By Carol Mowdy Bond
District 22 State Sen. Stephanie Bice, R-Yukon, authored and introduced 15 bills for the second regular session of the 57th Oklahoma Legislature which convened on Feb. 3.
Many of the bills Sen. Bice filed for the 2020 session deal with streamlining and modernizing Oklahoma’s tax code.
“They’re technical, nuts and bolts legislation, but they’ll help us move our state forward by ensuring our tax laws are up-to-date,” Bice said. “And as I’ve done each year in the Senate, I’ve also filed legislation that was requested by constituents—people right here in the district.”
One of those bills focuses on infant deaths in Oklahoma. Often the Medical Examiner simply lists the cause of death for infants as “undetermined.”
“My concern is that we need to go a little deeper — having a more specific cause of death could enable our state to better address preventative efforts, and in cases where neglect was involved, hold those responsible accountable,” Sen. Bice said. “That’s what this bill is about. It was requested by a constituent whose baby died while at a home daycare.
“It’s a heartbreaking situation, but I’m grateful that this mother has brought the situation to my attention so that we can better advocate for Oklahoma’s children.”
Bill authored by Bice for the new legislative session are:
SB 1361 – Militia; authorizing the expenditure of appropriated and non-appropriated funds to enhance recruiting efforts
SB 1376 – Motor license agents; eliminating authority for certain fee related to specified online transactions.
SB 1426 – Memorial highways and bridges; allowing for exception to certain time period criteria for highway and bridge dedications.
SB 1507 – Self-insurance Guaranty Fund; removing certain Tax Commission notification requirement.
SB 1545 – Sales tax refunds; modifying conditions under which refund procedure may be used by certain disabled veterans to claim exemption.
SB 1549 – Motor license agents; making requirement to establish additional agencies to certain locations permissive.
SB 1550 – Tax administration; adding unpaid mixed beverage gross receipt taxes to those for which certain individuals may be personally liable.
SB 1562 – Documentary stamp tax; authorizing direct apportionment to specified funds; changing type of fund; providing for transfer.
SB 1652 – Oklahoma Local Development and Enterprise Zone Incentive Leverage Act; modifying procedures related to payments.
SB 1658 – Coin-operated devices; modifying definitions to exclude certain devices.
SB 1670 – Film expenditure rebates; modifying certain provisions of Oklahoma Film Enhancement Rebate Program.
SB 1697 – Oklahoma Vehicle License and Registration Act; modifying requirement related to odometer disclosure statement.
SB 1800 – Income tax; creating tax credit for donations to vision research institute setting amount; limiting use of credit.
SB 1893 – Infant mortality; requiring certain individuals to conduct certain investigation and fill out certain form.
SB 1898 – State finance; modifying duties of the Chief Information Officer.
BICE BILL STILL ACTIVE
Still active is another measure authored by Sen. Bice and introduced in February 2019 during the first regular session of the 57th Oklahoma Legislature:
SB 421 – Uniform Controlled Dangerous Substance Act; modifying prohibited acts; modifying penalties.
The bill was referred to the State House of Representatives but has not been heard in committee. The bill needs to be taken up in committee before it is able to continue through the legislative process.