Oklahoma governor orders end to state lobbyist hiring

Oklahoma governor stitt

(AP) Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt is ordering state agencies to end the practice of hiring outside firms to lobby the Legislature.

Stitt issued an executive order on Friday prohibiting all state agencies from entering or extending any contracts with lobbyists without being granted written permission from one of Stitt’s cabinet secretaries. The Republican says he doesn’t believe the practice is a proper use of state funds.

One of Stitt’s first executive orders was to direct state agencies to report to him the names of any contract lobbyists and the amount the agency spent over the last five fiscal years.

A list provided by the governor’s office shows more than two dozen agencies, including state universities, spent nearly $1.5 million on contract lobbyists last year.