President Pro Tempore
Senator Greg Treat, R-Oklahoma City
State Capitol Room 422
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105
For Immediate Release: March 5, 2019
Senate Pro Tem Greg Treat
Governor Stitt, House
and Senate leadership announce agency accountability legislation
Governor Kevin Stitt, Speaker Charles McCall, and President Pro
Treat announced today five agency accountability bills that
would give the executive branch the authority to hire and fire agency
leaders for the Oklahoma Healthcare Authority (SB 456), Oklahoma
Department of Transportation (SB 457), Oklahoma Department of Corrections
(HB 2480), Oklahoma Office of Juvenile Affairs (HB 2479), and Oklahoma
Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (HB 2483).
“Oklahomans want three things: accountability, transparency,
and results,” said Gov. Stitt. “Elected officials’
hands have been tied in achieving these outcomes, because our current
system has given agencies too much independence from the voter.
This agency accountability legislation empowers elected officials
to deliver stronger oversight, better services, and accountable
leadership across five of the largest state agencies. It also serves
as a blue print to pursue reform across all of state government.
I appreciate Speaker McCall’s and President Pro Tempore Treat’s
leadership in negotiating this critical piece of government reform,
and I look forward to working with them to get it enacted into law
“We have been working diligently for many weeks with Gov.
Stitt and Senate leadership on these bills, and we believe this
plan will greatly improve our state’s governing structure
both for now and for the next generation of leaders,” said
Speaker McCall. “This has been a shared goal between the House,
Senate and the governor, and it accomplishes the framework that
we all believed was necessary to achieve real accountability. This
plan gives the governor the ability to hire and fire agency directors,
and it rebalances the appointing authority to allow the Legislature
to actually maintain a check on the boards and agencies that spend
“Government accountability is essential to changing the trajectory
of our state for the better,” said Senate President Pro Tempore
Treat. “It’s important for the governor, regardless
of his or her political affiliation, to have the ability to hire
state agency directors to carry out the vision for which he or she
was elected. The system is broken; the system divides the executive
branch against itself, which preserves the status quo and stifles
innovation and improvement at state agencies. These bills will move
Oklahoma forward by giving Governor Stitt the ability to put his
team in place to fully carry out his vision for Oklahoma.
“I have confidence that Governor Stitt will seek talented,
qualified candidates to lead these agencies. Checks and balances
among the three branches of government are good. The Senate is committed
fully to our part in the process by conducting a robust and thorough
confirmation process of the agency directors.
“I want to thank Governor Stitt and Speaker McCall for their
hard work and partnership in negotiating this agreement. This agreement
is evidence of how much Oklahoma benefits when the governor and
Legislature work together from the same game plan.”
The agency accountability bills include the following provisions:
• The Governor would have the authority to hire and fire the
• Senate would have confirmation authority of the agency leader.
• State agencies would maintain governing boards, but board
members will serve at will and the legislation will include a conflict
of interest provision.
• The Governor would appoint a majority of the board members,
and the House and Senate would gain appointment seats on the boards.
• The House and Senate would be able to remove agency leaders
by achieving a two-third vote in both Chambers.
For more information, contact:
Sen. Treat: (405) 521-5565