Staff and Wire Reports
OKLAHOMA CITY -- A House panel has approved a bill to consolidate six different state agencies into the Office of State Finance.
The House Government Modernization Committee on Thursday approved the measure by House Speaker Kris Steele on an 11-2 vote, with two Democrats opposed.
The bill would consolidate the Department of Central Services, Office of Personnel Management, Merit Protection Commission, Department of Libraries, State Employees Benefits Council and the State and Education Employees Group Insurance Board into the Office of State Finance. It now heads to the full House.
Steele, R-Shawnee, said the bill could help the state save millions of dollars. New Republican Gov. Mary Fallin proposed consolidating several state agencies in her executive budget as part of her plan to "right-size" government.
Opponents say it's giving too much power to the head of the Office of State Finance. The bill requires the Director consolidate the agencies by the end of the year and reduce costs by 15-percent.