In my last update I described the conclusion of this year’s interim study process that occurred one week ago on Thursday. I wrote about the hearings that demonstrated the increasingly rapid application of our government reform proposals and the millions of dollars of savings that are starting to be realized.
Last week, my focus shifted to organizing the next generation of legislation designed to implement new government reduction, efficiency and transparency policies.
Throughout the year I attempt to conscientiously record reforms taking place in other states and couple that with input and ideas received from constituents, other legislators, and state employees who are in the system. As the previously adopted reforms continue to be applied, I also make note of the needs for revisiting those policies in order to maximize their cost savings and effectiveness and ensure that they continue to be viable.
As the first legislative deadlines for the next session are approaching, it is my job to review this list and distill these ideas and suggestions into a manageable dialog that can eventually be expressed as statutory policy changes. I review the practicality of each idea, the potential savings or increased transparency that will be accomplished by the idea, and the political viability of winning support for the idea in the current political environment.
I then organize these ideas into their respective policy areas, assign them to hypothetical bills, and arrange them in a manner I can present to officials in House and Senate leadership and the Governor’s office. It is my belief that these officials will make some of these ideas a part of their respective agendas for the next session. Government modernization proposals have been heavily supported by legislative leadership and the Governor during the past year and I enjoy the opportunity to provide them a compendium of the next set of great ideas for reform.
This process constitutes the first stage in developing the government modernization agenda of bills for the next legislative year. The second stage of this process constitutes finding House and Senate authors for the ideas that find acceptance with legislative leadership and the Governor. Sometimes, because the idea came from a legislator, the legislative author will naturally be the person who thought of the reform proposal.
Having a standing Government Modernization Committee has been a fantastic tool for finding those legislators who enjoy this area of policy and want to advance these ideas. There are several legislators who serve on the committee who are very dedicated to investing time and effort to reduce the size of government and increase transparency.
This means that there is a team of legislators who are ready to advocate for reform. It also means that a new mindset of reform has been created among committee members and members of the legislature. Because this mindset has started to become institutionalized, legislators are more likely to think of and share new ideas for reform.
In other words, the House government modernization effort is much like a snowball rolling downhill, and this year’s list of proposed legislation is by far the largest list that I have seen since modernization efforts started. In the upcoming months, I look forward to writing about this long list containing the next generation of reforms.
State Representative Jason Murphey
State Capitol Building – Room #437
2300 North Lincoln Blvd
Oklahoma City, OK 73105
1(405) 557-7350 (Office)
1(405) 315-5064 (Cell)