RALNA Oklahoma Legislative Update January 25, 2022

OKLAHOMA

The Oklahoma State Legislature is a busy place for bills related to assisted living. There currently are six bills that have been pre-filed for consideration by the legislature starting in February. We’re not sure what is prompting this flurry of activity, but it could be due in part to Senator Jessica Garvin, who is sponsoring three of the six bills. Senator Garvin seems to understand something about the long-term care industry and may be a good contact for RAL owners and operators in Oklahoma.

Here is a summary of the proposed legislation:

  1. S.B.1436: Long-term care; modifying certain restrictions on employment.

    This proposed law is designed to help with the hiring process and to make more potential candidates eligible for employment. For hiring caregivers, a facility would have to do a criminal background check only before the staff member begins employment rather than when the offer is made. Also, the time after conviction is reduced from 7 to 5 years to be eligible for employment, and drug offenses would only disqualify a potential staff member if that person were to be working with meds.

    Sponsor: OK Sen. Jessica Garvin, [email protected], (405) 521-5565.

  2. S.B.1518: Long-term care; eliminating temporary emergency waiver for employment of noncertified nurse aides; stating requirements for training and competency evaluation program.

    This bill would revise training and competency evaluation requirements for non-certified nurses’ aides (caregivers).

    Sponsor: OK Sen. Jessica Garvin, [email protected], (405) 521-5565.

  3. S.B.1434: Long-term care; requiring certain regulation of intermediate care facilities.

    Providers serving people with intellectual disabilities will want to be aware that this bill proposes a new licensing category and regulations for intermediate care facilities for individuals with intellectual disabilities with sixteen or fewer beds. This bill would take these facilities out of the scope of the Nursing Home Act and any other act, creating a special law for the licensing of these facilities.

    Sponsor: OK Sen. Jessica Garvin, [email protected], (405) 521-5565.

  4. S.B.1431: Eliminating Long-Term Care Facility Advisory Board

    This bill would eliminate the Long Term Care Advisory Board (a board of diverse professionals and industry representatives) and take power away from the State Board of Health in favor of the State Commissioner of Health. It’s not clear what prompted this proposal, but taking power away from industry voices is concerning.

    Sponsor: OK Sen. Paul Rosini, [email protected], (405) 521-5618.

  5. S.B.1668: Long-term care; broadening certain exemption; modifying provisions relating to licensure of long-term care administrators.

    This bill would prohibit the licensing board from requiring a four year degree for licensed administrators and assistant administrators. It allows assistant administrators with just the completion of a test.

    Sponsor: OK Sen. Brent Howard, [email protected], (405) 521-5612.

  6. SB 1374 – Expanding responsibilities of the State Fire Marshal; establishing procedure for appealing fines.

    This bill proposes amendments to the Fire Marshal’s authority that are not particularly relevant. However, the underlying law to be amended is relevant to RALs in that it requires all assisted living facilities to be classified as I-2 (an institutional use) under the International Building Code. It does not impose a similar classification for Personal Care Homes, but this provision has caused confusion in the past. This may be an opportunity to try to amend the offending portion.

Sponsor is OK Senator Lonnie Paxton, [email protected], (405) 521-5537.

To track these and other bills and regulations, go to RALNA’s real-time tracking boards:

2022 Legislative Tracking Board
2022 Regulatory Tracking Board

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