Boles and Perryman File Bipartisan Bill to Simplify Salary Process for County Officials
OKLAHOMA CITY –State Rep. Brad Boles, R-Marlow, and Rep. David Perryman, D-Chickasha, today filed legislation to simplify the salary decision process of county commissioners.
House Bill 1939 follows an audit released by the Office of the State Auditor and Inspector earlier this month, which found that elected county officials in Grady County had been overpaid by approximately $700,000 over the past decade. Both Boles and Perryman represent portions of Grady County.
“After many meetings with the State Auditor’s office, we discovered that Oklahoma’s county commissioners are paid on a very complex formula model and that the current state statutes have some conflicting language. Representative Perryman and I have filed this legislation to simplify this process and resolve these issues,” Boles said.
The audit, which was requested by District Attorney Jason M. Hicks, found that the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) did not set and approve the salaries for the elected county officials of Grady County, which resulted in the officials receiving a salary exceeding the amount allowed by law.
Boles said this legislation and additional measures by the State Auditor’s office will create an annual system of checks and balances to ensure each county remains within state statute on the county salaries they are allowed to pay.
“My hope is that this bill, when passed, will prevent situations like we’ve seen in Grady County from happening again in other Oklahoma counties by giving our county government officials a more flexible, transparent and accountable state law to follow moving forward,” Boles said.
Boles, a Republican, is the chair of the County & Municipal Government Committee for the upcoming session. Perryman is co-authoring HB1939 and serves as the Democrat Minority Floor Leader.
"This legislation is an attempt to clarify an archaic and confusing formula by which the salaries of elected county officials is computed,” Perryman said. “Representative Boles and I are committed to working together to accomplish a goal of removing ambiguities in the law to avoid situations across the state where the salaries of county officials may have been inadvertently miscalculated."
Thursday marked the final day to file bills for the upcoming session. The first session of the 57th Legislature begins Monday, Feb. 4 at noon.