Budget & Tax
Brandon Dutcher | July 9, 2015
OCPA officials tout federal-funds transparency
In a recent column in The Journal Record, law professor Andrew Spiropoulos lauded a proposal which “requires state agencies to publicly report the amount and nature of the federal funding they receive and, most importantly, the conditions they accept in exchange for the money.”
The proposed legislation by Rep. Tom Newell and Sen. Greg Treat “would make it easier for the public and policymakers to find out how much of our state government is funded by Washington and what policies we choose to let them impose on us,” wrote Spiropoulos, who serves at the Milton Friedman Distinguished Fellow at OCPA. “Some of this information is publicly available, but isn’t easy to locate or compile. Much of this information isn’t publicly accessible. Supporters of the bill surmise that agencies agree to implement numerous federal programs that legislators or citizens would not support if they were aware of them.”
OCPA president Michael Carnuccio points to one example. “The unreported, successful push by bureaucrats several years ago to participate in an expansion of family planning services has resulted in Oklahoma taxpayers now having to fund the morning-after pill in the Medicaid program,” Carnuccio wrote in The Journal Record.
Spiropoulos was unimpressed with Gov. Fallin’s explanation for her veto of the transparency bill. “She’s concerned about the onerous burden these reporting requirements will place on agency staff. She says that, if you look hard enough, you can find the spending data elsewhere—but she says nothing about where you would find information on the conditions accompanying the spending. It seems more important to her to avoid burdening bureaucrats than to facilitate regulatory relief for our citizens.”
“When lawmakers come back in February,” Carnuccio wrote in another Journal Record column, “they should stand up for Oklahoma and override the governor’s veto.”
Senior Vice President
Brandon Dutcher is OCPA’s senior vice president. Originally an OCPA board member, he joined the staff in 1995. Dutcher received his bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Oklahoma. He received a master’s degree in journalism and a master’s degree in public policy from Regent University. Dutcher is listed in the Heritage Foundation Guide to Public Policy Experts, and is editor of the book Oklahoma Policy Blueprint, which was praised by Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman as “thorough, well-informed, and highly sophisticated.” His award-winning articles have appeared in Investor’s Business Daily, WORLD magazine, Forbes.com, Mises.org, The Oklahoman, the Tulsa World, and 200 newspapers throughout Oklahoma and the U.S. He and his wife, Susie, have six children and live in Edmond.