Oklahoma State Home Builders Association

An Affiliate of the National Home Builders Association

New laws you need to know

 
Posted on October 20, 2015 by Mike Means

By Mike Means
OSHBA Executive Officer

Lately it seems the news from the Capitol has all been about the upcoming budget shortfall. 

While the Legislature is not in session, interim studies are happening and preparation for the next session is underway.

Mike MeansSome new laws got some attention when passed but, with the effective date of Nov. 1 quickly approaching, it is worth a little review.

Texting

OK, here is the biggest. Builders and their subs live in their trucks.  Business is done on the fly and that's just the way it is.  However, a reminder is worth noting.  Starting Nov. 1, the “texting” ban, HB 1965, goes into effect. Essentially it is a $250 fine for the use of a cell phone to send or read data.  The good news, insurance cannot be denied if you have a violation.  OK, so that isn’t really good news but so-so news.

Emergency vehicle

Another bill affecting those of us on subheadlinethe road a lot is HB 1113.  HB1113 extends the requirement to yield the right of way that is typically given to police, fire and ambulance services to ODOT vehicles. This requires drivers to allow ODOT and Turnpike Authority maintenance vehicles, that are properly and lawfully making use of audible signals or flashing lights, to pass them or safely move to the left lane when these vehicles are pulled over.

Religious freedom

While this bill doesn’t affect our association members directly, I kept a close eye on this bill because I think religious liberty is at risk in this country.  HB1007 protects religious leaders from being forced to perform marriages they disagree with. The bill states any ordained or authorized official is not required to solemnize or recognize any marriage that violates said individual’s conscience or religious beliefs.

Underage employment

Now, I know some of you out there value the lessons in life that can be learned from hard work.  HB1903 amends language to state that no child under the age of 16 years old will be permitted to work, except when a child is volunteering at a charity recognized exempt under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.  I guess it will be up to each of us to determine if chores count as “work.” 

Upon further reading of the statute though, we may be in luck.  Too bad kids, but exempted from the law is work for parents or for a company in which they may have an interest.

It won’t be long before the Legislature will be back in session and writing more laws.  My hope is to remind you that not being aware of a new law does not exempt you from it.

Let’s be safe on the road out there.

 

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