The last committee deadline week at the legislature was a lively one as the governor vetoed a large number of Senate bills that came across his desk and the Senate didn’t confirm his cabinet appointees including Kevin Corbett, health care authority director.
The legislature and the governor continued to battle over education while members worked to pass their bills before the Thursday deadline. It remains to be seen whether the legislature will override the governor’s vetoes in the coming weeks before the end of session. Some bills remain active as they go back to opposite houses for acceptance of amendments or into conference committee.
Here is a rundown of action in the last week:
- SB458 – the APRN/nurse midwife scope of practice bill is dormant for this session. Rep. McEntire presented the bill to his caucus and asked them whether to pass the bill as it stood or an amendment proposed by Rep. Newton, who’s son is a physician. Rep. Newton, an optometrist, proposed to simply address defining supervision and capping fees. However, because neither option received enough votes in caucus, the bill was not run on the floor. Thank you to all of you who took the time to speak to your legislators. We know it helped because as we also were roll calling the bill, they mentioned calls, emails and visits. We will be watching in case something is added to a bill in conference.
- HB1688 – was laid over on the floor after a motion to table an amendment to the bill failed. The amendment by Sen. Standridge would have made the health information exchange voluntary for all providers. The bill is now dormant. It remains to be seen how the legislature intends to address the HIE and its cost to providers.
- HB1013 – which would have created a patients’ bill of rights was not heard and is dormant. There were concerns that this measure was unnecessary.
- HB2154 – which extends protections of assault and battery against health care professionals to all health care facility personnel, was sent to the governor.
- SB1094 – which allows a medical power of attorney to be signed in front of a notary, was sent to the governor. Current statute states it is to be signed in front of two witnesses. This would allow for either scenario if it is passed into law.
- HB1956 – was not heard on the floor and is dormant. The measure would instruct the Oklahoma Tax Commission to garnish wages rather than notifying a delinquent taxpayer that their state license will not be renewed until the taxpayer comes into compliance.
- SB597 – which expands the types of physicians can serve on the medical board, also is dormant. For example, it would have allowed retired physicians, those who were educated at foreign medical schools but are licensed in the state and medical school faculty to serve.
- HB2172 – was sent to the governor. This measure adds medical care provider to the list of persons it is a crime to threaten, intimidate or harass by use of an electronic communication device by knowingly publishing, posting or making available personally identifiable information. The measure clarifies that the law would not apply when the incident is unrelated to the provider’s professional duties.
Now we move into the budget process and any remaining bills with amendments for approval or rejection and conference committees. Session must adjourn by the last Friday in May.
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