Springtime is the land awakening. The March winds are the morning yawn. ~Lewis Grizzard
The legislature convened last Monday morning on a beautiful March day for its fifth week of the session. It was a busy, windy week in Oklahoma City – both outside the Capitol and inside, as we saw a bustle of activity on the House floor to hear and vote on as many bills as possible before our next deadline, March 14.
Below is a sampling of bills that were approved by the House of Representatives last week and move over to the Senate for action in the weeks ahead.
HB 1050 would extend the renewal period of a petition for a protective order from 20 days to 60 days.
HB 1082 would allow an expired license to be used as proof to obtain a new license for up to a year. Currently, Oklahomans have 30 days after the date of expiration to renew their license or they must provide a birth certificate to obtain a new license.
HB 1094 allows home bakeries to operate without a food preparation license.
HB 1115 prohibits a fire department from changing the boundaries of its service area absent approval by the board of county commissioners.
HB 1347 would require hospitals and other birthing facilities to perform a pulse oximetry screening on every newborn prior to discharge from the facility to help detect congenital heart defects.
HB 1658 changes the school A through F grading system by increasing the percentage of a school’s total grade from 17 to 34 percent for the improvement in reading and mathematics tests of the lowest 25th percentile of students.
HB 1721 lowers the income cap on the Oklahoma’s Promise scholarship.
HB 2101 authorizes schools to carry epinephrine pens for use in case of a severe allergy attack or anaphylactic shock
HB 1513 authorizes Career Tech certification for low-risk Oklahoma inmates, teaching them the techniques of red cedar harvesting and other key career skills
HB 2060 creates the Social Worker Protection Act. The measure establishes that any person who, without justifiable or excusable cause, assaults a social worker or child welfare worker employed by DHS while in the line of duty will be guilty of a misdemeanor. The bill also provides that assault and battery of a social worker or child welfare worker is a felony
HB 2231 requires the Office of Management and Enterprise Services to create and maintain a website for the purpose of assisting counties in applying for emergency assistance
HB 2227 would establish a Runaway Child Alert System within the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Control to establish a method of alert for the public and law enforcement of runaway children.
I am also pleased to report that legislation I authored, HB 1304, which modifies the definition of “court” as used in determining competency to mean the court sitting in the county where the person is found to be insane was approved by the House last week. This will help ensure that individuals with first-hand knowledge of the case are those most likely to determine competency issues.
It promises to be a busy week ahead as we have 286 bills yet to be heard before Thursday’s deadline. It is my privilege to serve you in the Oklahoma House of Representatives. Please contact me with any questions or concerns. You may reach me by calling 1-800-522-8502, emailing to email@example.com; or writing to me at Representative Chuck Hoskin, P.O. Box 941, Vinita, OK 74301.