• Kyle Persaud

New Oklahoma Laws 2021

L. Michelle Sutton, an attorney and lobbyist at Capitol Resource Group, has compiled a list of some of the most important laws the Oklahoma Legislature passed in 2021. Many of these laws take effect today, November 1. This is only a small number of the laws that the legislature actually passed this session. To see all the laws passed in 2021, and to read the text of each law, click here.


ADMINISTRATIVE RULES:


SB 913 modifies the procedure for approval of state agency rules. It is a major overhaul of the existing system and increases oversight by the Legislature in the rulemaking process.


AGRICULTURE:


HB 1620 prevents any city, county, state government agency, or political subdivision from banning agritourism activities.


HB 2364 affects bovine products. It states that unless an animal was bred, born, raised, and slaughtered within the state, it cannot be labeled as “Oklahoma Certified Beef.” There are penalties for violation.


SB 775 creates a Livestock Offender Registry within the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food, & Forestry. The Registry shall contain the names of all persons convicted of livestock theft.


ALCOHOL, TOBACCO, & CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES:


HB 2122 creates the Oklahoma Cocktails To Go Act. This Act allows proper licensees to sell single-servings of wine, mixed drinks, and cocktails to go. Drinks must be sealed and in a tamper proof container. Drinks must also be placed in the trunk or in an area not easily accessible to the passenger area.


HB 2380 allows proper licensees to sell beer and wine through self-pouring, automated devices.


SB 385 allows retail spirits, wine, and beer licensees to host alcoholic beverage tastings.

HB 2292 creates the Tobacco Products Tax Enforcement Act of 2021. This bill makes several changes to the law for retail sales’ establishments selling tobacco products including changes to purchasing, reporting, and the procedure for paying taxes.


HB 2674 clarifies that an individual must be 21 years of age or older to buy, possess, or receive nicotine products. In addition, it clarifies that nicotine products must still be stored behind the counter for purchase.


HB 2272 addresses foreign financial interest in marijuana business operations.


HB 2646 contains many provisions regarding marijuana including allowing for the sale of pre-rolls and the display of samples. It also changes the sizes of test and production batches.


SB 1033 also contains multiple provisions regarding marijuana. Of particular note, it establishes how the 1,000 feet setback between schools and dispensaries is measured. It allows for grandfathering. In addition, the legislation prohibits caregivers from growing plants for more than five patients. Too, it requires warehouses that handle marijuana to be registered and inspected.


HB 2279 creates the Oklahoma Industrial Hemp Remediation Program. This Program allows for hemp that is not compliant with THC requirements to be remediated. If remediation is unsuccessful, the hemp cannot be sold commercially and must be destroyed.


SB 511 allows certain entities to provide a needle exchange in addition to other harm reduction services.


BUSINESS:


HB 2873 creates the Universal Licensing Recognition Act. This Act allows for the issuance of certain occupational and professional licenses and certifications by Oklahoma state agencies if an applicant has comparable credentials from another state.

SB 1082 provides $15 million to implement the Oklahoma Accelerator Program. This Program is designed to leverage private capital to increase startup companies in the state.


CHILDREN & FAMILIES:


HB 1086 allows a guardian to petition to transfer ward-owned property to a protective arrangement. The arrangement will not impact rules regarding exemption of transfer of assets or resources for determination of Medicaid or Social Security disability and is not considered a sale of property. The arrangement also will not impact or void an existing homestead lien of record.


HB 1709 increases the age to 21 for the continuation of successful adulthood services under certain circumstances.


HB 1797 prohibits an individual who is the perpetrator of a finding of heinous and shocking abuse by the Department of Human Services from working with or providing services related to child care.


HB 2317 requires a grievance process to be established for children held in an adult facility. This requirement does not apply to children housed in a Department of Corrections facility or a facility under contract with the DOC.


HB 2367 allows an individual 16 years of age or older, that has received a certification of unaccompanied child status, to enter into a contract for housing.


HB 2565 affects the Oklahoma Children’s Code. It modifies the definition of neglect to state that it does not include allowing a child to engage in independent activities when taking into consideration the child’s level of maturity, physical condition, and mental abilities. Examples of independent activities include remaining at home unattended for a reasonable amount of time, remaining in a vehicle under certain circumstances, engaging in outdoor play, and walking, running, or bicycling to and from school. It also states that evidence of material, educational, or cultural disadvantage compared, to other children, is not sufficient grounds for a deprived action.

HB 2899 requires an applicant for Home and Community Based Medicaid Waiver Services to be a resident of the state for five years prior to the application date. The Waiver Services affected are the Community Waiver, In-Home Support Waiver for Adults, and the In-Home Support Waiver for Children.


SB 421 modifies child support guidelines. It allows the court to consider other factors under certain circumstances. It also allows for an abatement for an incarcerated obligator under certain conditions. In addition, it impacts veteran disability compensation benefits received by a child.


CORRECTIONS:


HB 1679 creates the Sarah Stitt Act. This Act requires the Department of Corrections to provide convicts, released from custody, with a form of identification to assist them in finding employment.


HB 2311 makes several changes to the law regarding juveniles serving time in an adult jail including where certain juveniles can be housed and requiring a hearing at least every 30 days to determine the best interest of continuing to house a juvenile in an adult facility.


HB 2774 requires law enforcement officers to comply with immigration detainer requests by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The legislation also requires detention facilities to allow reasonable access to ICE to identify an individual in custody.


SB 320 allows medically frail and medically vulnerable convicts to be considered for compassionate parole. Medically frail is defined as having a medical condition that precludes an individual from performing two or more activities of daily living on their own and medically vulnerable is defined as having a medical condition(s) that makes an individual more likely to contract an illness or disease while incarcerated that could lead to death or cause the individual to become medically frail.


CRIMINAL JUSTICE:


HB 1135 affects private property. It removes the requirement of posting “no trespassing” signs in order for a criminal trespass to occur if waste, theft, or damage is committed.


HB 1674 makes it a misdemeanor to unlawfully obstruct the normal use of a public street, highway, or road by restraining motor vehicle traffic by approaching motor vehicles or by endangering the safe movement of motor vehicles or pedestrians. In addition, any motor vehicle operator that unintentionally causes injury or death while fleeing a riot shall not be held criminally or civilly liable.


HB 1776 requires a DNA sample for the Combined DNA Index System to be submitted by any individual convicted of a misdemeanor or felony for possession of a controlled, dangerous substance.


HB 1880 authorizes district attorneys to create restorative justice programs for nonviolent offenders who qualify for deferred prosecution agreements. The District Attorneys’ Council will develop and implement a 5 year pilot program for restorative justice using citizen-led mediation panels.


HB 1892 creates an advisory task force on prevention of human trafficking and child exploitation.


HB 2295 prohibits a person arrested for violation of a protective order or other domestic abuse charge from qualifying for a personal recognizance bond.


SB 172 creates Ida’s Law to address the problem of missing and murdered indigenous persons.


SB 200 allows a victim of domestic violence, sexual violence, or stalking to terminate a lease without penalty by providing certain documents to the landlord. The bill also prohibits the landlord from taking certain actions against the victim.


SB 403 makes it unlawful to disrupt or interfere with the business of any political subdivision.


EDUCATION:


HB 1775 prohibits institutions of higher learning from requiring gender or sexual diversity training. It also prohibits public school teachers from teaching critical race theory.


HB 2030 requires high school students to pass the US naturalization test as a condition of graduation.


SB 48 creates the Student Athlete Name, Image, and Likeness Rights Act. This Act allows a student athlete at a postsecondary school to earn compensation for their name, image, and likeness without penalty or loss of playing time.


SB 267 allows retired teachers to return to the classroom, under certain conditions, as an active teacher with no limitations on earnings.


SB 658 prohibits public schools, career tech centers, state colleges and universities, the State Board of Regents, and the State Board of Education from requiring a COVID-19 vaccination for attendance and prohibits these entities from implementing a mask mandate for the unvaccinated. School boards and technology centers may only require masks after consulting with their local health department and if the Governor has declared an emergency for that jurisdiction.


SB 783 allows a student to transfer to any district at any time unless the grade level at the receiving school is at capacity.


ELECTIONS:


SB 959 allows the Governor to appoint an individual, in the case of a vacancy, to the United States Senate. The appointee must submit an oath that they will not file as a candidate for the seat when the position appears on the ballot.


ENERGY & UTILITY:


SB 1049 creates the February 2021 Unregulated Utility Protection Act.


SB 1050 creates the February 2021 Regulated Utility Consumer Protection Act.

These bills were created in response to the unprecedented cold weather event in February 2021 that created power outages and increased costs for electricity and fuel. They mitigate the long- term impacts of this event and put in place procedures in preparation of any future extreme weather event.


HEALTH:


HB 1102 modifies the definition of unprofessional conduct with regards to medical licenses to include performing an abortion except under certain circumstances. Unprofessional conduct under these conditions shall result in the suspension of a physician’s license to practice medicine for at least one year.


HB 1904 requires an abortion provider to be board certified in obstetrics and gynecology.


HB 2877 allows law enforcement officers to utilize telemedicine to assess a person an officer believes needs mental health treatment. The legislation also requires an officer to transport the person to the nearest appropriate facility within a 30 mile radius of the officer’s operational headquarters.


SB 87 permits a consenting person in possession of a controlled and dangerous substance, who appears to be in need of help, to be taken to an approved treatment center or an approved center for substance abuse evaluation in lieu of an arrest.


SB 398 permits pharmacists to administer Food & Drug Administration approved immunizations without a patient-specific prescription, standing order, or similar arrangement.


SB 673 creates the Oklahoma Telemedicine Act. This Act expands definitions and standards for telemedicine.


SB 848 requires the Department of Mental Health & Substance Abuse Services to contract with public and private entities to provide peer support crisis intervention, counseling, and wellness programs for law enforcement, emergency service providers, and corrections’ personnel under certain circumstances. Services are subject to available funding.


SB 918 would outlaw abortion in Oklahoma if Roe v. Wade is overturned by the US Supreme Court or if a US constitutional amendment is adopted which gives states the authority to prohibit abortions.


INSURANCE:


HB 1019 caps the total amount an insured person must pay for insulin at $30 for a thirty day supply and $90 for a ninety day supply.


HB 2678 makes failure to include certain payments on behalf of an enrollee, when calculating total contributions towards an out-of-pocket maximum, an unfair claim settlement practice for health insurers providing pharmacy benefits.

SB 550 requires insurance companies to provide certain notifications when denying a clean claim and allows for an appeal of the denial.


SB 674 requires every health benefit plan offered in the state to provide coverage of telemedicine.


JUDICIARY:


HB 1095 permits a court to bar a convict from entering the judicial district where the conviction occurred until after completion of the term of the convict’s sentence. Exceptions provided.


HB 1799 amends the process for expunging juvenile court records.


HB 1980 requires the Judicial Nominating Commission to promulgate rules to expand the transparency of the judicial selection process.


HB 2548 is a complete overhaul of the power of attorney statutes by the adoption of the Uniform Power of Attorney Act. This Act is currently law in 29 other states.


HB 2689 provides that on October 1, 2021, a one-time stipend of $1,200 will be provided to every court reporter.


HB 2746 exempts all federal law enforcement officers from jury duty. It also exempts from jury duty municipal and state law enforcement officers in a county with a population greater than 255,000. For counties with a population of less than 225,000, municipal and state law enforcement officers may serve jury duty in civil trials.


SB 31 affects service on a defendant that is not timely. Requires a court to dismiss an action 200 days after filing if service has not been made.


SB 155 directs the Oklahoma Supreme Court to maintain a calendar of cases pending before the Court and to publish the calendar on its website. Entries on the calendar must include dates the Court will hear oral arguments, cases challenging the constitutionality of an act of the state Legislature, dates of Court conferences, dates the Court is closed, and any information that will assist the public in monitoring cases. The Court must also provide a weekly update of cases that have been granted review.


PUBLIC SAFETY:


HB 1643 makes it a misdemeanor to publish personally identifiable information of peace officers and public officials with the intent to harass or otherwise cause harm.


HB 2645 prohibits the carrying of a firearm at an event where minimum security provisions are in place. Minimum security provisions are defined as consisting of a metallic style fence at least 8 feet high that encompasses the property and deters unauthorized entry, has controlled access points staffed by uniformed, commissioned peace officers and where metal detectors are in use. This prohibition affects events on property set aside by a county, city, town, public trust with a county, city, or town as a beneficiary, or a state governmental authority.


SB106 amends the Oklahoma Self Defense Act. Among other things, the Act removes the 3 year preclusive period for applying for a license to carry a firearm after two or more convictions for public intoxication if the applicant has a certified statement from a licensed physician stating that the applicant is not in need of substance abuse treatment.


SB 631 creates the Second Amendment Sanctuary State Act. This Act pre-empts any agency or political subdivision from infringing on the right to keep and bear arms. This Act also considers it an infringement of citizens’ rights if any federal, state, county or municipal act, law, executive order, administrative order, court order, rule, policy, or regulation orders the buy-back, confiscation, or surrender of firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition from law abiding Oklahoma citizens.


SB 646 allows employees, that work at an establishment that serves alcoholic beverages, to carry or possess a weapon while in the scope and course of their employment. Permission from the owner is required.


SB 672 clarifies that any individual, 18 to 20 years of age, may transport in or on a vehicle an unloaded firearm at any time.


SB 1057 allows drivers’ licenses to be issued for four or eight years.


REVENUE & TAXATION:


HB 1009 raises the income qualification limit from $20,000 to $25,000 for an additional homestead exemption.


HB 2964 exempts from all sales and use taxes, commercial vehicles and semitrailers used to transport cargo on Oklahoma highways.


STATE GOVERNMENT:


HB 1146 transitions most state employees from classified service to unclassified.


HB 2951 creates the State-Tribal Litigation Revolving Fund to provide monies for attorneys hired by the state to address controversies between the state and tribal governments.


SB 88 amends voting requirements for public trusts to waive public bidding requirements and exempts public trusts from auditing requirements under certain conditions.


SB 585 modifies the definition of habitual or willful neglect of duty related to removing a state official from office. In addition to other causes, officials may be removed for knowingly providing false testimony to or repeatedly refusing to provide information to a legislative committee or refusing to provide information to a legislative member within 15 days of a request for information.


STATES’ RIGHTS:


HB 1236 authorizes the Attorney General or the Legislature to evaluate whether certain federal actions violate the 10th Amendment and take legal action when necessary to protect states’ rights. It also creates a State Reserved Powers Protection Unit within the Attorney General’s Office to review federal actions.


SB 368 amends the Oklahoma Religious Freedom Act. The Act prohibits any governmental entity from declaring a religious institution or its primary activities as nonessential. It also prevents religious institutions from being subject to greater restrictions than those placed on businesses.