Dozens of Oklahoma agencies employ contract lobbyists

OKLAHOMA CITY – A list compiled by the Oklahoma Ethics Commission shows more than two dozen state agencies are currently employing contract lobbyists, a practice the new governor wants to end.

The commission released a copy of the list Thursday at the request of The Associated Press.

One of Gov. Kevin Stitt’s first executive orders was to direct all state agencies to provide his office with details on the lobbyists they hire and how much they pay them. The agencies have until the end of March to provide that information to Stitt’s office.

“My first day as governor, I was tasked with researching how many state agencies contract with outside lobbyists. I was shocked to find, and Oklahomans I’m sure will be shocked to find, I couldn’t find out the information. I couldn’t find out how many state agencies are hiring third-party lobbyists and what they’re paying for,” Stitt said. “So I instructed all agencies to let me know how much they’re paying lobbyists all the way back to 2015, and to make sure that before they enter into any new contracts or renew any contracts that they get permission from the secretary that they report up to.”

Reports to the Ethics Commission show 27 separate state agencies have hired contract lobbyists, including the state Treasurer’s Office, Banking Department and the state pension systems.

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