In this weekend’s edition of Capitol Report on News9, analyst Patrick B. McGuigan discussed the timing of a special session, saying it would best come before year’s end. [Editor’s Note: After the segment was recorded, Governor Mary Fallin called for legislators to return on December 18.] There is no agreement over a revised budget between Fallin and legislators still smarting from her unexpected veto of the first special session budget, but in dialogue with reporter Alex Cameron, McGuigan predicted the next Board of Equalization (BOE) meetingwould likely bring good economic news to the fore.
Both the House Special Investigation Committee and the new Agency Performance and Accountability Commission, established as a result of a Senate bill, have begun deliberations. Advocacy for frequent forensic audits of government agencies advanced by “the two Garys” – Tulsa lawyer Richardson and Auditor/Inspector Gary Jones (both candidates for governor) – is now conventional wisdom at the state Capitol, McGuigan noted.
The CapitolBeatOK editor, saying he “had a heart for recipients” dependent on government programs and ethical managers at some agencies, said the Health Department scandal makes the case for caution when it comes to revenue increases the governor wants. At long last, he said, Republicans must “right-size” government to assure efficient delivery of essential services.
On Corrections issues, McGuigan remains optimistic about criminal justice reform, and Cameron asked him to explain why. McGuigan said the departure of Rep. Scott Biggs removes the number one obstacle to implementation of reforms enacted in 2012 at the Legislature, and approved by voters in 2016.