Steele and Murphey advance another round of consolidation and projected savings for taxpayers
Share this Article: Twitter Facebook Republish Print
YouTube Video

Published: 02-Mar-2012

In his weekly discussion with Capitol reporters on Thursday (March 1), Speaker of the House Kris Steele hailed forward movement for House Bill 3053, another step in the government modernization process.

The Shawnee Republican has advanced modernization steps in the past two years in close collaboration with state Rep. Jason Murphey, chairman of the panel working the issue.

The measure cleared the House Government Modernization Committee, 7-3. There is increasing evidence that consolidation steps the pair have long championed are bearing fruit in taxpayer savings available for tax reduction or reallocation. Each of the legislators anticipate further savings from the new proposal. 

In the latest proposed law, H.B. 3053 will, if enacted, consolidate the Merit Protection Commission and state Bond Adviser into the Office of State Finance. That agency, directed now by Preston Doerflinger, would be renamed the Office of Management and Enterprise Services.

The measure would also combine the Oklahoma State and Education Employees Group Insurance Board (OSEEGIB) and the Employee Benefits Council Board into a new Oklahoma Employees Insurance and Benefits Board. Those units would be also be housed in the Office of Management and Enterprise Services (now OSF). 

Steele and Murphey have pressed efficiency moves based on studies that similar functions previously performed in several agencies can be pulled into administrative unity, leading to operational savings.

Budget analysts at the Capitol have concluded that House Bill 2140, a first-round consolidation that pulled several government units under the OSF umbrella, led to $4.2 million in savings for the current fiscal year. Murphey says that is $1.1 million over the $3.1 anticipated. Further, a House staff analysis projects an additional $6.5 million in savings for Fiscal Year 2013. 

In a statement, Steele said, “Spreading similar operations across multiple agencies lends itself to waste and inefficiency. This bill continues the progress we've made to streamline similar operations.” Steele reflected, “An efficient government means more effective services for the public and more money back in the hands of taxpayers. 

Murphey, a Guthrie Republican, commented in a House press release that the bill “represents another major step forward in continued effort to eliminate the unnecessary administrative overhead that has wasted so many tax dollars in year's past. This bill is one of the most important components of this year's government modernization agenda.” 

Murphey has pressed to compact the size of government in methodical and seemingly modest ways which are proving, cumulatively, to have measurable impacts on costs in state government

The new Steele-Murphey bill requires generation of at least 15 percent in savings in Fiscal Year 2013 across the consolidated agencies. H.B. 3053 now moves to the House floor.

sign up for email updates

Steal Our Stuff