On the last day of session, business in the Senate has stalled after lawmakers are tied at 22. Democrats and one Republican have voted against Senate Bill 980, which creates a chief information officer to oversee technology and computers in state agencies. The vote was taken at 10:40 a.m., Democrats left the Senate at 10:50 a.m. Since then, Republicans have held the vote open.
Below is a release issued by Senate Republicans. In the third hour of the stalled Senate, leading Democrats trickled in and out of the chamber.
WHY DID FLOOR LEADER HOLD CIO VOTE OPEN?
State Stands to Save Hundreds of Millions of Dollars
OKLAHOMA CITY – When the Democrat Senate caucus unexpectedly locked-up against a bill which would have authorized a state Central Information Officer, denying passage of this important and cost-effective reform, Majority Floor Leader Todd Lamb held the vote open in order to give members voting “no” an opportunity to change their votes.
“We have about 2,319,000,000 reasons why we held the vote open,” said Majority Floor Leader Todd Lamb. “You do the math:”
- Since consolidating their IT services six years ago the state of Michigan has saved $100 million. (www.govetech.com/624346)
- Virginia has saved $232 million through consolidating its IT services, averaging $25 million per year in savings. (VA Information Technologies Agency).
- Indiana has saved $50 million since consolidating IT services.
- Pennsylvania projects $257 million in reduced costs over the next seven years.
- California will save $1.5 billion over the next five years. This is one area where this budget-challenged state has made a positive decision. (www.govtech/gt/articles/587864)
- Georgia will save an estimated $180 million over the length of its contract.
- Oregon’s IT consolidation saves 35% per year in power costs.
“And the beat goes on,” Lamb said. “One can only wonder why the Democrats are so committed to spending our money in such a wasteful manner,” Lamb continued.
“How many bridges could we repair with $2.3 billion? How many families could DHS serve with a piece of that pie? How many teachers could we hire with that kind of cost savings?
“One has to wonder if the Democrats protecting their last bastion of patronage through this maneuver?” he added.
“It’s no wonder Oklahoma stays behind the rest of the country in so many categories. I encourage my colleagues to accept the fact that this is a worthy reform, and join 46 other states approving this very worthy and cost-beneficial reform and bring Oklahoma into the 21st Century,” Lamb concluded.