Tuesday, March 05, 2019

OCPA, House Dem Leader react to agency accountability plan

Following a press conference featuring Governor Kevin Stitt, House Speaker Charles McCall, and Senate President Pro Tempore Greg Treat announcing several bills aimed at restoring accountability to state agencies, we have two opposite reactions to the plan.

Up first, the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs approves:
OCPA President Jonathan Small
OCPA statement on agency accountability agreement

After Gov. Kevin Stitt and legislative leadership announced an agreement on state agency accountability, Jonathan Small, president of the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs (OCPA), released the following statement:

“It’s great to see the governor and legislative leadership reach an agreement on this important issue.

“Oklahoma voters made themselves loud and clear when they elected Gov. Stitt: they want our state’s chief executive to have the power to do the job.

“In 2012, voters passed a constitutional amendment that changed the governance structure of the Oklahoma Department of Human Services, which has proven successful. Today’s agreement brings similar accountability to critical areas of state government.”


On the flip side, here's the response from the perpetually-negative House Democrats:

House Minority Leader Emily Virgin (D-Norman)
Leader Virgin Responds to GOP Government Accountability Plan

OKLAHOMA CITY – House Minority Leader Emily Virgin (D-Norman) released the following statement after Gov. Kevin Stitt, alongside House and Senate Republicans, announced a partisan plan for government accountability.

“We have reached a point where the term ‘government accountability’ has lost all meaning,” Virgin said. “By taking away the decision-making power of our boards, we are moving decisions from a venue that falls under the Open Meetings Act and is in view of the public to a venue that is literally behind closed doors and lacking transparency.

Additionally, we have had many agency heads that have pushed our state in the right direction in spite of Capitol politics. By removing the oversight ability of the boards, we are creating an environment that will not only allow political patronage but will demand it. This plan isn’t about providing transparency. It is about acquiring power.”

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