OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Gov. Kevin Stitt vetoed an amendment to the rules of the State Ethics Commission on Tuesday that would require state officials who are appointed by the Governor as an agency director or a cabinet secretary to file financial disclosure statements.

The current law, Rule 3.16 of the Rules of the Ethics Commission (74 O.S. 2021, Ch. 62, App. I), requires financial disclosure statements from all state officers who are elected or subject to retention to judicial office.

The bill is by Casey Murdock, R-Felt, Julia Kirt, D-Oklahoma City and Kay Floyd, D-Oklahoma City of
the Senate and Carl Newton, R-Cherokee of the House.

The amendment would add those “who are appointed by the Governor as a director of an agency” or “who are appointed as a cabinet secretary of the Governor” to the list of state officials who would be law-bound to provide financial disclosure statements.

In the Governor’s veto letter back to the Senate, Stitt it’s a double standard.

“Senate Bill 1695 would require gubernatorial appointees to agency director or cabinet secretary positions to file financial disclosure statements while failing to require disclosures for similar positions appointed by the Legislature, boards, or commissions. Most gubernatorial appointees are already subject to Senate confirmation. I would urge the Legislature to revisit this topic and pass legislation that subjects all state officers – whether elected, appointed, or subject to a retention election – to the same set of financial disclosure requirements. This would include, but not be limited to, agency directors and certain state officers selected by boards or commissions and those appointed by the Legislature.

For these reasons, I have vetoed Enrolled Senate Bill 1695.”

Governor Kevin Stitt

The bill, which passed the Senate with 45 votes and no Nays.

Lawmakers can override a veto.

Sen. Casey Murdock, (R) Felt authored the bill and says he will not be seeking that option.

“I have visited with Governor Stitt about this veto and it was a productive conversation. I believe over the interim we will work together to find a way to increase transparency in these appointments while still making sure the governor is able to bring in individuals whose talent and experience will move our state forward.”

Sen. Casey Murdock, R-Felt.