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2009 State Legislation  Affecting Oklahomans with Disabilities

Senate Bills 

Voting; proof of identify:
SB-4 (Ford)
Requiring proof of identity to vote and specifying what constitutes proof.
Reported from Rules on 2-19. Substitute version requires photo ID issued by federal, state or tribal government, but seems to provide that current voter ID’s may suffice as proof of identify without the need to also present the photo ID. This bill passed the Senate on 3-10 and now goes to the House.

Health care workforce:
SB-26 (Anderson)
Providing an income tax credit for physicians practicing in rural Oklahoma.
Reported from committee with title stricken on 2-18. Set on Senate floor agenda 3-9.

Health insurance; veterans:
SB-59 (Rice; Kiesel)
Adding eligible veterans to the list of persons who can participate in the state’s premium assistance program (O-EPIC).
Passed Senate on 2-24 and sent directly to House, where it was placed on the House floor agenda.

Appropriation; transportation:

Appropriation; budget limits; transportation:

Appropriation; Office of Disability Concerns:

Appropriation; budget limits; Office of Disability Concerns:

Appropriation; JD McCarty Center:

Appropriation; budget limits; JD McCarty Center:

Appropriation; Mental Health and Substance Abuse:

Appropriation; budget limits; Mental Health and Substance Abuse:

Appropriation; Rehabilitation Services:

Appropriation; budget limits; Rehabilitation Services:

Appropriation; general (multiple agencies):

Appropriation; transportation:

Pain management:
SB-260 (Gumm; Carey)
Creating the Intractable Pain Treatment Act. Permitting physicians to prescribe controlled dangerous substances for relief of intractable pain, subject to various controls and safeguards, and when no other effective means for treating the pain is available.
Passed Senate and sent to House; placed on House floor agenda.

Health care workforce:
SB-267 (Crain;; Cox)
Allowing funds from the Tobacco Settlement Endowment Fund to be used for capital and operational expenses and educational programs of the OU Health Sciences Center and OSU College of Osteopathic Medicine.
Passed Senate. Sent to House and placed directly on House floor agenda.

SB-283 (Coates; Jackson)
Creates the Task Force on Youth Transitioning into Adulthood; directs staff support by the Office of Juvenile Affairs. A representative of the Department of Rehabilitation Services would serve on the Task Force. The Task Force will focus on youth in the juvenile justice system, youth in foster care, and youth who have conditions in their daily lives that put them at risk in regard to health, mental health and safety. The study will look at ways to assist these young people in education, housing, social services, behavioral health and employment.
Passed by the Senate on 3-10 with title restored.

OSB and OSD-teacher salaries:
SB-291 (Corn)
Increasing minimum teacher salaries. Providing for salary increases and dependent health coverage for school support staff. Increasing number of Education Leadership Scholarships.
Passed Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Education. Dormant.

Aging and disability:
SB-321 (Anderson)
Authorizing the Department of Human Services to establish the Aging and Disability Resource Consortium initiative.
Passed Senate on 2-24 by a vote of 43-0. Sent to House and placed on House floor agenda 2-26.

SB-328 (Brogdon)
Repealing the Oklahoma Optometry Fund. (62 O.S. Supplement 2008, Section 48)
Reported from Senate Appropriations Committee. Passed Senate on 3-11.

Hospice; Medicaid:
SB-344 (Crainl Cox)
Requiring hospice coverage under Medicaid.
Reported from Committee on Retirement and Insurance. Passed Senate on 3-11.

Advance directives:
SB-346 (Crain; Ritze)
Directing the State Department of Health to maintain an advance directives registry.
Passed Senate on 3-10.

Charity health care:
SB-353 (Rice; Cox)
Creating the Volunteer Health Care Services Act. The bill provides for immunity from liability for licensed health care practitioners when they are donating their services to free clinics and other charitable health care programs. Making other requirements of organizations that sponsor charitable health care programs.
Reported as amended from Senate Committee. Passed Senate on 3-10.

State employee longevity pay:
SB-405 (Jolley; Peters)
Raising the amount of longevity pay for state employees.
Reported from Senate Appropriations Committee.

Public transportation:
SB-407 (Branan)
Raising from $3 million to $5 million the amount allocated to the Public Transportation Revolving Fund from tax revenue that was set aside for transportation projects (such as the ROADS program) by 2005 legislation. Under that legislation and its subsequent amendments, hundreds of millions of dollars are provided annually for roads, with a tiny amount allocated for transit and for rail. Note: SB-408 by Branan allows for an annual increase in the amount of funds going to the ROADS program, and allows the amount going to ROADS to remain constant even when there is a reduction in revenue available.

End of instruction tests
SB-421 (Stanislawski; Sullilvan)
Providing school board discretion on when to administer end of instruction tests. (This bill is noted as a potential vehicle for correction of the current accessibility problem associated with English II and III high school exit exams.)
Passed Senate 42-0 and advances to the House.

Cancer; access to care and resources:
SB-434 (Eason McIntyre; Cox)
Directing the State Department of Health to provide a cancer patient navigation program.
Passed Senate 39-7 and sent to House. Placed on House floor agenda.

State agencies:
SB-454 (Sykes; Murphey)
Prohibiting the use of state funds by state agencies to employ a lobbyist.
Passed Senate Appropriations Committee.

Higher education:
SB-471 (Easley; Jeannie McDaniel)
Increasing the family income allowable for a student to be eligible for OHLAP.
Reported from Senate Appropriations Committee.

Organ recovery for transplant:
SB-486 (Lamb)
Providing a state sales tax exemption for a certified statewide organ recovery organization and a state eye bank.
Reported from Senate Finance. Passed Senate on 3-10 following a motion to reconsider the Senate’s previous vote defeating the bill.

Volunteer medical services:
SB-487 (Paddack)
Expanding the definition of a charitable health care provider to include community health centers.
Passed by Senate and sent to House.

SB-496 (Gumm)
Specifying eligibility for Medicaid Pension Income Trust.
Passed Senate Appropriations Committee. Passed Senate.

Nursing homes:
SB-541 (Ellis)
Changing the fee schedule for filing applications for certificates of need for long term care facilities, and providing for return of the entire fee if the application is denied.
Passed Senate Appropriations Committee. Passed Senate on 3-10 with title restored.

Therapeutic recreation
SB-546 (Halligan)
Creating the Therapeutic Recreation Practice Act.
Passed Senate Health and Human Resources Committee. Passed Senate on 3-4 with title stricken.

Health insurance:
SB-553 (Justice)
Modifying provisions in the Oklahoma High Risk Health Insurance Pool Act. Allowing persons who are covered on COBRA or who have exhausted COBRA coverage to use the High Risk Pool, when otherwise eligible.
A substitute bill reported from committee. Passed Senate on 3-9.

SB-594 (Easley)
This bill affects food service establishments, their management and employees. The bill would require the Health Department to provide an educational course and certification for persons handling food in any type of food service or food vending operation. Certification would be a requirement for any person working in a food service business. These provisions would not affect other local ordinances related to food handlers.
Passed Senate Appropriations.

School security; OSB and OSD:
SB-605 (Lamb)
Building on school security legislation from last year, this bill directs the state Department of Homeland Security to make grants available, funds permitting, to public and private schools, tech centers and higher education institutions in the state, for the purpose of enhancing school security. The bill establishes a revolving fund for the grant program and specifies that legislative appropriations can be used to support this grant program. Since OSB and OSD are neither “public” or “private” schools, it is unclear whether they would be eligible for the grants under the bill as it was introduced.
Reported from Senate Appropriations. Passed Senate on 3-10.

Organ and tissue donation:
SB-622 (Coffee)
Creating the Uniform Anatomical Gift Act.
Passed by Senate with an amendment. Sent to House and set on House floor agenda.

State government:
SB-646 (Coffee)
Creating the Accountability, Innovation and Privatization Act.
Reported from Senate Appropriations. Passed full Senate.

End-of-instruction tests; students with disabilities:
SB-676 (Paddack; Coody
This bill amends the section of state law that requires end-of-instruction tests. The bill would require the State Board of Education to designate alternative tests that a student could take if he or she failed to pass the regular test on first try. As introduced, the bill does not address test accessibility. It is of interest because the issue of accessibility of English exit exams is currently drawing attention from blindness organizations and teachers of the visually impaired.
Passed by Senate. Sent to House.

Health care:
SB-741 (Jolley)
Directing the Health Care Authority to study methods to prevent pressure ulcers for persons in Medicaid facilities.
A substitute bill passed the Senate Health and Human Resources Committee. Passed Senate on 3-4.

Medical records and health information:
SB-757 (Burrage)
Specifying duties of the Oklahoma Health Information Security and Privacy Collaboration. This entity would study barriers to creating a statewide electronic system for health information.
Passed Senate Appropriations. Passed Senate on 3-11.

Wheelchairs on roads:
SB-760 (Ellis)
Requiring wheelchairs operating on roadways to have an orange flag or pennant that is at least 16 inches square and extends at least 24 inches into the air but not more than 36 inches.
Reported as amended from Public Safety and Homeland Passed Senate on 3-10.

College tuition and fees:
SB-791 (Reynolds)
Providing that the Legislature shall set tuition and fees at state colleges and universities beginning with the 2010 school year.
On Senate floor agenda 3-11.

Health care workforce:
SB-804 (Crain)
Creating the rural Primary Care Physician Loam Repayment Program.
Passed Senate on 3-3.

State agencies; administrative rules:
SB-817 (Brogdon)
Providing that the legislature shall approve proposed state agency administrative rules and that failure to approve such rules will constitute disapproval of the rules.
Passed Senate on 3-9.

Health insurance:
SB-822 (Branan)
Creating the Task Force on the Review of Health Insurance Mandates.
This bill passed the Senate. The emergency initially failed to pass but was approved following a vote to reconsider the vote by which it failed.

Health insurance; cancer:
SB-839 (Leftwich)
Requiring health insurance coverage for orally administered anti-cancer medications.
Passed by the Senate with an amendment.
A floor amendment was adopted to make the Health Care Authority act as collector for medical charges for services rendered to uninsured persons.

Long-term care facilities:
SB-841 (Branan)
Requiring national criminal background checks for long-term care facility employees.
Passed Senate on 3-3.

State employees; health insurance
SB-846 (Crain)
Directing the Health Care Authority to apply for a Medicaid waiver to enable state employees with family incomes below 250% of the poverty level to elect to participate in the state’s Medicaid premium assistance program. This would be in lieu of choosing a health plan under the state employee health insurance program. The benefit allowance that covers the state employee’s health plan would be used to pay for the individual’s coverage under the Medicaid premium assistance program.
Not heard in committee. Dormant.

End-of-instruction tests; students with disabilities:
SB-867 (Anderson)
Delaying the effective date for required passage of end-of-instruction tests for high school graduation. The date would be put off to the 2010-2011 school year.
Passed Senate on 3-5 with title stricken.

Accessible information:
SB-871 (Russell)
Modifying membership of Electronic and Information Technology Accessibility Advisory Council. Providing that both House and Senate shall appoint two members each to the Council, but deleting the requirement that they represent specific legislative committees.
Passed Senate on 3-5

SB-910 (Branan)
Making an appropriation to Department of Transportation.

Mental health; prescription drugs:
SB-934 (Anderson; Schwartz)
Expanding the authority of the Medicaid Prescription Drug Utilization Board. Allowing the Board to establish standards and protocols for provision of drugs to treat mental health disorders without prior authorization. The Board currently has this authority with regard to HIV/AIDS medications and drugs for Hepatitis C.
Passed the Senate on 3-3 with an amendment.

Vision screening; schools:
SB-964 (Paddack)
Modifying provisions related to vision screening of school children. Specifying composition and duties of the Health Department’s advisory committee on school vision screenings.
Passed Senate on 3-2.

Special education; personnel training:
SB-971 (Sparks)
Providing that school district professional development programs shall be open to related services providers in the special education field.
Passed Senate on 3-4.

State agencies; information services:
SB-980 (Coffee)
Creating the state Office of Information Services to coordinate the information services functions of all state agencies. The bill would transfer the current Information Services Division in the Office of State Finance to the new agency. The new agency would prescribe standards and rules for purchasing IT equipment and services, provide training and in other ways promote a more uniform IT system among all state agencies. The legislation is being promoted as a cost-savings measure for the state.
Passed Senate and sent to House. A similar bill, HB-1704, has passed the House.

Workers compensation:
SB-988 (Crain)
Permitting an employer to require that an employee settle a workers comp claim through mediation if the employer pays at least 75% of the employee’s health insurance premium and the plan deductible is not over $1,000.
Bill failed in the Senate.

SB-999 (Anderson)
Appropriating $200,000 to the Department of Rehabilitation Services to fund the Oklahoma AgrAbility Project.

Health insurance; small employers:
SB-1039 (Jolley)
Creating the Health Insurance Purchasing Group Act and exempting health insurance purchasing groups from the Small Employers Health Insurance Reform Act.
Reported from committee.

Personal assistance; home care:
SB-1042 (Jolley)
Expanding exemptions to the Home Care Act (home health agency licensing) to include persons providing home care under OHCA or DHS Medicaid waivers for community based services to the elderly.
Passed Senate on 3-11.

Nonprofit organizations:
SB-1070 (Paddack)
Enacting the Oklahoma Solicitation of Charitable Contributions Act. Affecting operations of not-for-profit disability related organizations that are organized for charitable, educational and other nonprofit purposes.
Passed the Senate on 3-5.

Vision research:
SB-1095 (Sparks)
Providing income tax credits for donations to a vision research and patient care institute.
Reported from committee. On Senate floor agenda 3-11.

State employees:
SB-1096 (Reynolds)
Providing a salary increase of $2,000 for state employees.

Chronic pain:
SB-1133 (Jolley)
Creating the Interventional Pain Management and Treatment Act. Letting doctors prescribe certain controlled substances when justifiable to treat intractable pain. Providing safeguards.
Passed the Senate on 3-2.

Health; BEP managers:
SB-1135 (Bass)
Requiring food services, vending machine operators, groceries and other food service facilities to disclose the nutritional content of the food products they regularly sell to the public. The legislation specifies ways this disclosure can be accomplished.
A floor substitute passed the Senate on 3-9. The bill as it passed the Senate creates a Task Force on Dining Information and Nutritional Education. Staff support for the Task Force will be provided by the Oklahoma Department of Health.

Official English:
SB-1156 (Anderson)
Designating English as the official language of Oklahoma.
Passed the Senate on 3-3 with title restored.

Workers compensation:
SB-1231 (Jolley)
Creating a task force on privatization of CompSource.
Passed Senate on 3-3.

Official English:
SJR-30 (Sykes)
Making English the official language of Oklahoma.

SJR-35 (Sparks)
A joint resolution supporting the State of Kansas Amtrak feasibility study. Encouraging the state Department of Transportation to pursue extension of passenger rail services north from Oklahoma City to connect with Newton, KS and points beyond. Noting funding possibilities that have emerged at the federal level for development of this expansion.
Passed Senate on 3-10.

SCR-2 (Easley)
Memorializing Congress to increase funding for Alzheimer ’s disease.

House bills

OSB and OSD; religious expression in schools:
HB-1001 (Reynolds)
This measure provides for student rights to express religious beliefs and positions in school and school events. It makes these provisions applicable to school districts. Should be reviewed closely to see if there is any impact for OSB and OSD.
Substitute bill passed House Education Committee; on House floor agenda 3-9.

Handicapped parking:
HB-1007 (Wesselhoft)
Requiring certain language to be displayed on signage designating disability parking spaces. The signage should indicate spaces are reserved for persons with disabilities.
Passed House 97-0 on 2-24. Goes to Senate.

Group homes:
HB-1019 (Wright)
Re-creating the Group Homes for Persons with Developmental or Physical Disabilities Advisory Board.
Passed in Committee on 2-24. Passed by House 86-11 and sent to Senate.

State employees:
HB-1027 (Wright)
Affecting state employee salaries, recruitment, retention, market pay and pay for performance.

Health insurance; provider payment:
HB-1028 (Cox)
Requiring health insurers, when paying medical claims submitted by out-of-network providers, to list the medical provider as a payee on the check issued to the patient (insured).
The bill was substituted in Committee; passed House.
Passed House with title stricken. Sent to Senate.

HB-1037 (Tibbs)
Requiring voters to present proof of identity and specifying what can be used as proof of identity. This bill as it was introduced and came out of committee specifies proof of identity to be a photo of the person on an ID issued by federal, sate or city government or an Indian tribe. Without one of these forms of photo ID, the voter could sign an oath as to his identity, but the ID proving his identity would still have to be provided to the election authorities before the vote could be counted.(Note: Of potential interest to disabled and elderly voters who may not have drivers’ licenses and have difficulty obtaining other photo ID.)
Passed House on 3-11.

Mental health:
HB-1051 (Carey)
Creating the Protection Against Sexual Exploitation By Mental Health Services Provider Act.
Not heard in committee as of 2-26 (deadline).

Blind students; Orientation and Mobility instructors:
HB-1062 (Sherrer)
Directing the State Department of Education, when funds are available, to provide an annual bonus of $5,000 to any public school district employee who is an orientation and mobility instructor certified by the Academy for Certification of Visual Rehabilitation and Education Professionals.
This bill was not been scheduled for a committee hearing. Dormant.

Assisted living:
HB-1065 (Faught)
Requiring development of a consumer guide to assisted living and continuum of care facilities.
2-17 - Passed House 100-0.

Official English:
HB-1066 (Faught)
Creating the English Language as the official Language of Oklahoma Act. This is a shell bill as introduced. Potential issues for Oklahomans with disabilities include treatment of American Sign Language, and access to disability services and information.
Not heard in committee. Dormant.

BEP (of potential interest):
HB-1074 (Cooksey: Sykes)
Deleting the requirement that persons operating canteen services in state correctional facilities must be state employees. SB-803 by Sykes is a duplicate bill.
2-11 - Passed House 80-20. Sent to Senate. SB-803 has passed the Senate and been sent to the House floor agenda.

Health care access:
HB-1075 (Lamons)
Creating the Oklahoma Access to Health Care Act.
Not heard in committee. Dormant.

Health care; pressure ulcers:
HB-1090 (Trebilcock)
Requiring the Health Care Authority to submit a plan to the Legislature for funding the prevention and treatment of pressure ulcers in patients being cared for in Medicaid-funded facilities. The plan would address effective methods for reducing the incidence of pressure sores in patients, and recommend a source of funding for prevention and treatment costs, including medications.
Passed committee in the House; set on House floor agenda 2-26.

Health care:
HB-1093 (Trebilcock)
Enacting the Public Health Care Improvement Act.
A substitute bill passed House Judiciary. Dormant.

Health and human services:
HB-1094 (Trebilcock)
Enacting the Health and Human Services Act of 2009.
No action. Dormant.

Transportation; appropriation:

General appropriations:
HB-1124 Passed House; no figures. In Senate.

J.D. McCarty Center; appropriations:

Mental health; appropriation:

Office of Disability Concerns; appropriation:

DRS; appropriation:

Autism; insurance:
HB-1312 (Brown)
Enacting Nick’s Law to require health insurance coverage for autism.
Failed in Committee. Do Not Pass vote was 10-5.
Voting for “Do Not Pass” (to kill the bill) were Sullivan, Randy McDaniel, Faught, Key, Liebmann, McNiel, Moore, Ownbey, Peters and “Leadership”. Voting against the “Do Not Pass” motion (i.e. supporting insurance coverage of autism) were Carey, Auffet, Morgan, Shelton, Shumate.

Health care:
HB-1335 (Denney)
Requiring certain health benefit plans to provide coverage for colorectal and ovarian cancer examinations.
Not heard in committee. Dormant.

Health care workforce:
HB-1336 (Bailey)
Providing an income tax deduction for licensed medical providers who work for a certain number of years in medically underserved areas of the state.
Reported from A & B Committee.

State employees:
HB-1344 (Brannon)
State employee pay increase of 5%.

Injury prevention:
HB-1352 (Jeannie McDaniel)
Modifying state seat belt law to require that all passengers must wear seat belts or use child restraint systems as applicable.

State employees:
HB-1370 (Smithson)
Providing a state employee pay increase of $1,500.
No action. Dormant.

HB-1382 (Randy McDaniel)
Requiring voters to show proof of identity. For proof of identity a voter must show an official government issued photo ID, or ID issued by an Indian tribe.
No action. Dormant.

HB-1387 (Osborn)
Requiring proof of identity when voting.

HB-1391 (Collins)
Establishing the Oklahoma Railways Commission.
In A & B committee - no action. Dormant.

Disabled veterans; voting:
HB-1402 (Hilliard)
Modifying absentee ballot procedures for persons living in veterans’ centers.
Passed House 100-0. Sent to Senate.

HB-1415 (Kern)
Providing a sales tax exemption for purchase of eyeglasses by senior citizens.
A & B committee; no action. Dormant.

Medicaid; access to health care:
HB-1443 (Renegar)
Expanding the scope of the Medicaid premium assistance program.
A & B Committee; no action. Dormant.

Injury prevention:
HB-1455 (McAffrey)
Making it illegal to talk on a cell phone or text message while driving unless the person is using a hands-free device. Exceptions are made for law enforcement, emergency vehicle drivers, persons holding a commercial chauffeur’s license while they are working, emergency or dangerous situations, and some other conditions. Violation would be a misdemeanor, and the fine for violation could range from $200 to $500.
No action. Dormant.

Charity health services:
HB-1481 (Kern)
Expanding class of persons eligible for special volunteer medical license; specifying certain licensing covered by the Volunteer Medical Professional Services Immunity Act.
Substitute bill passed Committee. The substitute bill adds physician assistants, nurse practitioners and pharmacists to those eligible for a volunteer medical license. Deletes some language from current law relating to volunteer medical licenses and services.
Passed House on 3-4. Sent to Senate.

End-of-instruction tests:
HB-1511 (Blackwell)
Adding another end-of-instruction test that high school students must take. The test would be for computer science.
A floor substitute passed on 3-9.

Autism; special education:
HB-1512 (Blackwell)
Providing that public schools which are meeting the requirements of federal special education law (IDEA) cannot be held civilly liable for failure to have on site specialized programs for children with autism. The bill states that schools may send students with autism to specialized programs that the parents choose.
A substitute bill passed the House Education Committee on 2-26. Passed House on 3-10.

Prescription drugs:
HB-1516 (Inman)
Modifying existing law requiring prescription labels to include the symptom being treated by the medicine. Clarifying that failure to print the treated symptom on a prescription label shall not be considered evidence of malpractice in litigation.

Mental health; vulnerable adults:
HB-1519 (Inman)
Making a variety of changes to the current Protective Services for Vulnerable Adults Act. Renaming the Act as the Protective Services for Vulnerable Persons Act. Stating its purpose includes protecting persons from conception through eternity. Broadening the scope of persons covered in the Act to include persons vulnerable to criticism or moral attack. Deleting the terms “mental or physical disability” in the description of who is covered by the law.

HB-1522 (Liebmann)
Increasing the funding going to roads through the ROADS Program by indexing future increases to the Producer Price Index for Highway and Street Construction. No increase is provided for transit or rail.
A & B committee; no action. Dormant.

HB-1523 (Liebmann)
Same as HB-1522.
A & B Committee. Dormant.

Injury prevention:
HB-1526 (Liebmann)
Prohibiting use of wireless electronic devices to write, send or read text messages while driving. Prohibiting law enforcement officers from citing violators unless they are involved in an accident. Providing that when it contributes to an accident, texting while driving shall be a misdemeanor.

Teacher pay:
HB-1541 (Holland)
Increasing teacher minimum salaries.

End-of-instruction tests:
HB-1547 (Denney)
Replacing the currently required end-of-instruction tests with the requirement that students take the American College Test (ACT) and achieve an acceptable score as set by the State Board of Education. (Note: Of interest because the accessibility of end-of-instruction English tests is being addressed by blindness groups.)

Therapeutic recreation:
HB-1557 (Williams)
Creating the Therapeutic Recreation Practice Act.

Health care workforce:
HB-1585 (Fields)
Creating a tax credit for physicians practicing in rural areas.

Official English
HB-1587 (Fields)
Making English the official language of Oklahoma.

Workers comp:
HB-1600 (Sullivan)
Modifying criteria for extension of benefits in workers comp cases. Description refers to permitting surgery for soft tissue damage caused by a physician’s initial treatment.
Passed committee on 2-25 and set on House agenda 3-9..

Workers comp:
HB-1611 (Sullivan)
Similar to HB-1600.

Mental health:
HB-1616 (Sullivan)
Regarding emergency detention of persons appearing to be mentally ill, alcohol dependent, or drug dependent; specifying procedures when a person is medically unstable.
A substitute bill was reported from committee. Passed House 94-2. To Senate.

Lawsuit reform:
HB-1619 (Sullivan) Referring to a vote of the people a proposed lawsuit reform act. This proposal will affect personal injury situations and damages that can be awarded to injured persons. Also see HB-1621, the Oklahoma Damages Reform Act, also by Sullivan. HB-1622 by Sullivan addresses business-friendly lawsuit reform, and HB-1623 refers to the people a tort reform package.

Confidentiality of Social Security numbers:
HB-1625 (Pittman)
Prohibiting the Department of Human Services from sharing client Social Security numbers with other agencies and service providers. “Kelly’s Law.”
Substitute bill passed committee on 2-26. On House floor agenda 3-9.
Check this bill for impact on DRS.

Vulnerable adults:
HB-1627 (Pittman)
Modifying provisions in the Protective Services for Vulnerable Adults Act. Requiring abuse be reported to both DHS and law enforcement.
Substitute bill passed committee 2-19. Passed House with amendment. To Senate.

Blind and visually impaired students:
HB-16 28 (Pittman)
Providing for certain evaluation requirements, teacher training, and testing accommodations for visually impaired and blind students. The bill requires the State Department of Education to provide training, online when feasible, to teachers and school personnel working with students who have visual impairments. It requires a teacher of the visually impaired or orientation and mobility specialist to participate on the IEP team for a visually impaired student. For students with IEP’s, the bill requires the end-of-instruction criterion-referenced tests to be administered in the media identified in the student’s IEP, whether Braille, orally, large print or using assistive devices.
Not heard in A & B Subcommittee on Education 2-18. Dormant.

State employees:
HB-1630 (Pittman)
Amending the Oklahoma Personnel Act. Expanding the Merit Protection Commission role to include establishment of employee grievance procedures for unclassified state employees in addition to classified employees.
Passed committee on 2-25 and put on House agenda 3-9.
Note: May be of interest to DRS.

DRS; Oklahoma Rehabilitation Council
HB-1635 (Pittman)
Directing the Legislature to appoint three added members to the Oklahoma Rehabilitation Council to represent private organizations that cooperate with DRS. The Legislature would replace or reappoint these members as their terms expire.
No committee action. Dormant..

HB-1637 (Pittman)
Enacting the Oklahoma Transportation Modification Act. A shell bill as introduced.
No committee action. Dormant.

Mental health; youth with disabilities:
HB-1640 (Pittman)
Enacting the Mental Health for Youth Review Act. Shell bill a introduced.
No committee action. Dormant.

Accommodating medical conditions:
HB-1675 (Ownbey)
Creating the Restroom Access Act. This bill gives persons with Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis and other medical conditions necessitating prompt access to restroom facilities the right to access a retail establishment’s employee restroom under certain conditions. Businesses would have to allow eligible persons to use employee restroom facilities when public restrooms are not readily available. The person must carry documentation of the condition, and the business must have at least three employees present at the business. Access can be denied if there are risks to the health or safety of the customer or employees.
No committee action. Dormant.

Volunteer medical services:
HB-1678 (Ownbey)
Enacting the Volunteer Medical Professional Services Immunity Act. Providing for certain immunity from liability for certain entities.
A substitute bill passed committee. Bill passed\ House 95-5 and is in Senate.

Pedestrian safety:
HB-1679 (Ownbey)
Creating the Motorcycle Mobility and Safety Act. Allowing motorcycles and bicycles to proceed through red lights at an intersection if they believe the traffic control signal change has to be triggered by presence of a larger motor vehicle and if they do not see pedestrians or other vehicles in the intersection.
Referred to Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee. No action. Dormant.

State employees longevity pay:
HB-1695 (Billy)
Increasing state employee longevity pay.
A & B Committee. Dormant.

Long-term care; home and community based waiver:
HB-1700 (Morrissette)
Implementing the Self-Directed Care Program that may be used by persons with disabilities who are eligible for Medicaid home and community based waiver services. This bill moves the Self-Directed Care Program from pilot status to make it a continuing statewide program if federally approved as part of Oklahoma’s Medicaid waiver for community based services. The program would provide a monthly budget to eligible individuals for purchase of personal care, home modifications and related long-term care services. The Department of Human Services would assess individuals to determine if they are capable, with or without a representative, of choosing and managing their own home care services.
The A & B Subcommittee on Human Services adopted a substitute bill, but laid over the bill and in the end did not pass it out of the subcommittee. Not yet listed as dormant.

State agencies; information technology:
HB-1704 (Derby)
Creating the Oklahoma Information Services Act. Creating a state Office of Information Services. Transferring current information technology duties of the Office of State Finance to the new entity. Giving the new information technology office the role to coordinate information technology operations of all state agencies and to pursue establishment of a more uniform system among state agencies. Senate bill is SB-980.
A substitute bill passed committee. A floor substitute passed the House on 3-11.

State agencies; administrative rules:
HB-1709 (Derby)
Requiring state agencies subject to the Administrative Procedures Act to request permission from the House Committee on Administrative Rules and both houses of the Legislature before making or amending agency rules.
Failed in House Government Modernization Committee on 2-24.

Long-term care:
HB-1723 (Ownbey)
Creating the Long-Term Care Assessment Act.

Long-term care:
HB-1724 (Ownbey)
Creating the Nursing Home Care Assessment Act.

Nursing homes:
HB-1729 (Cox)
Modifying dispute resolution pilot program to be dispute resolution panel; deleting obsolete dates for reimbursement from the Nursing Facility Quality of Care Fund; deleting required nurse staffing ratios in nursing homes and related provisions.
A substitute bill passed committee, then passed the House 101-0. In Senate.

Personal care:
HB-1736 (Peters)
Changing the definition of “personal care” in the Home Care Act to refer only to persons who need the maximum level of care, who cannot bathe, turn in bed or otherwise pivot or transfer position without assistance or who need tube maintenance other than for cleanliness. The Home Care Act affects home health agencies and the provision of home care including personal assistance services.
A substitute bill passed in committee. The substitute is considerably different from the early bill. The new bill does not change the definition of “personal care,” but it does add a new definition for “personal home care assistant” that applies to individuals who work for private duty home care agencies, which are agencies that are not certified by Medicare. The bill requires criminal background checks for such individuals as well as specified training. Bill passed House 95-3 on 2-18.

Prescription drugs:
HB-1757 (Martin)
Prohibiting certain health insurance plans from limiting or denying coverage of prescription drugs if a covered individual is currently using a particular prescription and the health plan has been covering it.
A substitute bill passed committee. Now on House floor agenda.

HB-1761 (Enns)
Allowing certain hunters with disabilities to use mechanical bow draw devices.
Passed House.

Special education:
HB-1763 (Enns)
Requiring special education due process hearing officers to complete certain training.
Substitute bill passed committee. Passed House on 3-9.

Rail transportation:
HB-1768 (Jackson)
Creating apportionment for the Oklahoma Tourism and Passenger Rail Revolving Fund.

Injury prevention:
HB-1793 (Hoskin)
Creating the Oklahoma Motorcycle Safety Act. Shell bill as introduced.

Pedestrian safety; blind and disabled individuals:
HB-1795 (Hoskin)
Establishing conditions under which motorcyclists and bicyclists may proceed through red traffic signals. Allowing motorcycles and bicycles to proceed through red lights at an intersection if they believe the traffic control signal change has to be triggered by presence of a larger motor vehicle and if they do not see pedestrians or other vehicles in the intersection.
Passed committee on 2-19. Passed the House 72-11 on 3-10.

State employees:
HB-1796 (Hoskin)
Providing a one-time stipend of $2,000 to each state employee and a $1,000 stipend to retirees, the funds for this derived from the Constitutional Reserve Fund.

Independent living
HB-1801 (Pittman)
Creating the Oklahoma Independent Living Act of 2009. A shell bill as introduced.

HB-1806 (Shumate)
Creating an income tax credit for health club membership.

College financial aid:
HB1809 (Shumate)
Creating the Oklahoma Urban Medical Education Loan and Scholarship Program Act.

HB-1812 (Shannon)
Proposing a Constitutional amendment to allow the state to enter into contracts with quasi-governmental or private entities to develop fright or passenger rail infrastructure and operations for intrastate or interstate rail. Allowing the Legislature to appropriate funds for such purposes and requiring any such contracts be under the jurisdiction of the state Department of Transportation.

HB-1816 (Shannon)
Enacting the Oklahoma Transportation Act.

HB-1817 (Shannon)
Enacting the Oklahoma Transportation Analysis Act.

Medicaid; health insurance:
HB-1825 (Johnson)
Expanding the scope of the Medicaid premium assistance program.
No heard in A & B Subcommittee on Health. Dormant/

Autism; health insurance:
HB-1841 (Collins)
Creating Nick’s Law to require health insurance to cover autism.
No action in committee. Dormant.

Sign language interpreters:
HB-1842 (Duncan)
Creating the Oklahoma Licensed Interpreter Act. Creating the Oklahoma Board of Licensed Interpreters for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. The Board would consist of seven members appointed by the Governor. The Board would be authorized to hire staff, establish criteria and rules for licensure of interpreters, set fees and charges, investigate reported violations of the licensure act and rules, and enforce provisions of the Act through assessment of fines, imposition of sanctions and pursuit of legal action against violators.
A floor substitute by Rep. Duncan was adopted, It included a provision defining “state certification” to be QAST levels granted by DRS and a provision that places QAST certification among the types of evidence of skill the Board considers in order to license an interpreter.
The bill passed the House 91-7.

HB-1843 (Collins)
Providing sales tax exemption for certain groceries and over-the-counter medicines.

Prescription drugs:
HB-1849 (McMullen)
Prohibiting the transfer or sale of prescription drug information that identifies either the patient or physician when such transfer of information is for commercial purposes. Limiting the transfer of such information to specific authorized purposes related to health insurance coverage of the prescription.

Health care workforce:
HB-1870 (Hickman)
Providing a tax deduction for certain rural physicians.

Aging and disability:
HB-1893 (Peterson)
Authorizing Department of Human Services to develop and implement the Aging and Disability Resource Consortium initiative. The initiative would support development of a single point of entry for elderly and disabled individuals seeking services and guidance in understanding their options for long-term care and supports. DHS is directed to collaborate with other agencies in development of this initiative. The agency is authorized to pursue grants and such other funding sources as may be found for this project.
Passed House 97-0 on 2-16. Sent to Senate.

Health information:
HB-1910 (Cox)
Creating the Health Information Infrastructure Advisory Board.
A & B Committee; no action. Dormant.

Volunteer medical services:
HB-1927 (Cox)
Expanding scope of the Volunteer Medical Professional Services Immunity Act.
Rules; no action. Dormant.

Medicaid funding:
HB-1931 (Cox
Imposing an assessment of two percent of gross revenues on hospitals and durable medical equipment providers, the funds to be used to help provide the state match required to draw down federal Medicaid funds.
Rules; no action. Dormant.

State agencies:
HB-1956 (Benge)
Creating the state government Accountability and Innovation Act. Provides for state agency performance audits.
A floor substitute passed the House on 3-10.

HB-1961 (Benge)
Requiring proof of identity when voting. Proof can include photo identification cards issued by government entities, or a photocopy of a voter’s current utility bill, bank statement or paycheck.

State agency purchasing:
HB1963 (Benge)
Reforming state agency procurement methods. As substituted this bill turned into a bill to create a task force on privatization of CompSource.
Substitute bill reported from committee on 2-25. Passed House on 3-10.

HB-1966 (Benge)
Creating the Workforce Development Act of 2009. This bill was changed via a substitute bill which aims to make any changes needed in state law to implement the national American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. No specific law changes are set forth in the substitute bill as it now stands.
A substitute bill adopted in committee. Set on House agenda 3-11.

HB-1968 (Benge)
Creating the Autism Services Improvement Act. Shell bill as introduced.

HB-1969 (Benge)
Creating the Autism Services Act. Shell as introduced.

**Health care coverage legislation:
HB-1975 (Benge)
Creating the Oklahoma Health Care Coverage Legislation Act. Shell as introduced.
A substitute bill passed the Economic Development Committee and was set on the House agenda 3-9.
The substitute states that any bill that would require health insurance to cover added services can only be introduced in odd-numbered years in the Legislature, and can only be voted on in even-numbered years. Further the bill would require any person or group advocating such a bill to provide a report to the appropriate legislative committees on the social and financial impact of the legislation. The bill describes what must be included in the report. The bill makes an exception for introduction of bills that address emergency situations - these can be offered in any year but will require a three-fourths vote to pass.

HB-1976 (Benge)
Creating the Oklahoma Transportation Act. Shell as introduced.

Mental health; students:
HB-2004 (Wright)
Requiring mental health issues training for teachers and school employees; authorizing mental health referrals for students.
A substitute bill reported from committee. The House rejected the bill 59-36, but a motion to reconsider the vote was lodged, adopted and the Hose passed the bill on 3-10.

Health care:
HB-2026 (Steele)
Creating the Health Care for Oklahomans Act. This bill would direct the Health Care Authority and state Insurance Department to establish the Health Care for the Uninsured Board, which would assist uninsured persons to obtain health coverage and facilitate short-term coverage when appropriate to compensate hospitals for care provided to persons without health coverage. The bill also addresses development of the state’s health care workforce.
A substitute bill was reported from committee. Passed the House 95-0.

HB-2027 (Steele)
Providing for the licensing of certain persons; directing funds to be used for certain training; providing for a behavioral analysis research pilot project.
Passed the House amended.
The bill now provides for licensure of Certified Behavior Analysts to practice in Oklahoma, with the Developmental Disabilities Services division of DHS providing the licensure functions. The bill directs that funds be spent to train Sooner Start personnel in working with children with autism, and that funds be spent to train medical providers treating Medicaid recipients to evaluate autistic disorders in children. A pilot project of autism treatment would also be created.

Indigent care:
HB-2033 (Steele)
Creating the Indigent Care and Assistance Act. Shell as introduced.

Human services:
HB-2037 (Steele)
Enacting the Health and Human Services Act. Shell as introduced.

Long-term care:
HB-2041 (Steele)
Enacting the Long-Term Care Facilities Assessment Act. Shell as introduced.

Clinical trials:
HB-2042 (Steele)
Enacting the Health Clinical Trials Act. Shell as introduced.

Poor persons:
HB-2043 (Steele)
Enacting the Poor Persons Relief Act. Shell as introduced.

Volunteer medical providers:
HB-2093 (Kirby)
Expanding the scope of the Volunteer Medical Professionals Immunity Act.
Reported from committee as substituted. Passed the House 97-0.

Public Transportation:
HB-2098 (Enns)
Enacting the Oklahoma Public Transportation Act. Shell as introduced.

End-of-instruction testing; students with disabilities:
HB-2101 (McPeak)
Enacting the Fair Testing Act; modifying provisions relating to end-of-instruction testing and alternative method testing.

Prescription drugs:
HB-2102 (McPeak)
Creating the Donut Hole Act. Requiring DHS to establish a program to assist senior citizens with prescription drug costs.

HB-2147 (Ritze)
Sales tax exemption for certain over-the-counter medicines.

Workers compensation:
HB-2166 (McCullough)
Creating Workers Compensation Law.

Special needs trusts:
HB-2171 (McCullough)
Creating the Oklahoma Discretionary and Special Needs Trust Act. Provides provisions applying to trusts regardless of a spendthrift provision.
Passed House Judiciary. Set on House agenda 3-9.

Health insurance:
HB-2179 (Nelson)
Providing an income tax deduction for health insurance premiums paid by a taxpayer.
Passed House A & B subcommittee on Revenue and Taxation on 2-19. No further action reported as of 2-27.

Health insurance:
HB-2181 (Nelson)
Creating the Oklahoma Health Care and Health Insurance Act of 2009.

HB-2183 (Nelson)
Requiring proof of identity to vote. Proof would be a photo ID issued by an official government entity.

Aging; health care providers:
HB-2208 (Kiesel)
Creating the Geriatric Medical Loan Repayment Program.
Passed A & B Subcommittee on Health as substituted. No further action reported.

HB-2213 (Kiesel)
Creating the Oklahoma Beverage Container Recycling Act. Providing that all containers (cans, etc.) shall have a deposit charged for them and a refund of the deposit would be made by the vendor to anyone requesting a refund on a container for the type of beverage the vendor sells, whether or not the person bought the beverage at his facility.

HB-2221 (Kiesel)
Creating the Oklahoma Rail Acquisition Act.

HB-2237 (Jett)
Enacting the Oklahoma Rail Act.

Official English
HB-2254 (Terrill) Enacting the Oklahoma Official English Language Implementation Act. Note: Of interest due to any treatment of sign language.
Rules; no action. Dormant.

Official English:
HJR-1015 (Osborn)
Designating English as the state’s official language.
Rules; no action. Dormant.

Stem cell research:
HJR-1035 (Enns)
Directing funds for certain adult stem cell research. Requiring an election to approve funds for this purpose.
Passed House Rules; set on House agenda 3-9.

Official English
HJR-1042 (Terrill)
A constitutional amendment to make English the official language. Note: Of interest due to possible impact on sign language usage.
Passed House Rules as substituted. Set on House agenda 3-9.

Note: As in previous years, there are several joint resolutions asking for a vote of the people to freeze or limit growth in the fair cash value of homesteads owned by senior citizens – to limit increase in property taxes for aging Oklahomans (see Dank). There are several bills to eliminate or phase out sales tax on food and beverages.

Several bills are called the Oklahoma Transportation Analysis Act. All are shells as introduced.

Numerous bills have been introduced to require drug tests as a condition of receiving public assistance (TANF) or unemployment benefits.