Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Laws Signed by Governor from 53rd Legislature, 12nd Session

HB 1910 authorizes the Oklahoma Water Resources Board to test for and regulate licenses and operator certifications and to inspect certain wells or boreholes. The measure authorizes the Board to prohibit use of a well until it is brought into compliance and to impound rigs and equipment under certain conditions. The Board is authorized to issue emergency orders without a hearing under certain conditions. The committee substitute also reduces the expenditure cap of the Well Drillers and Pump Installer Remedial Action Indemnity Fund to $10,000 for each well, borehole or pump for which action is taken. 

HB 1952 creates the Oklahoma Weigh Station Act of 2012.  The bill provides definitions used in the Act.  The measure authorizes the Department of Transportation, the Turnpike Authority and the Corporation Commission to enter into interagency agreements concerning the equipment, maintenance and operations of fixed weigh stations.  Provides that the three parties shall endeavor to electronically upgrade weigh stations to minimize duplication.  Provides that the Corporation Commission is to operate all current and future ports of entry weigh stations 24 hours a day, 7 days a week upon the availability of funds.  Provides that the Corporation Commission is to continue to conduct roadside enforcement in areas where a fixed facility is planned.  Provides that the Corporation Commission is only authorized to conduct motor carrier and commercial motor vehicle enforcement at fixed facilities and within 7 miles of a fixed facility.  Provides that a commercial motor vehicle, its driver or a motor carrier may not be cited for the same violation on the same date as the original citation. Provides that the Corporation Commission and the Department of Public Safety may enter into interagency agreements to share information electronically. 

HB 1985 gives preference to veterans in hiring. When establishing employment lists of eligible persons for competitive and noncompetitive appointment, the committee substitute for HB 1985 requires that any veteran who meets the basic qualifications for a position to be interviewed in person in order to allow the veteran to demonstrate any transferable skills acquired in military service.

HB 2090 allows college technology center school districts and technology center school district to share revenues from building fund levies in areas where the two districts overlap apportioned one-half (1/2) to the college technology center school district making the levy and one-half (1/2) to the overlapped technology center school district. Only one district shall make a building fund levy in the overlap territory during any given time period.

SB138 provides that the Department of Public Safety make space available on the front or back of the driver license and identification card that will enable a flag emblem to be placed on the card to signify that the applicant is a military veteran effective November 1, 2012.

HB 2248 increases the annual apportionment to the Rebuilding Oklahoma Access and Driver Safety (ROADS) Fund from $41.7 million to $59.7 million.  Currently the apportionment to the ROADS fund ends when the total amount reaches $435 million.  The measure allows the apportionment to be made until the fund reaches $575 million.

HB 2300 transfers the authority to certify the children’s shelters operated by the Department of Human Services (DHS) from the Oklahoma Commission on Children and Youth (OCCY) to the Office of Juvenile Affairs.  The measure also:
  • Modifies the criminal background check requirements for a trial reunification of a child with the child’s parent(s) to apply only to an adult in the home who is not the parent, legal guardian or custodian of the child;
  • Modifies the list of findings used by the court to establish that reasonable efforts to reunify a child with the child’s parent(s) are not required;
  • Prohibits children 6 years of age or younger from being placed in shelter care after June 30, 2012 and prohibits children 13 years of age or younger from being placed in a shelter after June 30, 2014, provided suitable alternative placements are available;
  • Authorizes the Director of DHS to hire the Advocate General;
  • Applies the standards used for investigations of abuse or neglect of children who are not in DHS custody to investigations of abuse or neglect of children who are in the department’s custody; and
  • Requires OCCY to implement the Oklahoma Mentoring Children of Incarcerated Parents Program.

House Bill 2306 requires that school district alternative education plans be included in the school improvement plans school districts must adopt every six years. School districts with one or more school sites on the needs improvement list must submit school improvement and capital improvement plans electronically.
The State Board of Education must identify schools that are consistently listed as persistently low-achieving and boards of education with schools on that list must submit an annual update of the school improvement plan to the State Board of Education.
The measure also repeals the section of law that requires school districts to adopt a Comprehensive Local Education Plan every six years as part of receiving accreditation. This eliminates the need for school districts to submit information twice since information in the Comprehensive Local Education Plan state law already requires that information in other reports to the State Board of Education.
The measure also removes language that gives the State Board of Education the authority to review preliminary plans for new construction and major alteration of public school buildings before a school district can let bids.
The State Department of Education must provide training for regional accreditation officers in alternative education compliance. School districts must show on transcripts students’ highest achieved scores on end-of-instruction tests rather than all scores.
Those appointed to school board positions must agree to take 12 hours of instruction related to education within 15 months. If a member is required to leave his or her seat due to not completing the requirement, he or she cannot be reappointed or run for reelection to the board for three years for three-member boards, four years for seven-member boards and five years for five-member boards.
Any teacher employed full time by a school for 10 or more consecutive years immediately before applying to become a substitute in that district, may be exempt from the requirement to have a national criminal history record check. If the teacher applies to become a substitute in another district, the new district must require a background check.

HB2510 prohibits a person from making a sales tax exemption granted to an organization in order to make a purchase exempt from sales tax for his or her personal use and provides for misdemeanor and administrative fines and penalties for violations of the law.
Any person who knowingly makes a purchase in violation of this law shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction thereof shall be fined an amount equal to double the amount of sales tax involved, or incarcerated for not more than sixty days, or both.
In addition to the penalty noted above, any person violating subsection A of this section shall be subject to an administrative fine of not more than $500.00.  Administrative fines collected pursuant to the provisions of this subsection shall be deposited to the General Revenue Fund.

HB 2787 allows a bank or credit union to transfer or release the contents of a rented safe deposit box to the known heirs of the deceased sole owner of the safe deposit box when no beneficiary or successor has been designated.  All known heirs must either be present when the box is opened or have a duly authorized agent attend on their behalf.  The bank or credit union will not be held liable if they are acting in good faith with respect to the affidavit and duly authorized agent.

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