11.1.20 – KTUL – OKLAHOMA CITY (AP)
Hundreds of new Oklahoma laws usually take effect every year, but this year there will be only about 60 because legislators were not able to meet as much due to the coronavirus pandemic.
All new laws will become operative on Sunday, The Oklahoman reported.
One law to modernize court proceedings was propelled by the pandemic. It allows for video conferencing at every stage of civil and criminal proceedings in district courts. Rep. Nicole Miller, an Edmond Republican, and Sen. Michael Brooks, an Oklahoma City Democrat, said the bill offers more flexibility for proceedings.
Another law is aimed at preventing porch piracy, which happens more frequently because of increased online shopping. The bill makes it a misdemeanor to steal from a delivery vehicle, mailbox or doorstep on first and second offenses. If someone commits the crime three or more times within a 60-day period, it becomes a felony.
Another law requires health insurance companies to cover mental health and substance use disorders as they do with physical illnesses. Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner Glen Mulready will be responsible for making sure that all in-state health plans are in accordance with a 2008 federal law that requires financial parity.