State Legislature Extends Governor’s Powers


Tuesday, May 5th 2020, 5:20 pm
By: Aaron Brilbeck


OKLAHOMA CITY -

The state legislature on Tuesday voted to extend the governor’s widespread powers for another month, even though a lot of lawmakers are concerned about what they consider to be a lack of communication from the executive branch.

The legislature is giving the governor the power to suspend certain rules and laws to be more efficient in the battle against COVID-19. He will also be able to continue using $50 million in state funds as he sees fit to fight the virus.

But some lawmakers were concerned about the lack of transparency and accountability coming out of the governor’s office.

“Why would we grant this power at this point in time if the governor has not complied with the very language of the first SCR and just say we are going to put it in the second SCR and on a hope and a prayer we are going to comply with the law?” Representative David Perryman (D) Minority Floor Leader asked.

“We’re trusting the governor to use it wisely and I do think on policy issues like that he’s used it very wisely. But I don’t want to downplay your frustration that there needs to be more transparency,” Representative Jon Echols (R) Majority Floor Leader replied.

A spokesman said the governor hasn’t spent any of the $50 million, and the governor has been available to the legislature to answer questions.