Oklahoma State Senate
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105
For Immediate Release: February
Sen. Debbe Leftwich
Leftwich Authors County Reform Bill in Senate
State Senator Debbe Leftwich announced on Friday
that she will be principal Senate author of a bill to allow Oklahoma
and Tulsa Counties to operate under “home rule.” Leftwich
and House principal author
Mike Shelton, D-OKC, said House Bill 1945 was the result of citizen
outrage over the move by two of Oklahoma County’s three commissioners
to disband the county budget board.
“I specifically went to Rep. Shelton when I heard he had a
vehicle for this for a couple of reasons. First of all, I heard
from a lot of county and state elected officials when that incident
occurred. More importantly, I heard from a lot of citizens—a
lot of taxpayers in my district and around the county that were
terribly upset,” said Leftwich, D-OKC.
The lawmakers explained that the measure would establish a 16-member
commission to head county government for Oklahoma and Tulsa Counties
if eight elected county officials approve a resolution calling for
creation of the commission. Each commissioner would then appoint
two members, with the county clerk, court clerk, treasurer, assessor
and sheriff each naming two members.
“I worked for many years in a small state agency of 60 to
70 employees with not more than a three to five million dollar budget.
We had at least eight people that had the final say in that budget.
But you’re looking at $50 million that this county operates
with—to only have two sole people in control of it I think
is just a horrible mistake,” Leftwich said. “We have
got to put a stop to this train before it has a wreck.”
Senate Communications Office - (405) 521-5774