OKLAHOMA CITY – Gov. Kevin Stitt signed a bill to improve government transparency in a ceremony at the state Capitol last week. Senate Bill 271 was authored by Sen. Nathan Dahm (R-Broken Arrow) and Rep. Kyle Hilbert (R-Bristow).
The bill requires all state agencies to annually disclose and rank all federally affiliated funds, programs and priorities. Hilbert, who serves as the vice chair of the House Appropriations and Budget Committee, said any agency receiving and administering federal funds that require any level of security clearance in order to administer received funds is exempt from the disclosure requirements.
“As elected officials, we should always take into consideration transparency and accountability,” Dahm said. “Unfortunately, many agencies choose not to share all the information in order for fully informed decisions to be made. This bill will allow us to better represent our constituents by having this information known when making budget decisions. And by having the agencies post it on their website, this financial information will be directly available to the citizens of Oklahoma as well. It’s a huge step forward for transparency in how agencies spend our money.”
“The Legislature currently does not have a clear understanding of how many federal dollars various state agencies are receiving, how they’re being used or what strings are attached to those federal dollars,” Hilbert said. “The state agencies already have this information available, and Senate Bill 271 will make this information readily accessible to state legislators while considering funding and appropriations.”
SB 271 was officially signed by Stitt on April 29 and will go into effect Nov. 1.