OKLAHOMA CITY – Governor Kevin Stitt announced that he is continuing his push against state agencies hiring external lobbyists,
On Friday, Gov. Stitt announced a new executive order that puts in place a permanent restriction on state agencies entering into contracts with external lobbyists.
“When taking office, I uncovered that several state agencies were collectively spending more than $1 million annually on contract lobbyists to advocate for their own special interests to the Legislature and the executive branch,” said Governor Kevin Stitt. “The agencies’ practice of hiring contract lobbyists skirts transparency laws and empowers agencies to ignore voters’ mandates. I quickly issued an executive order limiting agencies from entering into new contracts or extending current ones through the end of the 2019 fiscal year. My new executive order makes this restriction permanent during my administration. Oklahomans are united around a vision to make our great state Top Ten, and I will continue to pursue common-sense reforms, such as EO 2019-29, to ensure state agencies are in alignment.”
Shortly after taking office in January, Stitt issued another executive order to require all state agencies, boards and commissions to submit a list of every contract lobbyist hired and the amount of each contract dating back to 2015. It also placed a freeze on those agencies from entering into new contracts while the information was being submitted.
“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 in January. “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.”
All of the agencies submitted their findings by April. To see how much each agency spent, click here.