Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Henry Questions Value, Results of Oversight Bill

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Henry Questions Value, Results of Oversight Bill

Article excerpt

By Lou Anne Wolfe

Journal Record Staff Reporter

Legislation to increase oversight on investment activity by the state treasurer would only add bureaucracy and increase the governor's authority over the office, State Treasurer Claudette Henry said Wednesday.

Henry referred to House Bill 2656, passed Tuesday by the Oklahoma Senate and sent to the governor for signature. Principal co-authors are Rep. James Hamilton, D-Poteau, and Sen. Herb Rozell, D-Tahlequah.

At a news conference Wednesday, Gov. David Walters said he thought the Legislature had acted responsibly, and he was "generally inclined" to sign the bill.

Walters said he agreed to meet with Henry prior to signing House Bill 2656. He also said he did not think Oklahoma needed an elected state treasurer. The Office of State Finance could handle state investments, he said. Speaking of the bill, Henry said significant reforms in the operations of her office had made further oversight unnecessary. "In addition, this legislation raises constitutional questions that have not been fully considered," she said.

The bill would change the membership of the Cash Management and Investment Oversight Commission to include the administrator of the Oklahoma Department of Securities. It would also make the state treasurer's appointee a nonvoting member of the commission.

"Three of the five voting members of the oversight commission would be appointed by the governor," Henry said in a news release. "This bill will not result in more effective legislative oversight, but an increase in the governor's authority over another executive office."

With the change, members of the oversight commission would be the state finance director, state bank commissioner, securities administrator, a citizen member appointed by the House speaker, a citizen member appointed by the Senate president and a citizen member appointed by the treasurer.

The administrator of the Oklahoma Department of Securities is not a gubernatorial appointee, but is chosen by the Oklahoma Securities Commission. …

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