Governor Mary Fallin Announces Cabinet, Senior Staff Changes
OKLAHOMA CITY – Governor Mary Fallin today announced a series of changes to her Cabinet and senior staff designed to ensure continued legislative success for the next two years while sustaining important initiatives enacted during her time in office.
“My team and I have accomplished a lot in the past six years, and we have every intention of being as productive as possible in our remaining two years,” said Fallin. “Each of these members of our team will continue to do amazing work for Oklahoma just as they have throughout their impressive careers. I thank each of them for all they have done to date and am thrilled they are all stepping up to fill these important roles serving our great state.”
The changes are:
- Secretary of State and Native American Affairs Chris Benge, a former House speaker, will become the governor’s chief of staff. He will retain his duties as secretary of Native American Affairs.
- First Assistant Attorney General Mike Hunter, a former legislator who served as secretary of state for former Governor Frank Keating, will become secretary of state and special counsel to the governor.
- Chief of Staff Denise Northrup will become chief operations officer at the Office of Management and Enterprise Services, an agency formed in Fallin’s first term by consolidating several shared government services to generate efficiencies.
- Deputy General Counsel Jennifer Chance, a former Oklahoma County assistant district attorney, will become general counsel.
All changes will be effective by Nov. 1.
“With these changes plus so many new legislators next year and new legislative leadership, Oklahomans can expect a fresh, redoubled effort from my administration and other leaders to serve them successfully. I believe our best days are ahead of us and that we will continue pushing an aggressive, pro-growth agenda,” Fallin said.
Chris Benge was appointed as Oklahoma’s 33rd secretary of state by Governor Mary Fallin on Nov. 8, 2013. In his role as secretary of state, Benge serves on the governor’s Cabinet and is responsible for 20 executive entities.
Many taxpayers believe the Legislature operates as described in American Government class. They learn that a bill becomes law after first being approved in a committee, then by votes in the House and Senate, and finally being signed by the Governor. Imagine the shock of the newly-elected Representative when he discovers that the Legislature is a very different environment than described above….
The first 30 minutes of the first debate went swimmingly for Donald Trump. He pushed his case that globalism benefits global elites like the Clintons but hurts the American middle class. Hillary responded that she would have a special prosecutor if elected. Not to prosecute anyone for destroying classified emails on her server but to enforce trade agreements.
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Last night, I voted against the FY17 Continuing Resolution (CR), legislation which denies my constituents representation in determining how their taxpayer money is spent. CRs represent the worst of Washington: a broken process to fund the government, backroom deal making, and refusal for Congress to use the “power over the purse” to reign in the executive branch.
We see this every year: Harry Reid and Senate Democrats filibuster bills to fund the government in regular order. Reid and Obama then threaten to shut down the government unless Republican Leadership gives in to their demands. A short-term CR is passed followed by a trillion-dollar, 2,000-page Omnibus a few months later.
This particular CR does the following:
- Gives a raise to Planned Parenthood
- Spends over $1 billion to combat Zika without any offsetting spending cuts. Instead of new spending, the Obama Administration should use tens of billions available in unspent International Assistance funds.
- New spending for disaster relief in Louisiana, Maryland and West Virginia. Yet, my office confirmed that FEMA will have $1.7 billion in unspent Disaster Relief Fund money which could be used.
- Busts the budget caps for non-defense social welfare programs by $1.5 billion.
- Creates $6 billion in fake “savings” from a budget gimmick called Changes in Mandatory Programs (CHIMPS).
- Fully funds Obamacare despite insurers fleeing the exchanges and jacking up premiums, including an average of 76% in Oklahoma.
The American people have elected Republican majorities in the House and Senate. Yet, zero provisions in the CR achieve conservative policy goals including stopping Obama’s internet handover, the Syrian refugee program, and illegal executive amnesty.
GOP Aide: Senate Republicans’ Budget Bill Opens up
Possible Zika Funding for Planned Parenthood
A GOP Senate Appropriations Committee aide has confirmed to The Stream that Republicans will allow Planned Parenthood to “apply for reimbursements” under new Zika prevention funding proposed by the Senate Appropriations Committee.
On Thursday, the Republican-controlled committee released a Continuing Resolution (CR) to keep the federal government’s operations funded until December 9. Federal funding is currently approved through September 30, after which discretionary operations of the government would shut down. In addition to funding the federal government, the CR bill provides $500 million for emergency flood assistance in several states, and provides $1.1 billion to fight the spread of the Zika virus.
The Oklahoma Authority is perpetually building and expanding it’s network of “for pay” roads. The Authority is technically not a part of the Oklahoma Department of Transportation, instead, it’s a pseudo business run by a para-government monopoly. This year the OTA announced some bold new projects and some fee increases on all current roads in their network. Read more at the Oklahoman. Does the Oklahoma Corporation Commission ever st […]
3 Topics Are Especially Challenging – Of the several questions put before the voters, this November, conservatives are finding themselves torn on a few issues.They mostly agree on amending the state constitution so we are no longer more restrictive than the US constitution. They really don’t care for added repressive sales taxes when the legislature has plenty of ways to fund education.They believe the death penalty is just, even if they see a need […]