Oklahoma Corporation Commissioners Bob Anthony and Dana Murphy today informed Gov. Brad Henry they want to each give the state part of their pay to match wage losses experienced by furloughed Commission employees.
They are asking Gov. Henry to accept the money on behalf of the State and direct the funds back to their agency so the money can be used for other Commission costs, pursuant to sections 383 and 384 of Title 60 of the Oklahoma Statutes.
Commissioners may not reduce their pay under state law, Commission General Counsel Andrew Tevington said, so they have opted to write checks back to the government.
“The Commissioners believe it’s only fair to be included in the unpaid furlough days the agency’s employees have had to take in the second half of this fiscal year,” Tevington explained. “Because the furlough days are the result of cuts to the agency, Commissioners Anthony and Murphy have stipulated their gifts go to the specific use and benefit of the agency, rather than to the General Revenue fund.”
State law does not allow the Commissioners to make the gifts to their agency without going through the governor, Tevington said.
The state’s budget shortfall has forced the Oklahoma Corporation Commission to cut approximately eight percent of the agency’s work force, place the Commission’s remaining 440 employees on eight unpaid furlough days through June and institute $400,000 in additional cuts over those mandated for all agencies.
The Commission’s budget was cut 18 percent at the beginning of the current fiscal year compared to five to 10 percent for other agencies. The state’s current fiscal year ends June 30.