Sit Down With Gov. Stitt: Executive Orders, Election Results And Senate Confirmations

Just as the legislative session was wrapping up, Governor Kevin Stitt issued a handful of executive orders. Stitt says his goal is to make Oklahoma the most business-friendly state and save taxpayer dollars. 

Friday, June 21st 2024, 3:50 pm

By: News 9, Haley Weger


Just as the legislative session was wrapping up, Governor Kevin Stitt issued a handful of executive orders.

Stitt says his goal is to make Oklahoma the most business-friendly state and save taxpayer dollars. 

“If we do that, it helps everyone, it helps education, it helps healthcare, it helps wages increase, everything,” said Governor Kevin Stitt.

Two of the executive orders, deal with business deals, expediting the permitting process, and consolidating the licensing process: 

“I want to motivate the state government that we want to turn this around quickly, we're not gonna be the holdup to starting businesses, to building new buildings,” said Stitt.

Stitt says the goal of the licensing order is to:

  1. Simplify the licensing process, including the potential consolidation of state agencies, boards, and commissions 
  2. Eliminate bureaucratic obstacles. 
  3. Lower the cost of securing state-issued licenses. 
  4. The Task Force will submit a report of its findings and recommendations to the Governor and the Legislature by December 31, 2024. Members of the Task Force will be composed of key state officials and appointees from the Senate and House of Representatives.

As for the permitting order: 

  1. Cataloging Permits: Each state agency must compile a digital catalog of the different types of permits they issue and submit the list to OMES within 90 days. 
  2. Review and Recommendations: OMES, in conjunction with the Governor's Office, cabinet secretaries and chief advisors, and the State Chief Transformation and Information Officers, will review and establish efficient processing times for permits and publish an electronic catalog of recommended application processing times. 
  3. Compliance and Refunds: If state agencies fail to comply with the recommended processing times, they will be required to refund the application fee in full unless there’s explicit law to the contrary.

“If I gather all of that up, I can make the best business decision for Oklahoma,” Gov. Stitt said.

Staying in the tune of saving Oklahomans cash, an additional order bans wasteful PR spending at state agencies.

Executive Order 2024-12 underscores the Stitt administration's commitment to conservative governance and safeguarding tax dollars by implementing strict guidelines and regulations for state agencies:

  1. Ending Sole Source and Statewide Contracts with PR Vendors: State agencies are prohibited from entering into sole source contracts with public relations, marketing, or communications firms or vendors. All contracts will be required to undergo a 30-day RFP process.
  2. Eliminating Political Influence: PR firms and vendors with active campaign-related or state question initiative contracts are banned from contracting with state agencies.
  3. Cracking Down on Lobbying: State agencies are prohibited from entering into contracts with PR vendors who employ registered lobbyists, and contracts must be immediately terminated if a vendor is caught participating in unregistered lobbying.

“Why do we always have to outsource everything? If you have state employees doing something, shouldn't that be their job description? Why do we have to then outsource it to a PR firm?” Gov Stitt said.

The governor says that is a question that state agencies will have to answer. 

One of the state agencies that outsource their public relations work is the State Department of Education. We asked the governor if he had concerns that OSDE may be violating the executive order, and his response was: 

“If it goes through the RFP process, it doesn't concern me at all. It's also my understanding that they've gone down from the previous superintendent of education from 10 people in their communications department down to one,” said Stitt. “I have no problem outsourcing something instead of hiring another full-time employee especially if it's not another full-time job,” said Stitt.

The governor says the main goal is to ensure these contracts are going through a bidding process, ensuring tax dollars are spent wisely. “Send it out there and let the best person win,” Gov. Stitt said.

The executive orders went into effect on June 17.


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