Spurred by recent actions taken by the Oklahoma Insurance Department, Senator Harry Coates will be filing legislation to prevent the department and any other state agencies from wasting taxpayer money on unnecessary travel expenditures.
The bill will prohibit any statewide officials besides the Governor and Lt. Governor from chartering state aircraft. Since getting into office, Insurance Commissioner John Doak has been the only statewide official to charter the planes besides Gov. Fallin and Lt. Governor Lamb. Doak has used the aircraft to travel around Oklahoma to survey storm damage as well as attend speaking engagements and various meetings with citizens, insurance agents and community leaders – a service Coates pointed out that the former Insurance Commissioner never found necessary, nor any other statewide elected officials.
“There is no reason for state elected officials or agency directors to charter these aircraft and none of them have except Commissioner Doak. Commissioner Holland never used these planes and she was able to carry out her responsibilities to the people of Oklahoma,” said Coates, R-Seminole. “I realize that Commissioner Doak may need to go survey storm damage but as with past commissioners, he can ride with the Governor or Lt. Governor. It’s ridiculous that he has used the planes more than our Lt. Governor.”