A group of senators is calling for a change in the way the legislature oversees the state agencies which they fund annually. Senators Roger Thompson & AJ Griffin are just two senators who are frustrated at how agencies avoid actually doing several core services so that they can leverage the failure for increased funding in the next budget 'go round'.
One detrimental result of the current process is that the legislature has often increased funding far beyond the needed levels just to acquire assurances that a particular function will get accomplished.
Those Oklahomans who have been trying to call in to state agency offices in the past 8 years will tell us that it's mostly impossible to get real state workers to answer the phones at all. But the legislature has not been able to get funding designated to alleviate that failure. In the same way, the Dept. of Public Safety has deliberately caused waiting times of over 2 hours at many motor vehicle testing facilities, because it leads voters to pressure the legislature to hike the overall agency budget. But even when that trick does prevail in the legislature's budgeting, we sometimes see that the problem remains unchanged.
Randy Ellis wrote this excerpt for the Oklahoman..