HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE 2015 REGULAR SESSION OF THE OKLAHOMA LEGISLATURE
September 23, 2015
Below are highlights from the 2015 Session of the Oklahoma Legislature. These laws go into effect on November 1, 2015 unless otherwise noted.
SB 549--codifies current salaries of certain state officers, including the governor, lieutenant governor, and Attorney General, potentially making it harder to increase the pay of those positions.
TAX INCENTIVE "REFORM":
HB 2182--requires all tax incentives to be evaluated by a newly formed Incentive Evaluation Commission at least once every four years.
SB 806--requires the Legislature to state a measurable goal for any new tax incentive enacted after January 1, 2016.
HB 1749--bans school districts from allowing automatic payroll deductions for teachers and other school staff for the payment of dues to the Oklahoma Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers.
HB 1684--requires Oklahoma school districts to develop rape and sexual assault prevention programs for students and staff in schools.
SB 782--allows any school district in the State to establish charter schools. This is not a mandate, it simply allows for the possibility of charter schools outside of Tulsa and Oklahoma counties.
HB 2014--allows local school boards to designate certain employees to carry a handgun on school property upon completion of a qualified training program. Effective date is May 12, 2015.
HB 1037--allows public release of video from body cameras worn by police officers, with some limited exceptions.
SB 312--consolidates all local candidate elections to single cycles in the spring or fall. Effective date is January 1, 2016.
SB 313--instructs the Oklahoma Election Board to create an on-line voter registration system.
HB 2182--decreases the number of registered voters' signatures required to get a third party on the ballot.
SB 656--allows counties to borrow money from the state at no interest for up to five years to help fund the acquisition of new compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles or to help fund the conversion of existing fleet vehicles to CNG.
SB 809--prohibits cities and municipalities from banning oil and gas wells and drilling activities within city limits.
SB 498--ends eligibility for the 5 year property tax exemption for new wind power facilities effective January of 2017.
SB 502--prohibits wind power facilities from claiming a tax credit under the Investment/New Jobs program. Effective date is January 1, 2017.
HB 1614--creates a regulatory framework for ridesharing services (like Uber and Lyft). The service is responsible for checking a driver's criminal background and driving history. Enforcement would be limited to reviews, no more than twice a year of randomly selected company records. Effective date is July 1, 2015.
HB 1902--waives civil liability for anyone who breaks into a locked vehicle to rescue a child. Effective date is May 18, 2015.
HB 1965--statewide ban of texting while driving. This is a primary offense, meaning a police officer can write a ticket for this offense alone. The fine is set at $100.00.
HB 1948--doctors must check Oklahoma's prescription monitoring program before writing a prescription for certain painkillers, among other types of drugs. Providers writing prescriptions for hospice and/or palliative care and nursing homes are exempt.
HB 1409--enacts a 72 hour wait prior to a woman being able to obtain an abortion in Oklahoma (the old wait period was 24 hours).