OKLAHOMA CITY – Senate President Pro Tempore Greg Treat last week announced the senators who will serve on the bipartisan, bicameral oversight committee for the Legislative Office of Fiscal Transparency (LOFT).
An Oklahoma City Republican, Treat appointed two Oklahoma City Democrats to the oversight group. Sen. Treat also designated two rural Republicans, each a leader in the upper chamber, to help guide the group’s work.
“In a session marked by achievements like a second-consecutive teacher pay raise and significant new money invested in our classrooms, the Legislative Office of Fiscal Transparency stands out as a a huge policy win for Oklahoma. LOFT will increase accountability and transparency of the spending of Oklahomans’ hard-earned tax dollars by providing the public and lawmakers with objective, independent data on agency spending and program performance. The work of LOFT will be overseen by a bipartisan committee of Senate and House members, and the senators I’ve selected for the committee will do a great job guiding LOFT and its work,” said Treat, R-Oklahoma City.
This spring, Treat’s communications staff included creation of the LOFT oversight committee as one of the top legislative achievements of the 2019 session, in press releases and statements sent to The City Sentinel, CapitolBeatOK and other news organization.
Treat previously named Appropriations Committee Chairman Senator Roger Thompson, R-Okemah, as the LOFT co-chair. The remaining Senate members of the committee are:
- Senator Kim David, R-Porter, majority floor leader and past Senate Appropriations Committee chair.
- Senator Dewayne Pemberton, R-Muskogee, chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Education.
- Senator Frank Simpson, R-Springer, chairman of both the Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services and the Appropriations Subcommittee on Veterans and Military Affairs.
- Senator Chuck Hall, R-Guthrie and vice chairman of the Senate Finance Committee;
- Senator Michael Brooks Jimenez, D-Oklahoma City, was elected to the Legislature in 2016, and has worked on public charter school issues.
- Senator Julia Kirt, D-Oklahoma City. Kirt was to the state Legislature in 2018, when members of her party made historic gains in city-area elections. She has advocated for increased school funding.
CapitolBeatOK, an online news service, designated Treat’s establishment of the LOFT concept as one of the top 15 stories in Oklahoma state government for the year 2018.
Patrick B. McGuigan, publisher of The City Sentinel newspaper, wrote at the time that Treat’s move “gives hopes for substantive, recurring and methodical investigations (examinations might be a less confrontation word) of government agencies.”