The Senate Committee on General Government has approved legislation that would send to a vote of the people a proposal to make the offices of state superintendent, labor commissioner and insurance commissioner gubernatorial appointments.
Sen. Greg Treat, author of Senate Bill 598, said the reforms would broaden accountability by allowing the governor to be more fully responsible for the functions of the executive branch.
“Our lengthy state Constitution has been set up to divide executive power in a way that invites bureaucratic growth and diminishes accountability,” said Treat, R-Oklahoma City. “Making these offices gubernatorial appointments will truly bring them under the executive branch, and allow the executive to be held accountable for the performance of the agencies. This reform is in line with what the voters approved for the Department of Human Services this year, and in my opinion, it is long overdue.”
Labor Commissioner Mark Costello spoke in favor of SB 598, saying the reforms would make state government more answerable to the people. Under the measure, beginning in 2018, the appointments would be subject to consent of the Senate and would run for terms of four years, concurrently with the term of the Governor.
“This reform would be a strong step in the direction of true agency accountability,” Treat said. “I agree with Commissioner Costello that this is just a second step to transform state government, and I look forward to working with him and other reform-minded Oklahomans to move more aggressively in this direction.”