During the February and March 2013 Board Meetings, the Board of Directors of the Oklahoma Women’s Coalition voted to take a formal position on the following bills in the state legislature this session. We are very excited about the influence we can have in passing these important bills and look forward to advocating in these areas as they impact women and girls in our state.
HB 1058 – Human Trafficking (Rep. Sally Kern) Expunges court records relating to charge or conviction for a prostitution-related offense committed as a result of the defendant having been a victim of human trafficking. (Update April 2013- This bill was passed by the Senate and signed my Gov. Fallin )
HB 1912 – Protective Order (House Speaker, T.W. Shannon) Prohibits a judge from ordering a domestic violence victim to attend counseling with the offender. Also, changes language from police officer “may” arrest a violator of a protective order to “shall” arrest a violator of a protective order. (Update April 2013 - The bill was passed by the Senate and will be sent to Gov. Fallin to sign)
SB 624 – Domestic Violence (Sentator Susan Paddack) Changes current procedures related to protective orders, including prohibiting a judge from charging a victim for the cost of filing a protective order. (Update April 2013- This bill died in Committee)
HB 1120 – Crimes and Punishment: Unlawful Peeping (Wade Rousselot) A person who uses photographic, electronic, video equipment to capture and make public the image of a private area of another person without their consent shall be guilty of a felony (changes this from a misdemeanor). (Update March 2013- This bill is dead for this legislative session, but may be revived next year.)
HB 1113 – Wellness (Rep. Wade Rousselot) Establishes a Wellness Council to provide incentive to employees participating in wellness activities. (Update April 2013- This bill passed the Senate and sent to Gov. Fallin to sign)
SB 816 – Tanning Beds (Senator Patrick Anderson) Prohibits the use of tanning beds by minors under the age of 18; requires proof of age. (Update March 2013- This bill was never heard in Committee and died. There is a similar bill assigned to the Public Health Committee in the House - SB 345- (Sen. Paddack and Rep. Enns) Requiring written consent for minors under 18 to be able to use a tanning bed.)
HB 1375 – Tobacco Use (Rep. Emily Virgin) Prohibits smoking cigarettes with a child in your car. (Update March 2013- This bill died in Committee.)
SB 36 – Tobacco Use/Smoke free bill (Senator Frank Simpson) Restores local rights to cities and towns to control tobacco use on public property. (Update March 2013- This bill is dead.)
HB 1508- Human trafficking bill (Rep. Peterson and Sen. David) Expands the scope of subpoena powers for the Director of the Oklahoma State Bureau of Narcotics with regards to human trafficking cases. (Update April 2013- The bill passed the Senate and is headed to the Gov. Fallin to sign.)
HB 1516 – (Rep. Peterson and Rep. Nelson) Authorizes the Department of Public Safety to enter into agreements with persons whose license has been suspended, revoked, cancelled or denied to allow persons to have a provisional driver license for use under certain circumstances. Persons convicted of driving under the influence or manslaughter while operating a motor vehicle are not eligible for a provisional license. Persons must pay $25 per month toward the satisfaction of outstanding driver license reinstatement fees. (Update April 2013 – This bill is waiting to be heard by the Senate.)
The Coalition is opposing the following bills:
SB 313 – Sales and Use Tax (Senator Mike Mazzei) Levies a 4.5% excise tax on the proceeds of certain sales, impacting the Girl Scouts, Campfire Girls and Boy Scouts. (Update March 2013- This bill is dead.)
HB 1063 - Prevention Programs (Rep. Mark McCullough) Creates the Prevention Programs Accountability Act; Repeals the Children First Program. (Update March 2013- This bill is dead.)
In the Meantime….What Can You Do?
Reach out to your legislator, if you have not done so this session. Give your House member a call at 405/521-2711 – and your Senator can be reached at 405/524-0126. Introduce yourself. Let them know that you’re interested and support the issues noted above and that you would like their support, as well.
We will keep you posted on any developments related to these and any other legislative issues that may arise this session.