The Senate Rules Committee on Wednesday approved five bills from President Pro Tempore Greg Treat that would give the governor the authority to hire and fire the directors of five of the top appropriated state agencies.
Treat, R-Oklahoma City, said the measures are a simple, straightforward way to accomplish the policy goal of agency accountability consistent with the agenda of the Senate Republicans and Governor Kevin Stitt.
“Accountability is an important part of the equation in making Oklahoma a top 10 state. Many agency directors are accountable only to an unelected board or commission. This system has preserved the status quo and led to agencies languishing with minimal innovation. The system is broken and it must be fixed. These Senate bills will ensure agency directors of five of the biggest state agencies are accountable to the governor, who is directly accountable to the people. If we pass these bills, Oklahomans will know the buck stops with Governor Stitt. I appreciate the Senate Republicans on the Rules Committee for their support of this measure and look forward to advancing it out of the Senate,” Treat said.
Government accountability measures:
Agency directors of OHCA (SB 456), ODOT (SB 457), DOC (SB 458), ODMHSAS (SB 459), and OJA (SB 460) will be appointed by the governor, with the advice and consent of the Senate, and shall serve at his/her pleasure.
Governor has the authority to hire, fire, and set the salary for all five directors.
Governing boards and commissions will be eliminated, and their duties will be consolidated into the directors.
The measures will next be considered by the full Senate.