Sunday, March 31, 2013

Adding Youth Camp and Church to Rape Definitions



It is  sad time when we have to add this to the definition of rape:

Where the victim is at least sixteen years of age and is less than eighteen years of age and engages in sexual intercourse at any time during the victim's participation in a church youth program or membership in a church or place of worship with a person who is eighteen years of age or older and is an employee or volunteer employee of the same church or ministry, despite whether the conduct occurs at a place other than the youth program locations or church or place of worship.

Bill to Give Immunity to places Allowing Guns



Senate Bill 173 amends the law as follows:

A person, corporation, place of worship or any other business entity that does or does not prohibit any individual except a convicted felon from carrying a loaded or unloaded, concealed or unconcealed weapon on property that the person, corporation, place of worship or other business entity owns, or has legal control of, is immune from any liability arising from that decision.

An employer who does or does not prohibit their employees from carrying
a concealed or unconcealed weapon is immune from any liability arising from that decision. The provisions of this subsection shall not apply to claims pursuant to the Workers' Compensation Code.

Bill to Allow Limited Driving Privileges


SB97 would authorize the Department of Public Safety to issue a provisional driver license to any person whose license has been suspended or revoked that would allow the person to drive between their place of residence and their place of employment, between their place of residence and a college, university or technology center, or between their place of residence and any court-ordered treatment program. Any person issued a provisional license would be required to pay $25 per month toward the satisfaction of all outstanding driver license reinstatement fees.

According to DPS, there were 87,393 driver license revocations, suspensions, and cancellations in 2012. Approximately 4,000-5,000 driver licenses are reinstated each month, generating between $700,000 and $900,000 in monthly revenues. It is unknown how many persons with revoked driver licenses would qualify to participate in the payment program. If an additional 10,000 persons each year paid a minimum of $25 per month it would generate $3 million in new revenue and cover the annual costs of the program.

The bill passed the senate with a 41 to 0 vote and is currently in the Appropriations and Budget committee.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Senate Ag Committee approves bill creating Oklahoma Cottage Food Law


The Senate Agriculture Committee approved legislation Monday to allow citizens more flexibility in selling certain products made in the home directly to consumers. Senate Bill 920, by Sen. Ron Justice, would create the Oklahoma Cottage Food Law.
“This bill will give private citizens the ability to sell homemade products that don’t have to be heated or refrigerated, like jams and jellies, at farmers markets, church festivals and other locations,” said Justice, R-Chickasha. “Currently, such products have to be made in a commercial kitchen and individuals have to have a commercial license to sell them. Many people trying to start a small business don’t have the funds to rent or buy a store location that has a commercial kitchen so they need to be able to sell products made in their home kitchen. This new permit would allow them to do just that as long as their products are labeled.”
The bill pertains to non-time/temperature control for safety food products including baked goods, jams and jellies, candies, dried mixes, spices, some sauces and liquids, pickles and acidified foods. These homemade goods could be sold at farmers markets, roadside stands, church and community bazaars and festivals among other places. They just could not be sold at retail or grocery stores, restaurants, bed and breakfasts, or wholesalers.
The products would have to have labels that included the address and contact information of the maker, a list of the ingredients in the product and a disclosure that is was prepared in a home.
The application fee for a cottage food production operation permit would be $175 with a renewal fee of $125.
SB 920 will now go before the full Senate.

Senate approves electronic monitoring for nursing home residents


When I first saw this I pictured the nursing home residents wearing ankle bracelets to track them around. This bill is actually talking about surveillance in their rooms.

In an effort to provide additional protections for Oklahoma seniors, a measure was approved by the Senate Tuesday to allow residents in nursing homes to install electronic monitoring devices in their private rooms. Senate Bill 587, by Sen. Ron Justice, would allow for such installation if the resident or their legal representative paid for the monitoring.
“Unfortunately, reports of abuse and neglect have become all too common in nursing homes,” said Justice, R-Chickasha. “Families expect their loved ones to receive the highest quality of care in these facilities but they don’t always get what they paid for. This measure will provide them with a tool to monitor the care of their loved one around the clock and hold nursing facilities more accountable.”
The measure was requested by The Silver Haired Legislature and is a priority bill for the AARP Oklahoma, the state’s largest senior organization with over 410,000 members statewide.
SB 587 requires nursing homes to let current and perspective residents or their legal representatives know about the opportunity for electronic monitoring in their private rooms. The bill also prohibits nursing facilities from refusing to admit any potential resident because they want their room monitored or from removing a resident because of authorized electronic monitoring.
Justice noted another important aspect of the bill is that any tape or recording created through the authorized electronic monitoring can be admitted into evidence in a civil or criminal court action or administrative proceeding.
“In some cases, families suspect that their loved one is being abused or neglected but they don’t have enough evidence of such treatment to hold their nursing facility accountable. This bill will empower families by providing them with solid, admissible evidence of such treatment if it exists,” said Justice.
SB 587 now moves to the House.