Legislative candidates typically promise to eliminate government waste, but follow-through is often lacking. Fortunately, some lawmakers have done the hard, unglamorous work of actually saving taxpayer dollars — in particular state Reps. Randy McDaniel, R-Oklahoma City, and Jason Murphey, R-Guthrie.
McDaniel has been the Oklahoma House’s point man on pension reform. His efforts helped reduce the state’s unfunded liability by $5 billion in a single year. Those improvements occurred as the result of 2011 reforms, but McDaniel continued to advance the cause this year.
With 20 years of experience in the financial services industry, McDaniel says his goal is “to put all the pension plans on a pathway toward financial stability and strength.” He’s made headway toward that goal, and Oklahoma taxpayers and pension beneficiaries should be thankful.
As chairman of the House Government Modernization Committee, Murphey led the charge to drag Oklahoma government kicking and screaming into the 21st century. He’s been involved in efforts to increase use of open-source technology, make efficient use of state vehicles, drive down health care costs through state employee health savings accounts, address expensive flaws in the state employee health insurance benefit formula, consolidate agencies, implement government performance measures, reform purchasing processes (saving an estimated $22 million over two years) and more.
He even pushed agencies to make payments electronically at about 5 cents per electronic transfer instead of paying $13.50 per paper payment. That’s the kind of idea that saves money without impacting service.
Save a few thousand here, a million there, and pretty soon you have substantial savings. Millions saved may not sound like much out of a $6.8 billion budget, but it’s real money. Every dollar saved can be put to better use.
McDaniel and Murphey deserve applause from taxpayers.