March 14, 2021 We have now passed two major deadlines in the 2021 legislative session. The first floor deadline was Thursday evening. Now measures will cross over for committee and floor hearings in the opposite houses. After that, legislators will complete budget work and conference committee for any legislation that needs additional work. We will have far fewer bills to keep track of in this second half of session since we went from more than 3,000 bills filed to about 900 now. Bills of note that will not move forward this session:
  • SB541 – would have preempted cities and schools from closing businesses during a pandemic without scientific support. The measure failed on the Senate floor right before Thursday’s adjournment after not getting enough votes to pass.
  • HB2218 – would have prohibited governmental entities from closing or limiting businesses. This measure was not heard on the House floor.
  • SB765 – which would have prohibited vaccinations as a condition of employment, did not make it out of committee.
  • SB835 – prohibited discrimination based upon vaccination or immunity status, the use of financial incentives for immunization, segregation of unvaccinated persons and other provisions. This bill was not heard on the Senate floor.
  • HB2164 – proposed to include psychologists in the definition of physician. This measure was not heard on the House floor.
  • HB1921 – was not heard on the House floor. The measure would have prohibited the moving of any department of state government beyond a radius of 10 miles from the original location unless authorized by the legislature. This was a result of the relocation of the state’s public health lab.
Some of the bills of note that remain active:
  • SB674 – telehealth payment parity
  • HB1091 – would put provider and patient protections into law should managed care go into effect.
  • SB92/HB2678 – copay accumulator ban
  • HB2089 – tax credit for rural physicians
  • HB2504 – would provide the commissioner of health more of a role in the Tulsa County and Oklahoma City County health departments through the boards and selection of directors. The health coalition has expressed concerns with this measure.
  • HB2299 – sets certain requirements for managed care companies to protect medical education in the state.
  • Three anti-vaccine measures – SB747 which prohibits insurers from changing coverage based upon vaccination status, HB2335 regarding vaccine mandates, and SB658 which requires school districts to provide information about immunization exemptions.
  • SB516 – allows physicians to supervise an unlimited number of physicians assistants. The coalition has spoken about some concerns with this.
  • HB2336 – limits the ability of the governor to make restrictions during an emergency.
  • SB689 – changes the composition of the Oklahoma Health Care Authority’s Medical Advisory Committee.
The coming week will be a little slower since it is spring break and the legislature traditionally breaks early on that week. Committee work should begin in earnest in the following week. As always, let us know if you have questions and wish us luck as we move into the second phase of session.

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