May 19, 2017 Weekly Wrap

House Swears in Taylor to fill District 28 Seat Zack Taylor (R-Seminole) was sworn into the Oklahoma House of Representatives Tuesday evening to represent House District 28. That seat was vacated when former state Rep. Tom Newell resigned Dec. 31, 2016. The House on Tuesday evening held a vote to officially seat Taylor bringing the number of representatives to 99 for this session. Two additional special elections will be held later this year to fill seats for House District 75 in Tulsa and House District 76 in Broken Arrow. New law will assure greater tax compli...

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May 12, 2017 Weekly Wrap

Governor Signs Bill that Develops Individual Career Academic Plan The governor this week signed House Bill 2155 by State Rep. Jadine Nollan and Sen. Gary Stanislawski, R-Tulsa. The bill allows for a two-year pilot program of the Individual Career Academic Plan (ICAP). The multi-year guidance tool – developed by individual students, the student’s parents or legal guardians in collaboration with their school counselors, school administrators, teachers, and other school personnel – will help students strategically plan a post-secondary pathway to align with their ...

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May 5, 2017 Weekly Wrap

Gov. Fallin Declares State of Emergency Governor Mary Fallin today declared a state of emergency for all 77 Oklahoma counties due to severe storms, flooding, straight-line winds, tornadoes and snow impacting the state. The massive storm system has delivered widespread rain and high winds across much of the state since Friday, with damage to power lines and power poles as well as trees, roofs and structures. In the Panhandle, more than 4 inches of snow has been reported in some areas. Fallin’s executive order allows state agencies to make emergency purchases ...

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April 28, 2017 Weekly Wrap

Cleveland proposes plan to pay for U.S.-Mexico wall State Rep. Bobby Cleveland announced today he plans to author an amendment diverting money from civil asset forfeiture seizures to help pay for construction of a border wall between the United States and Mexico. Under Oklahoma’s current civil asset forfeiture laws, law enforcement can seize property suspected of criminal activity. If the original owner cannot prove the money’s innocence, that money often stays with the seizing agency and is used to supplement the department’s funds. The U.S. Department of ...

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April 21, 2017 Weekly Wrap

Ardmore Man Donates $50,000 to Save State Science Fair When James Young from Ardmore read that the State Science Fair was being cut from the Oklahoma State Department of Education’s budget this year, he decided to do something about it. The constituent from state Rep. Pat Ownbey’s district called his representative to find out where he could send a check to save the event, which is held annually at East Central University in Ada. Young said his check for $50,000 is already in the mail, earmarked for the State Science Fair. Ownbey worked with the Oklahoma ...

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April 13, 2017 Weekly Wrap

Bill Allowing Sale of Insurance across State Lines Passes Committee The House Insurance Committee today passed a bill that will allow individuals to purchase health insurance across state lines. Senate Bill 478, by state Rep. Lewis Moore and Bill Brown of the Senate, will allow the Oklahoma Insurance Department to compact with other states in offering more affordable and better tailored individual health insurance policies across state lines. The plans would still have to be approved by each participating state legislature. He said the bill will allow individuals ...

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April 4, 2017 Weekly Wrap

Cleveland congratulates Westheimer Foundation grant recipient State Rep. Bobby Cleveland recognized grant recipient John Otto Tuesday on the floor of the Oklahoma House of Representatives. The Jerome Westheimer Family Foundation awarded Otto a grant to produce a documentary about children of incarcerated parents. The film, titled “Children of Hope,” is scheduled to be released in fall 2017. Otto, a veterinarian out of Norman, helped establish dog training programs for inmates at the Mabel Bassett Correctional Center. He also works with inmates at the Lexington ...

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March 31, 2017 Weekly Wrap

House and Senate commemorate Tinker’s 75th Anniversary The House of Representatives hosted Lt. Gen. Lee K. Levy, Air Force Sustainment Center Commander at Tinker Air Force Base and the senior ranking military member in the state, to mark the 75th anniversary of Tinker Air Force Base on Thursday. Tinker Air Force Base was officially activated on March 1, 1942, with the name “Oklahoma City Air Depot.” Later that year, the War Department named the depot installation Tinker Field in memory of Oklahoma native, Maj. Gen. Clarence L. Tinker. The Air Force ...

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March 24, 2017 Weekly Wrap

Major Criminal Justice Reforms Pass House State Rep. Terry O’Donnell authored three bills advancing criminal justice reform that passed the Oklahoma House of Representatives this week. House Bill 2281 creates graduated penalties for those accused of certain larceny or forgery crimes, reducing some crimes from felonies to misdemeanors and modifying fines as well as the mandatory lengths of sentences. The bill passed by a vote of 84-8. House Bill 2284 would require public defenders to receive continuing education training regarding best treatment practices for ...

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March 18, 2017 Weekly Wrap

Bill increasing court safety passes House  Legislation allowing permitted county officials to carry firearms inside a courthouse passed Monday out of the Oklahoma House of Representatives with a vote of 85 to 11. House Bill 1104 would allow elected officials with a valid handgun license issued pursuant to the provisions of the Oklahoma Self-Defense Act to carry a firearm within the courthouses of the county in which he or she was elected. The official must be acting in the performance of their official duties and would not be allowed to carry into a courtroom. House ...

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