Approaching the deadline

Ponca City Now - February 21, 2020 11:28 am

By Sen. Bill Coleman

We moved many more bills out of committee this week, with more than 300 awaiting consideration by the full Senate.

As typically happens, less than half of filed bills will make it out of committee.  As of Thursday, we still have a long list of bills to get through in this last week of committee consideration.

Last week was a productive week for me as I got four more bills out of committee.

SB 1865 was approved by the Health and Human Services Committee Monday.  It modifies the membership of the Advisory Committee on Medical Care for Public Assistance Recipients. The bill requires a member representing nursing homes to be appointed and adds the Commissioner of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services or a designee to the Committee. Additionally, it requires a member from a state organization or state chapter of a national organization of pediatricians dedicated to the health and well-being of children and young adults to be appointed to the Committee. The measure also requires a member to be appointed by a state organization representing hospitals. Beginning Jan. 1, 2021, the measure places a term limit of three years for each member of the Committee. The chair and vice chair shall serve one year in the position and may not be reelected to the position for more than three consecutive terms.

SJR 33 passed the Rules Committee Wednesday. It refers to the people a constitutional amendment that excludes small distilleries from the requirement that sales can only be made to licensed wholesalers.

Then I had two more pass out of the Business Committee Thursday.  SB 1215 specifies that the presentation of a sales receipt to a purchaser of wine, beer, and/or mixed beverages must include a separate item displaying the 13.5% gross receipts tax amount for the purchase.

SB 1653 creates a craft distiller license and authorizes the holder of such a license to manufacture, bottle, package, and store spirits produced by the licensee, sell the spirits produced by the licensee to holders of retail licenses and to person outside of the state, and serve free samples to person 21 years or older. Samples are limited to 3 fluid ounces per day per person. A craft distiller licensee is also authorized to sell produced spirits on its premises for consumption on or off-site and at public events. Licensee may also elect to distribute through a distributor or self-distribute, provided the licensee submits a notice of the distribution method to the ABLE Commission. If a craft distiller elects to market wine and beer, the craft distiller will also be required to obtain a manufacturer’s license. The fees for the licenses are $125 for a craft distiller license, $750 for a craft distiller self-distribution license, $75 for a craft distiller spirit lounge license, and $750 for a spirit lounge self-distribution license.

All but SB 1653 will now go before the full Senate, which approved my SB 1518 Tuesday dealing with the OHCA and sent it on to the House. SB 1653 will be next be heard in Appropriations Wednesday.

Unfortunately, SB 1517 failed in the Senate by a narrow margin so I served notice to reconsider the bill at a later date so I can visit with those who voted against the measure to help them understand it better.

Last week, Gov. Stitt invited about 15 of my colleagues and me to dinner.  We spent about three hours discussing healthcare.

Tuesday was FFA Day at the Capitol and we welcomed hundreds of students from around the state, including some from Pawhuska and Barnsdall.  I enjoyed hearing about their work and future plans.  This is an excellent program that is helping shape these brilliant young minds.

You can contact me at the state Capitol by calling (405) 521-5581 or by email at [email protected]


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