We’re entering into the sixth week of session and the deadline for bill consideration by the full Senate. Of the 850 bill that were filed, only 400 made it through the committee process.
Fifteen of my bills were approved in committee. Eleven of those have already been approved by the full Senate and are now awaiting consideration in House committees.
SB 56 removes the requirement of including a social security number on an application for a firearm. SB 86 expands the documents that can be used to prove a voter’s identity to now include an expired Oklahoma driver license or an expired U.S. passport. SB 308 requires all agencies to publish rules on their website. The bill also requires that agencies respond to requests from the governor or legislature regarding review of their rules within 30 calendar days and allows the legislature to amend agency rules.
SB 346 creates the “Governor’s Transparency Act of 2015” for additional oversight of executive agencies. SB 362 allows a person to record the activity of law enforcement in a public area, as long as the recording doesn’t delay or obstruct the agent. SB 452 limits the liability of any person who volunteers to provide transportation for a senior citizen to or from a medical, dental, or other health service provider appointment.
In addition, several of my bills that have passed through the Senate include repealers of dozens of old, archaic, and unnecessary laws. SB 207 repeals certain provisions relating to the Oklahoma Union Soldiers Home, the Oklahoma Memorial Hospital and hospital lease. SB 309 repeals unnecessary definitions. SB 327 repeals and amends language relating to cemeteries, some going back to statehood. SB 361 repeals and amends language dealing with coal slurry pipelines and eminent domain. SB 423 repeals language relating to the sale of secondhand watches from the 1940s.
My other four bills are on the Senate agenda and should be heard this week as early as Monday. SB 326 repeals and amends language dealing with fuel storage. SB 406 repeals language regarding World War II victory bonds and other items from the 1940s. SB 479 requires every state agency to disclose the federal and/or state authority for any part of the agency operations as requested. During each regular session, it would allow any member to request, by proper passage of a resolution introduced by either chamber, a statement of legal authority for a specific facet of operations of the agency, as specified in the resolution. The legal authority will include reference to any constitutional provision, statute, and/or rule and regulation. The director or head of agency will have ten days upon receipt, unless extended by request, in which to fulfill the request. Any agency director or head that doesn’t submit a response may be subject to removal. SB 683 repeals language relating to driver licenses.
In other news, the full Senate Appropriations Committee, of which we’re all members, convened to hear from the state’s 12 largest agencies. Together they get more than 90 percent of our annual budget. Because the budget shortfall grew from under $300 million to more than $611 million, it’s important that we get input from our agency heads about what steps they can take to work more efficiently and with less money. While we’re doing all we can to find ways to create new revenue while also saving the state money through budget revision and holding agencies more accountable, agencies will still, more than likely, be facing budget cuts. We’re working with them to see what funding level is necessary to maintain critical state services.
To stay up to date on what’s happening at your state Capitol, please visit www.oksenate.gov.
To contact me at the Capitol, please write to Senator Nathan Dahm, State Capitol, 2300 N. Lincoln Blvd. Room 534, Oklahoma City, OK, 73105, call (405) 521-5551, or email me at email@example.com.