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Oklahoma State Senate

President Pro Tempore
Senator Greg Treat, R-Oklahoma City
State Capitol Room 422
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105
(405) 521-5632

For Immediate Release: March 6, 2019

Audio clip

Senate Pro Tem Greg Treat
Senate Pro Tem Greg Treat

Senate Sends OHCA, ODOT Government Accountability Bills to House
Bills part of agreement to give governor ability to hire/fire agency leaders.

The Oklahoma Senate overwhelmingly passed two government accountability measures that are a part of a larger deal to give the governor the ability to hire the heads of five of the largest state agencies.

Senate President Pro Tempore Greg Treat’s bills would give the governor the ability to hire and fire the head of the Oklahoma Health Care Authority (SB 456) and the director of the Oklahoma Department of Transportation (SB 457) with Senate confirmation.

“The century old system we operate now is broken. Agencies aren’t accountable to anyone other than a board of unelected bureaucrats. That is unacceptable and it must change. As the CEO of the executive branch, Oklahoma’s governor needs the ability to hire a team to enact his or her vision for the state. Agency directors will be directly accountable to the governor under our government accountability bills. That’s the best way to inject more accountability into state government and give the governor the ability to truly make improvements all across state government,” said Treat, R-Oklahoma City.

Key parts of government accountability bills:
• The governor would have the authority to hire and fire the agency leader with Senate confirmation.
• State agencies would maintain governing boards, but board members will serve at will and a conflict of interest provision is included in legislation.
• 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 with a two-thirds vote in both chambers.

SB 456 passed on a 37-9 vote, and SB 457 was approved on a 36-9 vote. Both measures now head to the House of Representatives.

The other bills in the government accountability agreement are:
• HB 2480, Oklahoma Department of Corrections
• HB 2479, Oklahoma Office of Juvenile Affairs
• HB 2483, Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services

For more information, contact:
Sen. Treat: (405) 521-5565

Inon: Horizontal Blue Band

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