Senator Lewis Long is calling on State Labor Commissioner Brenda Reneau to reimburse the state for the cost of a minimum wage poster deemed improper by the State Attorney General today. Long also wants Reneau to apologize to the businesses and workers whom she forced to display the poster, and personally supervise the retraction and replacement of the poster.
"I think Commissioner Reneau owes the taxpayers some money and the businesses and workers of Oklahoma an apology. Because she chose to ignore the law, her office produced thousands of dollars worth of invalid minimum wage posters and distributed them statewide," said Senator Long.
"She's wasted a lot of money and a lot of time."
Senator Long requested the attorney general's opinion earlier this year when he learned about Reneau's decision to place additional information on the minimum wage poster not specifically allowed under state law. The legislator had attempted to communicate his concerns to the Labor Commissioner's office, but Reneau refused to show him the poster until after it was distributed.
"I tried to point out the law to Commissioner Reneau before she wasted a lot of taxpayers' money on a bunch of invalid posters, but she wasn't interested in listening to the facts. Instead, she plowed ahead blindly and left taxpayers to pick up the pieces. That's not very responsible behavior for an elected official," said Senator Long.
Senator Long is calling on the labor commissioner's office to provide a full accounting of the costs related to the poster's production and duplication so Reneau can reimburse the state properly.
"I think Commissioner Reneau should do the right thing and reimburse taxpayers for a mistake that clearly could have been avoided if she had followed the law. That's what any good public official would do," said Senator Long.
He also wants Reneau to personally supervise a recall of all the invalid posters, making sure that no Oklahoma businesses are displaying improper material.
"It may take a while, but Commissioner Reneau needs to fix her mistake. While she's collecting all the invalid posters, she can also take the opportunity to personally apologize to businesses and workers for any inconvenience she has caused them."
The Tulsa-area legislator also applauded today's Attorney General's opinion, saying it will prohibit similar mistakes in the future.
"This should put anyone who is tempted to abuse their authority on notice. No bureaucrat should have the latitude to load down an informational poster with whatever other messages they see fit," said Senator Long.