OKLAHOMA CITY — More than 300 new laws took effect in Oklahoma on Friday, Nov. 1.
While the most controversial of the 324 may be a measure allowing people to carry a weapon without a permit or training, others deal with everything from increasing some speed limits to establishing an official state astronomical object.
House Bill 1071 would let the Oklahoma Department of Transportation increase the speed limit to 75 mph on rural sections of the interstate highway system if a study determines that it is safe and reasonable.
The measure would also let the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority increase speed limits to 80 mph.
House Bill 1269 makes the provisions of State Question 780 retroactive.
Passed by voters in November 2016, SQ 780 downgraded several nonviolent offenses from felonies to misdemeanors and reduced the associated sentences.
HB 1269 allows those serving time for crimes that no longer require prison sentences to seek relief through the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board.
The board is set to hold an “expedited” docket on Friday to consider several hundred inmates for commutations.
Senate Bill 100 would allow optometrists to occupy a separate room or area within or adjacent to a retail store as long as they remain financially and professionally independent.
Current law prohibits optometrists from practicing inside other retail establishments.
The bill was a negotiated agreement between optometrists and large retailers following a failed ballot measure to make optical care part of the state constitution.
SB 142 cracks down on the practice of giving nursing home residents antipsychotic drugs.
The bill prohibits the use of such drugs unless a patient was previously diagnosed with a psychotic disorder, with some exceptions.
“Nursing homes have been consistently prescribing these medications to patients that don’t necessitate them,” said Sen. Stephanie Bice, R-Oklahoma City, the Senate author. “This legislation prevents our elderly residents in Oklahoma from being medicated without necessity.”
House Bill 2270 allows a process for a man to seek to disprove a father-child relationship if a court determines that the mother engaged in fraud and genetic testing shows that the child is not biologically related to the man.
Rep. Josh West, R-Grove, first introduced the bill in 2017, but it failed to secure approval.
“I think this was needed in order to protect those men who have been misled as to paternity,” West said. “You are dealing with a presumed father who has been lied to.”
HB 1259 allows voters to take a picture of a completed ballot and post it on social media.
Finally, HB 1292 designates the Rosette Nebula the official astronomical object of the state, while SB 21 designates the rib-eye steak as the official state steak.
A controversial bill has drawn a legal challenge and will not go into effect on Nov. 1.
SB 614 requires those who perform medication abortions using Mifepristone, also known as RU 486, to tell the patient in writing that it may be possible to reverse the effects of the drug.
A judge has put a hold on this measure to consider a legal challenge from a Tulsa abortion provider that alleges it would require doctors to give patients false information.