By Angela Ailles Bahm
Sine die, or the last day of the legislative session, is May 26. However, be aware that our legislative session runs two years; legislation filed this year is subject to resurrection next year. As of the writing of this article, bills included in the April report are no longer viable, with the exception of SB 213. It changes the judicial districts of the Supreme Court to conform to the current five congressional districts and makes four of them “at-large” positions. To provide for representation of the more “rural” counties, two of the at-large justices would be selected from counties with populations less than 75,000.
Another bill that has a strong likelihood of passing and being signed by the governor is HB 1823. The bill modifies the composition of judicial districts 24 and 26, effective Jan. 14, 2019. This bill was reported on during the OBA Day at the Capitol meeting. This is an initial step to reallocate judicial resources where needed.
BILLS SIGNED BY THE GOVERNOR
A few bills that have been signed by the governor and might affect your practice include the following:
HB 1127 Relates to the definition of sexual assault; directing courts to instruct the jury on the definition of consent.
HB 1243 Relates to investment of money belonging to the estates of minors and incapacitated persons.
HB 1429 Relates to the commencement of an action based on a website accessibility claim.
HB 1466 Relates to the Protection from Domestic Abuse Act authorizing transfer of cell phone numbers under certain circumstances.
HB 1468 Modifies the time limitation for prosecuting criminal offenses for sexual crimes against children.
HB 1825 Relates to the Deployed Parents Custody and Visitation Act; modifies definitions.
HB 1894 Modifies the definition of a person legally authorized to make healthcare decisions within the Nondiscrimination in Treatment Act.
HB 2247 Relates to guardians and allows for the initiation of guardianship proceedings for an incapacitated minor approaching adulthood.
HB 2275 Relates to designation of the record in appeals to the Supreme Court.
HB 2314 Relates to liens for service on personal property and changes the time allowed for resubmission of title application.
SB 34 Prohibits lack of knowledge of the age of a victim as a defense to human trafficking of a minor.
SB 50 Modifies the duties of guardians ad litem and their written reports.
SB 64 Relates to affidavits of heirship and increases the amount allowable of certain transfers by banks or credit unions to $50,000.
SB 322 Relates to Indian child custody proceedings and modifies certain notice provisions.
SB 425 Creates new law allowing a cause of action by a public or private institution of higher education to pursue a third party who engages or conspires to engage in certain conduct.
SB 645 Modifies the civil penalties relating to the Medicaid False Claims Act.
Again, I urge all county bar associations to have a representative on the Legislative Monitoring Committee. Your representatives and senators need the benefit of your insight into the laws they are passing. Look for the “Join a Committee” link at the bottom of www.okbar.org.
HOW TO GET REAL-TIME INFO
Another way to get real-time information is to subscribe to the updates and news releases. For example, on the Senate homepage at www.oksenate.gov, right there with President Pro Tempore, Sen. Mike Schulz (hint … Jackson County), there is a button “Click to Subscribe.” Click on it to input how you want to get the information and input your email address or phone number. Click submit and then it takes you to another page of “Featured Government Updates.” It’s a whole host of government offices from which you can get news releases, including the governor’s office, the AG, DOC, DHS, the list goes on and the House of Representatives. Subscribe today!
As always, please let me know if you have any questions or suggestions on how the Legislative Monitoring Committee can improve and better serve the bar.
Ms. Bahm practices in Oklahoma City and serves as the Legislative Monitoring Committee chairperson. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.