FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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October 5, 2022 (Oklahoma City, Okla.) – The Stitt for Governor 2022 campaign announced today that the Oklahoma Public Employees Association (OPEA) endorsed Governor Kevin Stitt for re-election in 2022. During his first term, Governor Stitt has been recognized for his work on civil service modernization and agency accountability reform to improve efficiency for state employees and Oklahomans.
“I’ve had the honor of serving under the past three governors, and I can say OPEA has had the best access and voice with Governor Stitt and his administration,” said Sterling Zearley, executive director of OPEA. “Governor Stitt was elected in 2018 and has proven to be a solid advocate for state employees, equipping us with a thoughtful career ladder to keep growing and delivering the best services for Oklahomans.”
This endorsement comes after Governor Stitt called for and signed government reform legislation into law that aligned 5 of the 12 largest state agencies under the executive branch, giving the Governor hire and fire authority of the executive directors and expanding the governing boards. This reform has resulted in a decrease in bureaucracy and more accountability to the voter.
Since the beginning of his term, Governor Stitt has appointed more than 18 new agency heads and made over 400 government appointments to boards and commissions, attracting fresh, new leadership from across the State to serve and guide the Oklahoma Turnaround.
“I am proud to have the support of my fellow colleagues in State government. They have been on the front lines leading our efforts to reduce red tape, deliver public services on target, and make government more efficient and accountable to the voter,” said Gov. Kevin Stitt. “By consolidating and aligning government under the executive branch, we have made the State a better place to work and have an impactful career.”
In 2020, Governor Stitt called for and signed into law a cost-of-living-adjustment (COLA) for public employee retirees, including teachers and firefighters, the first one in more than a decade. More recently, Governor Stitt called for and signed the Civil Service and Human Capital Modernization Act in 2021, which modernized Oklahoma’s civil service system and removed the broken merit protection system. (Source)
Once re-elected, Governor Stitt will continue to implement the state employee Market Based Pay legislation he signed into law in 2021 (HB 3422). As we seek the best and brightest our state has to offer, Market Based Pay will pave the way for Oklahoma to become a Top 10 employer.