46 results for author: Jon Echols


Midpoint Legislative Summary, Part One

Thursday, March 12, 2015, marked an important deadline of the 2015 legislative session. The Oklahoma House of Representatives concluded work on House-sponsored legislation and will now work to review measures approved by the Oklahoma Senate. The next important legislative deadline is the date by which legislation must be approved by both legislative chambers. After that deadline, bills will either go to the governor’s desk or continue onto conference committee to work out differences between the House and Senate. The following are several major pieces of legislation approved by the House of Representatives during the first six weeks of the ...

2015 Week Five Legislative Update

 House Approves Child Welfare Reform On Monday, the Oklahoma House of Representatives unanimously voted to improve the care of children in Oklahoma’s child welfare system. House Bill 1078 expands a program that transitions children in the system into their adult lives, updates requirements for foster parents and group homes to ensure the child is engaged in typical childhood activities and revises protocols used to deal with runaways and child trafficking victims. Under the legislation, a team model would be used to transition children into adulthood. The measure would lower the age at which the transition program would begin from 16 to ...

2015 Week Four Legislative Update

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 legisla...

2015 Week Three Legislative Update

House Approves School Board Election Reform Legislation On Monday, school board election reform legislation was approved by the Oklahoma House of Representatives. House Bill 1275 pairs up election dates for school boards and municipalities with the intent of reducing election costs and encouraging greater voter participation. The legislation was approved by a vote of 63-30 and now heads to the Oklahoma Senate for consideration. House Budget Subcommittee Approves Medical Research Bill On Monday, a measure to utilize Oklahoma’s Tobacco Settlement Fund to pioneer new research in the fight against cancer was approved by the Oklahoma House ...

2015 Week Two Legislative Update

House Approves Rx Drug Bill On Monday, prescription drug monitoring legislation was approved by the Oklahoma House of Representatives by a vote of 64-30. House Bill 1948 would require doctors to check a database of patient prescriptions to ensure people aren’t getting multiple prescriptions for addictive drugs from multiple doctors. The initial database check would be required when a doctor first writes a prescription for three classes of addictive drugs. Subsequent checks would need to be made at least once every 180 days after that. A similar bill that failed last year would have required doctors to check the database each time they wrote ...

2015 Week One Legislative Update

Governor Delivers 2015 State of the State Address On Monday, Governor Mary Fallin delivered the annual State of the State Address in front of a joint session of the Oklahoma Legislature. In it, Fallin focused on the need to improve the state’s budgeting process. This year, legislators will only appropriate 47 percent of total Oklahoma tax receipts, down from 55 percent in 2007. That means legislators will have fewer total dollars to appropriate than in years past, despite the state collecting more total dollars. The governor proposed adopting performance informed budgeting that links spending to measurable goals and outcomes, requiring an ...