A legislative committee fulfilled an objective of Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin by passing a bill Thursday that would abolish nearly 50 boards and commissions and another measure that would consolidate more than 40 others into eight panels.
The House of Representatives Government Modernization Committee voted 11-1 to pass House Bill 1455, which gets rid of 47 boards and commissions that haven't been active for at least several years.
“They just don't need to be there,” said Rep. Jason Murphey, R-Guthrie, the committee chairman.
Among the panels marked for elimination are the Fire Ant Research and Management Advisory Committee, Advisory Committee for Motorcycle Safety and Education, the Buffalo Soldiers Heritage Corridor Advisory Committee, the Oklahoma American Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission, the Oklahoma Office of Volunteerism, the Cigarette and Tobacco Tax Advisory Committee, the Spaceport Territory Advisory Council and the War on Terror Memorial Design Committee.
One of Fallin's platforms when she ran for governor was to reduce the number of state agencies, boards and commissions.
“I look forward to working with the Legislature as these reforms move forward to ensure we deliver on our promise to provide Oklahomans with a smaller, smarter and more efficient government,” Fallin said Thursday
She reminded lawmakers during her State of the State address last month that she remained focused especially on reducing the number of state boards and commissions, especially those that are outdated or duplicative.
Murphey said Fallin's Cabinet members came up with proposed reductions. If all reductions are allowed to occur, the number of boards, agencies and commissions in Oklahoma should fall by about 70 and put the number remaining in the state below 500, he said.