Conservative group believes less means more

It might be seen as a case of “preaching to the choir” when Guthrie Republican Representative Jason Murphey talked government modernization and transparency to the Oklahoma Conservative Political Action Committee’s (OCPAC) weekly meeting on Wednesday (October 26). Murphey contends less government translates into more and better use of the people’s money.

“Conservatives, especially, can become discouraged when they don’t hear that government is shrinking,” he told CapitolBeatOK following his address to the group of about sixty gathered in Oklahoma City.

Murphey said, “I wanted to make sure that they (OCPAC) had that positive message that we have made a lot of progress this year, we’re set to make more and that going forward next year we’re going to see another series of modernization legislation – reduce the size of government and hopefully put us on a track to eliminate the state income tax.”

Murphey is chairman of the House Government Modernization Committee and serves as a member of the House Appropriation and Budget Government and Transportation Committee.

“We’re certainly looking at the state Auditor to do performance auditing – allowing him to go into the state agencies and give us, the legislature, the reports we need to continue building on the work we’ve done and to consolidate more efficient processes,” he said.

He said next year should see government performance data and a performance matrix made available online for citizen review. “The performance matrix would give the Governor the ability to set some standards that the agencies need to follow,” he said.

Murphey said, “Those standards should be open and accountable and everyone would see them. And when an agency failed to deliver the public would know it.”

Murphey anticipates those issues will be a “huge part” of what the legislature will tackle next year. “Obviously, we’ll want to look at more state agency consolidation,” he said.

He believes the progress made already in the areas of modernization and consolidation will translate into a “shorter list” facing lawmakers when it comes to appropriations and budgeting next year. “There will be fewer agencies to appropriate to. And, with a lot of those agencies we should, if all the data is provided, we should be able to adjust their appropriations to account for the savings they are realizing from the IT consolidation.”

Murphey expects Oklahoma will see an immediate multi-million dollar impact on this year’s budget once the consolidation savings are plugged into the Appropriations and Budget process.