sodomy law. The legislation was written in response to an Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals discussion upholding a lower court’s dismissal of a sodomy case on the grounds that Oklahoma’s rape law covers people who are unconscious and unable to give consent, but didn’t specifically address sodomy under such circumstances.

HB 2472
Authored by Senator Greg Treat and Representative Pam Peterson.
Allows district attorneys the discretion to file a charge as a misdemeanor offense rather than a felony offense after considering provided circumstances.

HB 2479
Authored by Senator Greg Treat and Representative Pam Peterson.
This bill reduces or eliminates minimum sentencing and reduces maximum sentences for convictions under the Uniform Controlled Dangerous Substances Act.

HB 2474
Authored by Senator AJ Griffin and Representative Pam Peterson.
Prohibits rules from preventing the issuance of a provisional license due to nonpayment or delayed payment of court ordered fines, fees and penalties, to an individual that otherwise satisfies the eligibility requirements for said license.

HB 2753
Authored by Representative Pam Peterson and Senator Wayne Shaw.
Adds assessment authorization for drug court program eligibility to the Oklahoma Drug Court Act.

HB 2751
Authored by Representative Pam Peterson and Senator Greg Treat.
This bill changes the penalty for embezzlement in the amount less than $1,000 from a felony to a misdemeanor. It also changes the penalty for someone charged with writing bogus checks in an amount less than $1,000 from a felony to a misdemeanor.

The Coalition joined other non-profit and faith-based organizations to successfully prevent elimination or cuts to the child/childcare tax credit, which would have devastated Oklahoma families.

On February 24, 2016, Governor Fallin signed an Executive Order directing state agencies to eliminate questions about prior felony convictions from initial employment applications.

The Coalition joined forces with Representative Jason Dunnington, Senator Kyle Loveless and many others to fight for Equal Pay in Oklahoma. Although the bill passed 8 times this session, it was not heard in the Senate before sine die. We will continue to fight for this next session.