This Thursday marks another deadline in the legislative process

Sen. Bill Coleman Oklahoma Senate District 10

We have another deadline this week. All Senate bills that made it out of committee must be voted on by Thursday, March 12, in order to move forward in the legislative process. When we started last week, we had around 400 new bills, as well as a list of carry-over bills from last session. We heard nearly 180, leaving at least 200 more to consider this week.

Five of my bills (from this year and last) were awaiting consideration in the House. I had six more bills to get out of the Senate (SBs 1215, 1218, 1294, 1653, 1725 and 1865).

We’ll return to our Senate committees the third week of March to begin work on House bills. I have 12 House bills that I’m serving as the Senate author on, including six from last session.

The Senate amended HB 1349 from last session and the House is considering those amendments. The bill would allow a retail beer licensee to sell a malt beverage with up to 15% alcohol beverage volume.

HB 2009 went to conference committee last session and that report is awaiting consideration in the House. The bill provides that anyone who has previously been convicted of a nonviolent felony or offense which would require registration under the Sex Offenders Registration Act, and who is convicted of a second or subsequent nonviolent felony, may be punished by imprisonment for a term of not more than the maximum sentence plus one-fourth of the maximum sentence that could have been imposed for a first conviction of the current offense. Currently, these persons are subject to twice the maximum sentence.

There was some great legislation passed off the Senate floor last week. One of particular interest was SB 1739, also known as the “Barbara E. Hoover Act.” It adds the same protections for families who want to use video monitoring in their loved one’s private room in an assisted living center that is already allowed in nursing homes. The author had a constituent living in a long-term care facility who was threatened to be evicted unless she removed her room’s video monitoring equipment that her family had installed after numerous troubling incidents occurred.

When an individual or family pays a continuum of care facility to take care of their loved one, they absolutely have the right to ensure that their family member is safe and receiving proper care and attention.

Last week, we had several groups visit the Capitol to raise awareness regarding their professions, religions and passions. We had Muslim Day, GIS Day, the League of Women Voters Day of Action, Alzheimer’s Advocacy Day, Transportation Day, Abate Annual Legislative Day and OK Water Lobby Day.