The Pryor Times

Opinion

June 5, 2014

More bills become law

PRYOR, OK — “Every new time will give its law.”

                                              ~Maxim Gorky

 The legislative session ended on Friday, May 23rd and as I reported in last week’s column, we finished with a rush of activity. The budget usually garners the most attention in the final week but there were other pieces of legislation that affect Oklahomans on a wide range of topics.

Schools retain spending flexibility on textbooks

In response to tight school budgets, a measure signed into law would extend the flexibility that schools have on how to use monies for new textbooks and other materials. That flexibility was set to expire on June 30. Senate Bill 1469 extends that flexibility through June 30, 2016.

Physical therapy services may be accessed without a referral

The Oklahoma Legislature approved and the governor signed a measure to allow Oklahomans the right to access physical therapy services without a referral within a 30-day period.

Senate Bill 1745 sets up a new system for campaign finance reporting in local races. The new law requires groups that make independent political expenditures to local races to identify donors who contribute more than $50. It also designates the Ethics Commission as the body to enforce local campaign finance laws.

The law also requires that campaign spending reports for local races, such as city council and county commission, be available to be viewed within the county where the race is taking place.

Legislation prohibiting employers from requiring access to personal online social-media accounts of employees or job applicants will take effect on Nov. 1.

House Bill 2372 decrees that no employer may:

— require an employee or a job candidate to disclose a user name and password ?or other means of authentication? for accessing a personal online social media account;

— take retaliatory personnel action that materially and negatively affects the terms and conditions of employment? against an employee who refuses to give the employer the worker’s user name or password to an online social media account;

— refuse to hire a job applicant just because the prospective employee refuses to give the employer the applicant?s name and password to a personal online social media account.

HB 2372 stipulates that an employer may request or require an employee to disclose his/her user name and password in order to access:

— any computer system, information technology network, or electronic communications device provided or subsidized by the employer;

— any accounts or services provided by the employer, or that the employee uses for business purposes.

An employee or job applicant is authorized by HB 2372 to sue an employer who violates the proposed law, but must file the civil action within six months after the alleged violation occurs.

It has been my honor to represent you in Oklahoma?s House this session. Please let me know if you have any questions, comments or if I can be of any other assistance. You may reach me by calling 1-800-522-8502, emailing to chuck.hoskin@okhouse.gov; or writing to me at Representative Chuck Hoskin, 2300 N. Lincoln Blvd., Room 509, Oklahoma City, OK 73105.

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