Editor’s Note: An interesting take from Michael Bates on Rep. David Brumbaugh’s County budget transparency bill. 

HB 1986: Brumbaugh’s county budget reform bill

By Michael Bates on February 14, 2013

While putting together the previous entry, I came across a spreadsheet of newly-filed legislation for the 54th Oklahoma Legislature (on the home page of thehouseandsenate.com), and found yet another reform worthy of notice and support.

State Representative David Brumbaugh, a Broken Arrow Republican, has filed legislation to increase county budget transparency and accountability, requiring the annual budget process to include all county revenues and previous year surpluses, not just those subject to appropriation, which is typically limited to the current year’s ad valorem revenues. The bill is HB 1986.

In order to gain an accurate picture of all revenues at the disposal of county elected officials and agencies, HB 1986 would give the county excise board the authority and obligation to develop independent estimates of fund revenues and balances “for any fund of any department or elected office within the county.” The bill also expressly gives the excise board the duty to “act in an oversight capacity with respect to the county budget” and authorizes the excise board to hire personnel needed to carry out these responsibilities.

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