A proposed interim study by state Rep. Lewis Moore will examine reasons why Gov. Mary Fallin in May vetoed House Bill 1917.
The measure would direct agencies to prepare for a downturn in the economy if 25 percent fewer federal dollars were available to states agencies in the future, said Moore, R-Edmond.
HB1917 was written by House Speaker T.W. Shannon, R-Lawton, and Sen. Brian Bingman, R-Sapulpa. Moore was among the co-authors of the bill. Sen. Bingman, R-Sapulpa was the principal Senate author.
“The second part of that bill was an amendment that asked for an accounting and transparency of all federal money coming into the state agencies,” said Moore, chairman of the States Rights’ Committee. The study will explore if any red tape is created for the state by accepting the money.
Legislators could see the pathway of federal funding and see who is getting the money and its intended use, Moore said.
In May when casting her veto, Fallin said the state’s current budget process allows for ample review of federal programs and funding by both the executive and legislative branches of government.
Fallin said that HB 1917 would place undue burden on state agencies and may cause agencies to re-direct essential staff and resources to this project.
“While House Bill 1917 is well-intentioned, it is duplicative, burdensome to state agencies and unnecessarily creates more bureaucratic red tape,” she said. “This legislation is not consistent with my commitment to streamlining state government.”
State agencies are already required by law to submit a budget to the Office of Management and Enterprise Services, Fallin said.
“I’m not sure they’re the appropriate authority to determine what is legitimate,” Moore said.
Fallin has directed every cabinet secretary and agency head to prepare for the event of federal sequestration and any subsequent impact it would have on the state budget.
If appropriation committees are needed to monitor the state budget, Moore said the same process should apply for federal dollars coming to state agencies.
“Who said the appropriations process was efficient?” Moore said. “We know that’s not necessarily the most efficient way. That’s just how the government process works so that the people have an opportunity to see how their money is spent.”
Fallin and Attorney General Scott Pruitt are listed among the state leaders who would be part of the interim study.
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