Jason Murphey

Those who have read these articles in the last few weeks may have noticed a common theme: a description of cost savings, complete with a reference to a comprehensive report that demonstrates these savings.These cost savings reports were mandated by…

Last Wednesday, Oklahoma’s Chief Information Officer told our House Government Modernization Committee that the effort to unify state government information technology assets has saved 129 million dollars. This is a significant increase over the 115……

  Every so often a member of the local constituency inquires about the impact upon common education of Oklahoma lottery proceeds. 
  Based on lottery advocacy commercials, many likely thought the lottery would have a big impact, and now, they want to know where the money is going.

  This isn’t an easy question to answer; but it’s important to put into perspective.

  When Oklahoma policy makers created the lottery, they placed common education’s component of the funding into the state aid for schools funding formula. There are many revenue streams which go to common education, both inside and outside of this funding formula.

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Throughout my time in the Legislature I have observed House members struggle with their inability to achieve meaningful oversight over state agencies.

Here is how the public component of the legislative oversight has mostly been conducted:

At the start of session, Appropriations Subcommittee members spend twenty to thirty minutes on a hearing of each state agency’s budget request. Nothing happens for several months while the most powerful legislators conduct closed-door negotiations with agencies, other legislators and the Governor’s staff. With just a few days remaining in the session, legislative leaders emerge from behind the scenes and announce a “budget deal” and go to work lining up votes for the budget by telling legislators, “Either vote for the budget or we will be forced to call a special session which will cost the taxpayers thousands of dollars and make the Legislature appear weak in the eyes of the public.”

Phone Directory Publishers are no longer Breaking the Law

This is the time of year when many of last session’s approved legislative initiatives take effect. Traditionally, this means many new laws are going into place. All too often, these are unnecessary laws that create additional fees, new government debt and inappropriate spending, unnecessary and confusing regulation, or worse. Unfortunately, this year is no different. There are many unnecessary…

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Many taxpayers believe the Legislature operates as described in American Government class. They learn that a bill becomes law after first being approved in a committee, then by votes in the House and Senate, and finally being signed by the Governor. Im…

Those who visit the capitol at lunch or dinner time are likely to notice the dependency/entitlement mindset of some of its occupants. The careful observer may overhear the efforts of lawmakers to enjoy a first class meal at someone else’s expense: “Let…

The power to appropriate money provides the Legislature with one of the strongest tools with which they exercise input over state agency conduct. In some respects, this is a role which makes the Legislature the most powerful branch of state government….

The power to appropriate money provides the Legislature with one of the strongest tools with which they exercise input over state agency conduct. In some respects, this is a role which makes the Legislature the most powerful branch of state government….