TULSA, Okla. - Several new laws are set to take effect in Oklahoma on November 1.
Some of the most significant laws taking effect can be seen below. These are laws that have already been approved by the state legislature. Initiatives such as State Questions are not included in these laws.
The following laws are included in those that take effect November 1:
- House Bill 2632: Expanding the use of physical or deadly force against an intruder
- This law expands the "Stand Your Ground" laws in Oklahoma to add "places of worship" to the places citizens may possess weapons and use physical or deadly force as a defense against a person believed to be committing a "forcible felony."
- Senate Bill 1303: Using debit to pay for lottery tickets
- Citizens can now use debit cards to pay for lottery tickets. Before this law, citizens were always required to use cash and only cash to buy lottery tickets. Checks, credit cards, or deferred payments are still prohibited.
- House Bill 1124: Sex offenders cannot live near victim of sex crime
- Sex offenders have to abide by a "zone of safety" within which they are not allowed to live. This new law adds "the residence of a victim of a sex crime" to the list already including elementary, junior high and high schools, child care centers, playgrounds and parks. A person convicted of a sex crime also cannot loiter within 1,000 feet of the residence of a victim he or she committed a sex crime against.
- Senate Bill 1446: Limiting opioid prescriptions
- In an effort to reduce opioid abuse and addiction, this law puts a limit on the amount of opioids that can be prescribed to a patient. The initial prescription is limited to a seven-day supply and is reviewed after three months of having taken the prescription. The law also requires those medical licensees to receive at least one hour of education in pain management or opioid use each year before applying for a license renewal.
- House Bill 3282: Definition of an "assistance animal"
- An assistance animal is "an animal that works, provides assistance or performs tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability, or provides emotional support that alleviates one or more identified symptoms or effects of a person's disability. "Assistance animal" includes a service animal specifically trained or equipped to perform tasks for a person with a disability, or an emotional support animal that provides support to a person with a disability who has a disability-related need for such support." Landlords can request documentation from a tenant for verification of service animals.
- Senate Bill 0980: Qualifications for receiving teaching certificates
- This law will create qualifications for an initial teaching certificate, career teaching certificate, mentor teaching certificate, and leading teacher certificate. It also establishes the minimum annual salaries for mentor and lead teachers.
- Senate Bill 1140: Protections for private child-placing agencies
- This law provides a handful of protections for private child-placing agencies to not be required, to the extent of federal law, to provide service or assistance in child placement if the proposed placement violates the agency's written religious or moral policies.
- Senate Bill 1091: Restrictions on district attorneys in DUI cases
- A district attorney in the state of Oklahoma no longer will have the authority to seek enhancement of certain penalties for driving under the influence.
- Senate Bill 1005: New sodomy and rape felonies established
- This law establishes new sodomy and rape felonies for the people responsible for a person who then commits sex acts upon a person who is at least 16 but under 18-years-old. The person responsible is defined as someone responsible for the child's health, safety or welfare, including but not limited to a parent, legal guardian, custodian, foster parent.
- Senate Bill 0649: Limiting enhanced punishment for controlled substance possession
- Previous convictions for possession of a controlled substance or an equivalent law from another jurisdiction cannot be used to enhance punishment for following offenses.
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