Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Bills include workers’ compensation reform, job-creation tools, government modernization initiatives, education reform
OKLAHOMA CITY – Governor Mary Fallin signed several key pieces of her legislative agenda into law today at a public bill signing session with legislators and state leaders. The governor signed 8 bills, all of which completed goals laid out by Fallin in her state of the state address.
The legislation signed today included bills reforming Oklahoma’s costly and inefficient workers’ compensation system, restructuring the state’s Internet Technology (IT) systems, generating cost savings through government modernization, and creating new tools for private sector job creation. One bill also changed the composition of the Board of Education.
“Today’s bill signing really puts an exclamation point on what has been an incredibly productive legislative session,” said Fallin. “Conservatives came into office this year promising to pursue reforms that would create a better business environment, encourage private sector job-growth, and make government smaller, smarter and more efficient. The legislation I am signing into law today helps us to make good on these promises. It will also lay the foundation for long term job growth as well as a more efficient, more effective state government serving the citizens of Oklahoma.”
Bills signed into law today by Governor Fallin include:
Job Creation Measures
• SB 878: Authored by Senator Anthony Sykes and Representative Daniel Sullivan, SB 878 rewrites the state’s workers’ compensation laws to reduce costs for businesses and insure injured workers receive proper care and can return to work in a timely manner. It takes effect 90 days after sine die (note: sine die is Friday, May 27)
• HB 1953: Authored by Representative Skye McNiel and Senator Mike Mazzei, HB 1953 establishes a Quick Action Closing Fund administered by the governor for the purpose of attracting new jobs and investment to the state of Oklahoma and retaining existing jobs. It takes effect 90 days after sine die.
• HB 1601: Authored by Representative Aaron Stiles and Senator Clark Jolley, HB 1601 creates a “one-stop-shop” centralized licensing plan for businesses. It takes effect 90 days after sine die.
• SB 772: Authored by Senator Clark Jolley and Representative Jason Murphey, SB 772 is a companion bill to HB 1601. It establishes a task force to study “one-stop-shop” licensing in other states. It takes effect 90 days after sine die.
Government Modernization Initiatives
• HB 1304: Authored by Representative David Derby and Senator Clark Jolley, HB 1304 consolidates and restructures the state’s aging IT infrastructure. HB 1304 is projected to save taxpayer dollars and allow state IT to run more efficiently and effectively. It takes effect 90 days after sine die.
• HB 1086: Authored by Representative Jason Murphey and Senator Clark Jolley, HB 1086 is named the “Transparency, Accountability, and Innovation in Oklahoma State Government 2.0 Act of 2011.” It establishes a financial shared services model for state agencies, requires payments from the State Treasury shall be processed electronically and establishes the “Oklahoma State Government Open Documents Initiative,” designed to increase transparency in government. Section 2 of HB1086, dealing with electronic payments, takes effect on July 1st, 2011. The rest of HB 1086 takes place 90 after sine die.
• HB 2140: Authored by House Speaker Kris Steele and Senate President Pro Tem Brian Bingman, HB 2140 consolidates various agencies, including Department of Central Services, the Office of Personnel Management, Benefits Council, and the State and Education Employees Group Insurance Board, into the Office of State Finance. The bill anticipates significant cost savings. It takes effect 90 days after sine die.
• SB 435: Authored by Senator John Ford and House Speaker Kris Steele, SB 435 changes the make-up of the Board of Education. It requires that upon assuming office, the governor must appoint one member from each congressional district and one member from the state at-large to serve on the State Board of Education. The state superintendent of public instruction will be the seventh member of the board. It takes effect 90 days after sine die.