“I haven't seen his particular bill, but I will tell you it's no secret in Oklahoma that there are a lot of major agencies where the governor has little or no authority to appoint a director, to help implement a vision or plan or create efficiencies or, frankly, even to look at funding,” Fallin said.
“I think it's important that if a governor is going to set a vision and set goals that are important and listen to the people ... as to what they want to address, then I have to have help with being able to form those plans.”
Current state Board of Corrections member and Secretary Steve Burrage also said he had not read the bill. Burrage said he could not give his opinion on the measure before reading it, but he said he understands how Newell and others can perceive the system as inefficient.
“I try to keep the governor informed of everything we're doing. In my opinion, I want things to happen, and I'm going to make them happen as quick as I possibly can, but I am a member, one member, of a board, you understand,” Burrage said.
He said he believes the board functions well.
“As far as things that would happen quicker, I could see where it could possibly happen quicker,” Burrage said, “as far as you having a request from the governor's office and a response from the director.”