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2016 State Questions

Issues To Be Referred to Oklahoma Voters
for Approval or Rejection at the 2016 Elections

See also the list of State Questions compiled by the Secretary of State at
https://www.sos.ok.gov/gov/questions.aspx

Issue: Death Penalty
State Question 776
Legislative Referendum 367
Originating Legislation: SJR 31 (2015)
Principal Authors: Senator Anthony Sykes, Representative Mike Christian
Election Date: November 8, 2016
Ballot Title (as re-written by the Attorney General):

This measure adds a new section to the Oklahoma Constitution, Section 9A of Article 2.  The new Section deals with the death penalty.  The Section establishes State constitutional mandates relating to the death penalty and methods of execution.  Under these constitutional requirements:

  • The Legislature is expressly empowered to designate any method of execution not prohibited by the United States Constitution.
  • Death sentences shall not be reduced because a method of execution is ruled to be invalid.
  • When an execution method is declared invalid, the death penalty imposed shall remain in force until it can be carried out using any valid execution method, and
  • The imposition of a death penalty under Oklahoma law—as distinguished from a method of execution—shall not be deemed to be or constitute the infliction of cruel or unusual punishment under Oklahoma’s Constitution, nor to contravene any provision of the Oklahoma Constitution.

Issue: Right to Engage in Farming and Ranching
State Question 777
Legislative Referendum 368
Originating Legislation:  HJR 1012 (2015)
Principal Authors:  Senator Jason Smalley, Representative Scott Biggs
Election Date: November 8, 2016
Ballot Title (as re-written by the Attorney General):

This measure adds Section 38 to Article II of the Oklahoma Constitution.

The new Section creates state constitutional rights.  It creates the following guaranteed rights to engage in farming and ranching:

  • The right to make use of agricultural technology,
  • The right to make use of livestock procedures, and
  • The right to make use of ranching practices.

These constitutional rights receive extra protection under this measure that not all constitutional rights receive.  This extra protection is a limit on lawmakers’ ability to interfere with the exercise of these rights.  Under this extra protection, no law can interfere with these rights, unless the law is justified by a compelling state interest—a clearly defined state interest of the highest order.  Additionally, the law must be necessary to serve that compelling state interest.

The measure—and the protections identified above—do not apply to and do not impact state laws related to:

  • Trespass,
  • Eminent domain,
  • Dominance of mineral interests,
  • Easements,
  • Right of way or other property rights, and
  • Any state statutes and political subdivision ordinances enacted before December 31, 2014.

Issue: Public Education Funding
State Question 779
Initiative Petition 403
Election Date: November 8, 2016
Ballot Title (as re-written by the Oklahoma Supreme Court):

This measure adds a new Article to the Oklahoma Constitution.  The article creates a limited purpose fund to increase funding for public education.  It increases State sales and use taxes by one cent per dollar to provide revenue for the fund.  The revenue to be used for public education shall be allocated:  69.50% for common school districts, 19.25% for the institutions under the authority of the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, 3.25% for the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education, and 8% for the State Department of Education.  It requires teacher salary increases funded by this measure raise teacher salaries by at least $5,000 over the salaries paid in the year prior to adoption of this measure.  It requires an annual audit of school districts’ use of monies.   It prohibits school districts’ use of these funds for increasing superintendents’ salaries or adding superintendent positions.  It requires that monies from the fund not supplant or replace other educational funding.  If the Oklahoma Board of Equalization determines funding has been replaced, the Legislature may not make any appropriations until the amount of replaced funding is returned to the fund.  The article takes effect on July 1 after its passage.

Issue:  Criminal Sentences for Certain Property and Drug Offenses
State Question 780
Initiative Petition 404
Election Date:  November 8, 2016
Ballot Title (as re-written by the Oklahoma Supreme Court):

This measure amends existing Oklahoma laws and would change the classification of certain drug possession and property crimes from felony to misdemeanor.  It would make possession of a limited quantity of drugs a misdemeanor.  The amendment also changes the classification of certain drug possession crimes which are currently considered felonies and cases where the defendant has a prior drug possession conviction.  The proposed amendment would reclassify these drug possession cases as misdemeanors.  The amendment would increase the threshold dollar amount used for determining whether certain property crimes are considered a felony or misdemeanor.  Currently, the threshold is $500.  The amendment would increase the amount to $1000.  Property crimes covered by this change include; false declaration of a pawn ticket, embezzlement, larceny, grand larceny, theft, receiving or concealing stolen property, taking domesticated fish or game, fraud, forgery, counterfeiting, or issuing bogus checks.  This measure would become effective July 1, 2017.

Issue:  County Community Safety Investment Fund
State Question 781
Initiative Petition 405
Election Date:  November 8, 2016
Ballot Title (as re-written by the Oklahoma Supreme Court):

This measure creates the County Community Safety Investment Fund, only if voters approve State Question 780, the Oklahoma Smart Justice Reform Act.  This measure would create a fund, consisting of any calculated savings or averted costs that accrued to the State from the implementation of the Oklahoma Smart Justice Reform Act in reclassifying certain property crimes and drug possession as misdemeanors.  The measure requires the Office of Management and Enterprise Services to use either actual data or its best estimate to determine how much money was saved on a yearly basis.  The amount determined to be saved must be deposited into the Fund and distributed to counties in proportion to their population to provide community rehabilitative programs, such as mental health and substance abuse services.  This measure will not become effective if State Question 780, the Oklahoma Smart Justice Reform Act, is not approved by the people.  The measure will become effective on July 1 immediately following its passage.

Issue: Repeal of Prohibition on Public Expenditure and Property Use for Religious Purposes
State Question 790
Legislative Referendum 369
Originating Legislation:  SJR 72 (2016)
Principal Authors:  Senator Rob Standridge, Representative John Paul Jordan
Election Date: November 8, 2016
Ballot Title (as re-written by the Attorney General):

This measure would remove Article 2, Section 5 of the Oklahoma Constitution, which prohibits the government from using public money or property for the direct or indirect benefit of any religion or religious institution.  Article 2, Section 5 has been interpreted by the Oklahoma courts as requiring the removal of a Ten Commandments monument from the grounds of the State Capitol.  If this measure repealing Article 2, Section 5 is passed, the government would still be required to comply with the Establishment Clause of the United States Constitution, which is a similar constitutional provision that prevents the government from endorsing a religion or becoming overly involved with religion.

Issue: Alcoholic Beverage Regulation
State Question 792
Legislative Referendum 370
Originating Legislation:  SJR 68 (2016)
Principal Authors:  Senator Clark Jolley, Representative Glen Mulready
Election Date: November 8, 2016
Ballot Title (as re-written by by the Attorney General):

This measure repeals Article 28 of the Oklahoma Constitution and restructures the laws governing alcoholic beverages through a new Article 28A and other laws the Legislature will create if the measure passes. The new Article 28A provides that with exceptions, a person or company can have an ownership interest in only one area of the alcoholic beverage business-manufacturing, wholesaling, or retailing. Some restrictions apply to the sales of manufacturers, brewers, winemakers, and wholesalers. Subject to limitations, the Legislature may authorize direct shipments to consumers of wine. Retail locations like grocery stores may sell wine and beer. Liquor stores may sell products other than alcoholic beverages in limited amounts. The Legislature must create licenses for retail locations, liquor stores, and places serving alcoholic beverages and may create other licenses. Certain licensees must meet residency requirements. Felons cannot be licensees. The Legislature must designate days and hours when alcoholic beverages may be sold and may impose taxes on sales. Municipalities may levy an occupation tax. If authorized, a state lodge may sell individual alcoholic beverages for on-premises consumption but no other state involvement in the alcoholic beverage business is allowed. With one exception, the measure will take effect October 1, 2018.

Prepared by:
The Oklahoma State Senate, Senate Staff
Senator Brian Bingman, President Pro Tempore

By |August 25th, 2016|State Questions|0 Comments

2016 Interim Studies

Senate Interim Studies ~ Although these requests for interim studies have been assigned to the following committees, it is at the discretion of each respective chair whether to hold a study.

House Interim Studies ~ Note that some study requests have been combined.

By |August 4th, 2016|Interim Studies|0 Comments

60 New Laws go into Effect July 1, 2016

Click on the hyperlinked bill numbers to view bill language, history, amendments, versions, votes and co-authors.

Measure Short Title
HB2273 Police Pension and Retirement System; definitions; disposition of certain contributions; modifying references to certain individual retirement accounts; effective date; emergency.
HB2360 Counties; modifying purchasing procedure for certain fire protection districts and fire departments; bond coverage or certain liability insurance; effective date; emergency.
HB2371 Schools; modifying certain Oklahoma Teacher Preparation Act definition; effective date; emergency.
HB2432 Schools; requiring public schools to post a sign containing certain child abuse toll-free telephone number information; effective date; emergency.
HB2444 Pipeline safety; modifying certain penalties for certain violations; effective date; emergency.
HB2500 Environment and natural resources; authorizing the Department of Environmental Quality to contract with certain entities for certain purposes; effective date. Emergency.
HB2544 Schools; changing certain school year notification date; modifying extended-day schedule requirements; effective date; emergency.
HB2549 Public health and safety; definitions used in the Nursing Home Care Act; effective date; emergency.
HB2603 Professions and occupations; modifying licensing provisions; effective date. Emergency.
HB2614 School; adding certain act for which a student may be removed from the regular school setting for educational services; effective date; emergency.
HB2649 Schools; adding an exception to the number of school days allowed in a twenty-four-hour period; effective date; emergency.
HB2711 State government; community action agencies; effective date; Emergency.
HB2720 Charter schools; modifying provisions of the Oklahoma Charter School Act relating to conversion charter schools; effective date; emergency.
HB2774 Revenue and taxation; gross production taxes; unknown sources; reporting; distribution; repealer; effective date; emergency.
HB2775 Revenue and taxation; income tax; returns; procedures; withholding tax; effective date. Effective date. Emergency.
HB2784 Schools; modifying student record retention and copying requirements; effective date; emergency.
HB2931 Schools safety; requiring school safety plans to follow certain standard response protocol for emergency situations; effective date; emergency.
HB2946 Schools; requiring the State Board of Education to issue a certificate to teach to persons holding an out-of-country certificate; effective date; emergency.
HB2957 Schools; teacher contract definitions; teacher evaluation policies; professional development; effective date; emergency.
HB2967 Schools; authorizing certain school districts to enter into written contracts with student teachers; effective date; emergency.
HB3102 Schools; changing classroom teaching hours limit for adjunct teachers; effective date; emergency.
HB3115 Schools; modifying definition of textbooks; effective date; emergency.
HB3218 Schools; modifying school testing requirements; effective date; emergency.
HB3220 Court fees; modifying court fees and costs; creating a District Court Revolving Fund; effective date; emergency.
SB1004 Schools; modifying frequency of dropout report submission to the State Department of Education. Effective date. Emergency.
SB1021 Firefighters’ pensions; modifying termination date of local boards. Effective date. Emergency.
SB1022 Firefighters’ pensions; clarifying certain payments. Effective date. Emergency.
SB1036 School personnel; relating to Open Records Act; exempting certain names from disclosure of carrying firearms. Effective date. Emergency.
SB1059 Motor vehicles; modifying revenue apportionment and operational hours of weigh stations. Emergency.
SB1069 Office of Juvenile Affairs; charter school; directing the Office of Management and Enterprise Services to provide certain assistance. Effective date. Emergency.
SB1105 Subject matter standards; providing for students who have failed to meet certain requirements to re-enroll. Effective date. Emergency.
SB1175 Odometers; creating civil liability for violation of Odometer Setting Act. Effective date. Emergency.
SB1239 Intoxicating liquors; low-point beer and alcoholic beverage excise tax; electronic remittance. Effective date. Emergency
SB1245 Counties; relating to lake area planning commissions; prohibiting certain fee for transfer of real property. Effective date. Emergency.
SB1268 Charter schools; correcting a scrivener’s error. Effective date. Emergency.
SB1273 Child care facilities; Shepard’s Law; prohibiting equipment and placement of children in certain areas. Emergency.
SB1317 Motor vehicles; providing weight exemption for natural gas vehicle. Effective date. Emergency.
SB1318 Motor vehicles; modifying various weigh station and fleet provisions. Effective date. Emergency.
SB1378 Transportation; modifying certain excess sums to be returned to parties in condemnation proceedings. Effective date. Emergency.
SB1388 Waters and water rights; powers and duties of the Grand River Dam Authority. Effective date. Emergency.
SB1395 Cosmetology and Barbering Act; prohibiting display of personal information. Effective date. Emergency.
SB1431 Schools; allowing schools identified as persistently low performing to implement intervention models. Effective date. Emergency.
SB1490 Memorial highways; designating various memorial highways and bridges. Effective date. Emergency.
SB1577 Gross production tax exemption; limiting production eligible for economically at-risk oil or gas leases. Emergency.
SB1584 State Board of Education; making an appropriation and specifying budget procedures. Effective date. Emergency.
SB1596 Department of Labor; modifying positions in unclassified service. Effective date. Emergency.
SB1597 Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry; modifying positions in unclassified service. Effective date. Emergency.
SB1598 Commissioners of the Land Office; modifying positions in unclassified service. Effective date. Emergency.
SB1610 Fees; modifying fees assessed in certain criminal and juvenile cases. Effective date. Emergency.
SB1616 General appropriations; making appropriations for expenses of agencies of executive, legislative and judicial departments. Effective date.
SB694 Department of Human Services; requiring certain appropriated funds to be used for Pinnacle Plan. Effective date. Emergency.
SB922 Adjutant General; authorizing Adjutant General to designate authority under certain circumstances; authorizing promulgation of rules. Effective date. Emergency.
SB923 OMES; requisition of motor vehicles; adding exemption. Effective date. Emergency.
SB926 Oklahoma Military Department; youth programs; modifying certain programs; authorizing Adjutant General to enter into certain agreements. Effective date. Emergency.
SB928 Adjutant General; authorizing Adjutant General to execute certain agreements. Effective date. Emergency.
SB933 Schools; accreditation standards; changing effect of certain conditions upon reduction of certain amount; textbook adoption. Effective date. Emergency.
SB936 Transportation Department; providing classified service exception for seasonal employees. Effective date. Emergency.
SB949 Adjutant General; leasing or renting of facilities; authorizing waiver of certain fees; defining terms. Effective date. Emergency.
SB965 Memorial highways; amending exception that signs be paid for by sponsoring party. Effective date. Emergency.
SB982 Motor vehicles; permitting certain night time travel permit. Effective date. Emergency.

 

By |July 1st, 2016|Legislation|0 Comments

Election Dates – 2016

According to oklahomaconstitution.com …

The first contest in this election cycle will be the Primary which is the last Tuesday in June, which is June 28 this year.

Early voting will be June 23-25.

The deadline to register to vote in time to participate in the Primary is June 3. The Primary Election will include those races where there are two or more candidates of the same political party running for the same office.

In addition to Republican and Democrat Primary Elections, the Libertarian Party is again an officially recognized party and will have a Primary Election for some offices.

Republicans have a closed primary, where only Republicans can vote to select the nominee of their party for an office.

Both the Democrats and Libertarians have decided to allow those registered as Independent, which means not a member of a recognized party, to participate in their Primary Elections.

For those seats in which no candidate receives more than 50 percent of the vote, the Runoff Primary Election will be held on the last Tuesday of August. The date for 2016 will be August 23.

The General Election will be November 8.

By |May 12th, 2016|Elections|0 Comments

2016 Candidate Filing Packet

Are you thinking of running for elected office in Oklahoma?

Download the Oklahoma 2016 Filing Packet by the State Election Board – for use by candidates for federal, state, legislative and county offices.

Filing period is April 13-15, 2016.

Where to File

State Election Board — Candidates for United States Senator, United States Representative, Corporation Commissioner, State Senator, and State Representative file Declarations of Candidacy with the Secretary of the State Election Board, State Capitol Building, Oklahoma City.

County Election Board — Candidates for Court Clerk, County Sheriff, County Clerk, and County Commissioner file Declarations of Candidacy with the Secretary of the County Election Board in the county in which candidates seek election.

Filing Fee or Petition State Election Board — For candidates filing with the Secretary of the State Election Board, a cashier’s check or certified check made payable to the Secretary of the State Election Board shall accompany the Declaration of Candidacy. Cash cannot be accepted. The non-refundable filing fees for offices filed with the Secretary of the State Election Board are as follows:

  • United States Senator: $1,000.00
  • United States Representative: $750.00
  • Corporation Commissioner: $500.00
  • State Senator: $200.00
  • State Representative: $200.00

County Election Board — For candidates filing with the Secretary of the County Election Board, a cashier’s check or certified check made payable to the Secretary of the County Election Board shall accompany the Declaration of Candidacy. Cash cannot be accepted. The non-refundable filing fees for offices filed with the Secretary of the County Election Board are as follows:

  • Court Clerk: $200.00
  • County Sheriff: $200.00
  • County Clerk:$200.00
  • County Commissioner $200.00

Petition — In lieu of a fee, a petition supporting the candidacy that is signed by four percent (4%) of the registered voters eligible to vote for the candidate in the first election wherein the candidate’s name could appear on the ballot may be submitted with a Declaration of Candidacy.

PRIMARY ELECTION
Tuesday, June 28
RUNOFF PRIMARY ELECTION
Tuesday, August 23
GENERAL ELECTION
Tuesday, November 8
By |April 5th, 2016|Elections|0 Comments