Licensing midwives is an interim Senate study

Controversial Sen. Erwin Yen, R-Oklahoma City, wants an interim committee to look at licensing midwives.

President Pro Tempore Mike Schulz, R-Altus, announced approval of that study and other interim studies requested by members of the Oklahoma Senate. A total of 44 interim study requests were approved.

Schulz’s own request for an interim study will examine apportionments, which are tax dollars siphoned “off the top” rather than being deposited into the General Revenue Fund for appropriation by lawmakers. The look at apportionments is part of the overall effort of Schulz and Senate Republicans to implement long-term reforms in the budget process to yield more stability and reliability in the appropriation process.

“Hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes and fees paid by Oklahomans are being spent via apportionment. It’s time we take a serious look at apportionments and what changes, if any, are needed,” Schulz said. “Apportionments act like automatic paycheck deductions and are useful to ensure priority expenses are paid reliably. But they also greatly reduce the flexibility to shift resources away from lesser priorities because of unexpected or unforeseen costs like a home repair, or in the case of state government, budget shortfalls brought on by economic contraction. If the Legislature were able to control more of the tax revenue collected by the state, lawmakers would have greater ability to avoid or mitigate the impact of budget shortfalls.”

Senate Appropriations Committee

  • Examining apportionments in the budget process
  • Studying the taxation of energy resources
  • Study of automobile license plates and whether plates reside with the owner or the automobile during a sales transaction
  • Tax reform
  • Study of models for preventing the maltreatment of children in state care
  • Study on the redistribution and selling of excess water from the Arkansas River (requested by Sen. Dave Rader, R-Tulsa)
  • Study of the tobacco excise tax
  • The ramifications of filing unconstitutional legislation
  • A study on paid family leave and developing a program for state employees to receive short-term disability benefits

Senate Business, Commerce and Tourism Committee

  • Data breaches in financial institutions
  • The benefits of electronic notaries
  • Effectiveness of summer youth employment programs
  • A study of the economic impact on state tourism of federal historic designations

Senate Education Committee

  • Examine teaching tribal histories in public schools
  • Examining how schools maximize their budgets
  • A study on school consolidation requested by Minority Leader John Sparks, D-Norman.
  • A study on capping superintendent salaries requested by Sparks.
  • Examining the impact of the National Board Certified Teacher program
  • A study on how other states are managing teacher shortages

Senate General Government Committee

  • Determining if an updated version of the Public Employees Relations Board is required to meet the future needs of the state requested by Sen. Nathan Dahm, R-Broken Arrow.
  • Examining possible legislation amending statutes on county zoning
  • Examining the structure, appointments and responsibilities of the Oklahoma State Accrediting Agency
  • A study of the Oklahoma Open Records Act
  • A study on transferring oversight of the Oklahoma Merit Protection Commission

Senate Health and Human Services Committee

  • A study on licensure of midwives requested by Sen. Ervin Yen, R-Oklahoma City.
  • A study on physician supervision of nurse practitioners requested by Yen.
  • A study on balanced billing by out-of-network providers requested by Yen.
  • A study on deaths and near-deaths from oral surgery requested by Yen.
  • A study examining returning to a risk-based managed care model that would utilize health plans to manage the care of Medicaid
  • A study a diabetes prevention program
  • A study of radiologic technologists requested by Scott.
  • Examining best practices to eliminate or reduce the number of suicides
  • A study on the cost of infertility treatments

Senate Public Safety Committee

  • A study on possible reforms to the Pardon and Parole Board
  • A study on the Arkansas model of post-incarceration counseling
  • A study on reducing recidivism using business plan training in prisons
  • A study on cost-saving measures for the Department of Corrections requested

Senate Retirement and Insurance Committee

  • A study on insurance business transfer plans

Senate Rules Committee

  • A study examining state election issues including the election calendar, filing dates, precinct consolidation, primaries and run-offs

Senate Transportation Committee

  • A study on Oklahoma Department of Transportation consulting engineers and quality of projects
  • A study on Corporation Commission Transportation Division compliance with federal regulations
  • Exploring the economic benefits of light rail

Senate Veterans Committee

  • A study to identify opportunities for disabled veterans to do business with the state.