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Oklahoma State Senate
Communications Division
State Capitol
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105

For Immediate Release: March 2, 2010            

Sykes, Brogdon: Plan to Allow Insurance Department Bureaucrats
to Raise Fees Lacks Accountability

State Sens. Anthony Sykes and Randy Brogdon on Tuesday criticized the approval of a proposal to give the Oklahoma Insurance Department the ability to raise fees without accountability to the legislature or citizens.

“Allowing bureaucrats to raise fees with impunity is contrary to the notion of a representative democracy,” said Sykes, R-Moore. “At a time when Oklahomans are struggling with tremendous financial burdens, we can’t allow state agencies to nickel and dime our citizens with fees approved by a board of bureaucrats. If we truly hope to increase accountability and efficiency in our state agencies, this is the sort of legislation we must oppose.”

The Senate on Tuesday approved Senate Bill 1658 by a vote of 25 to 15, with eight members excused from the vote. The measure would give the Insurance Department the authority to promulgate rules regarding the establishment and collection of any fees falling within the authority of the Commissioner or Department. Brogdon said the proposal would set a dangerous precedent.

“We now have the opportunity to enact legislation returning accountability to state government,” said Brogdon, R-Owasso. “This measure takes us in the opposite direction, transferring power to bureaucrats and relieving them of the accountability at the same time. It’s a bill that erects a barrier between citizens and their government, setting a dangerous precedent in our legislative body.”

For more information contact:
Sen. Sykes: 405-521-5569
Sen. Brogdon: 405-521-5566

 

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