House Approves DNA Collection Legislation
On Monday, the Oklahoma House of Representatives voted to improve the procedure for collecting DNA samples from those individuals convicted of a felony or violent misdemeanor.
House Bill 1683 allows the offices of district attorneys to collect the DNA sample from a convicted criminal. The DNA samples are submitted to the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation Laboratory for processing and inclusion in the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS).
The OSBI estimates that the additional samples generated by increased collections could cost the state approximately $110,500 to $221,000 annually.
The legislation was approved by a vote of 93-3 and now heads to the Oklahoma Senate for consideration.
House Approves Texting while Driving Measure
On Tuesday, a bill aimed at curbing the dangerous trend of texting while driving passed a vote on the floor of the Oklahoma House of Representatives.
House Bill 1965 strengthens language aimed at preventing texting while driving, marking a first offense fine at $250. Subsequent offenses would register a $500 fine.
The bill passed by a 96-2 margin and now heads to the Oklahoma Senate for consideration.
House Approves Rural Opportunity Zone Bill
On Tuesday, a measure that would create Rural Opportunity Zones in counties across the state was approved by the Oklahoma House of Representatives.
House Bill 1747 allows for the creation of 25 Rural Opportunity Zones across the state. For taxable years beginning in 2016, the legislation would allow for a five-year tax exemption for anyone who moves from out-of-state into a county projected to see a population loss between the effective date and 2075 per the 2012 Demographic State of the State Report – Oklahoma State and County Population Projections through 2075.
The legislation passed by a 64-11 margin and now heads to the Oklahoma Senate for further consideration.
House Votes to Ban ‘Dismemberment’ Abortions
On Thursday, a measure that would ban “dismemberment” abortions was approved today by the Oklahoma House of Representatives.
House Bill 1721 was approved by a vote of 84-2 and now proceeds to the Oklahoma Senate for consideration.
House Approves Palliative Care Bill
On Thursday, the Oklahoma House of Representatives unanimously approved a bill that would increase the input from experts on coordinated care of patients with chronic conditions on an advisory panel that helps set state health policies.
House Bill 1085 modifies the Home Care and Hospice Advisory Council to include palliative care and specifies membership of the Home Care, Hospice and Palliative Care Advisory Council. The measure directs the council to identify ways to improve the quality and delivery of palliative care.
The legislation, which will increase the panel’s membership from seven to nine members, was approved by a vote of 90-0. It now proceeds to the Oklahoma Senate for consideration.