Puneet Varma (Editor)

49th Oklahoma Legislature

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President of the Senate:  Mary Fallin (R)
Speaker of the House:  Larry Adair (D)
President Pro Tem of the Senate:  Mike Morgan (D)
49th Oklahoma Legislature
Term:  January 7, 2003–January 4, 2005
Composition:  Senate 26      22      House 54      47

The Forty-ninth Oklahoma Legislature was a meeting of the legislative branch of the government of Oklahoma, composed of the Senate and the House of Representatives. It met in Oklahoma City from January 7, 2003 to January 4, 2005, during the first two years of the first term of Governor Brad Henry. It was marked by the passage of a ballot proposal, the Oklahoma Education Lottery Act.


Dates of sessions

  • Organizational day: January 7, 2003
  • First regular session: February 3, 2003 – May 30, 2003
  • Second regular session: February 2, 2004 – May 28, 2004
  • Special session: May 19, June 14, and June 17, 2004
  • Previous: 48th Legislature • Next: 50th Legislature


  • Beer - SB 353 allowed low-point beer manufactured in Oklahoma to be sold both in-state and out-of-state, designated low-point beer manufactured for exporting as tax exempt, and allowed manufacturers such as a restaurant brewery to serve customers free samples produced on the premises.
  • Child pornography - HB 1562 made downloading child pornography onto a computer a crime.
  • Insurance - SB 635 strengthened the financial oversight of HMOs by the state, combined the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ model legislation for HMO regulation and risk-based capital with key provisions from current Oklahoma law, transferred the licensure of HMOs from the state health department to the state insurance department, delineated the authority of the state insurance commissioner and state health commissioner, and required each HMO to maintain minimum net worth of $1.5 million
  • Jobs - HB 1605 amended the Quality Jobs Act and Small Employer Quality Jobs Incentive Act by decreasing the percentage of inventory processed through distribution centers shipped out-of-state.
  • Labor - SB 741 modified the Oklahoma Employment Security Act; allowed a claimant to voluntarily terminate employment and still draw benefits if quitting to avoid domestic violence evidenced by a victim protective order; appropriated money made available by federal Reed Act and used it to make up for shortfall in the budget of the Employment Service and the Unemployment Insurance Program, One-Stop Career Centers, and to pay for reprogramming of the computer system to allow for names and Social Security numbers to be placed on the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission’s wage file.
  • Lawsuit reform - SB 629 created a $300,000 cap on noneconomic damages for obstetric and emergency room cases except in wrongful death cases or if negligence is shown and made other changes to regulate medical liability actions.
  • Lending - HB 1574 created new requirements on lending practices to deter and penalize predatory lending.
  • Local government - HB 1724 authorized local governments to issue bonds to finance public and private economic development projects and repay the bond through tax increases.
  • Military - HB 1396 created a commission to analyze state policies affecting military facilities in Oklahoma, examine methods for improving the potential private sector market value, and recommend new state policies needed to protect and expand Oklahoma’s military facilities.
  • Payday lending - SB 583 authorized payday lending.
  • Water - SB 288 placed a moratorium on the sale of water from the sole source aquifer to cities and towns until a study is done by the Oklahoma Water Resources Board.
  • Water - SB 408 directed the Secretary of Environment to conduct a comprehensive study of the watershed of the Grand Lake area to identify factors that may impact the economic growth and environmental uses of the lake. Several state environmental agencies are also directed to participate in the study.
  • Failed

  • Livestock care - SB 557 would have required veterinarians to report to the state agriculture board within 24 hours animals suspected of having a disease that could cause of a public health emergency, but was vetoed by the governor.
  • Ballot proposals

  • Oklahoma Education Lottery Act - HB 1278 established State Question 705 to be submitted to the voters for their approval regarding the establishment of a statewide lottery to benefit schools and a governing board.
  • Enacted

  • State employees - HB 2005 set out a total of $2,100 in across-the-board salary increases over the next two fiscal years for state employees, public school teachers and state troopers.
  • Meth - HB 2176 limited the sale of pseudoephedrine products used to make crystal meth.
  • Economic development - HB 2288 created the Rural Action Partnership Program and established resources for starting businesses in rural areas.
  • Volunteer Firefighter Training Incentive Act of 2004 - HB 2372 established the Oklahoma Council on Firefighter Training and an income tax credit for volunteer firefighters who achieve specified firefighter training or certification.
  • Oil and gas - HB 2550 designed to quickly resolve disputes between the two segments of the oil and gas industry by enhancing state oversight of gas gathering and increasing the authority of the Oklahoma Corporation Commission to examine charges of abuse in order to ensure gas gatherers are charged fair and reasonable prices.
  • Municipal Employee Collective Bargaining Act - SB 1529 affected municipalities with a population of greater than 35,000 persons and special authorities, agencies, and boards created by municipalities; allows non-uniform municipal employees to form employee organizations in order to collectively bargain and negotiate for employment-related benefits.
  • Finance - SB 1565 followed up payday loan bill in 2003 with protections for borrowers.
  • Democratic

  • President Pro Tempore of the Oklahoma Senate Cal Hobson
  • Majority Floor Leader Ted Fisher
  • Appropriations Chair Mike Morgan
  • Caucus Chair Maxine Cissel-Horner
  • Republican

  • Minority leader James Allen Williamson
  • Republican Caucus Chair Mike Johnson
  • Democratic

  • Speaker Larry Adair
  • Speaker Pro Tempore Danny Hilliard
  • Majority Floor Leader Larry Rice
  • Appropriations and Budget Chair Bill Mitchell
  • Caucus Chair David Braddock
  • Caucus Secretary Roy McClain
  • Republican

  • Minority leader Todd Hiett
  • Caucus Chair Mark Liotta
  • Caucus Secretary Ron Peterson
  • References

    49th Oklahoma Legislature Wikipedia

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