- Associated Press - Thursday, January 24, 2019

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Oklahoma’s new governor is ordering that his office’s airplane be sold and demanding state agencies stop hiring contract lobbyists as part of cost-saving efforts.

Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt issued a series of executive orders Thursday, including the sale of the plane. Stitt says the governor’s King Air 350 aircraft costs the public about $1 million annually.

Stitt also says he’s had difficulty determining how many state agencies are hiring contract lobbyists to influence the Legislature, a practice he wants to stop.

Another executive order takes aim at classified employees in state government. Stitt says he is lifting a hiring freeze for state agencies, but only for unclassified positions, which have fewer job protections. Stitt says the order is designed to give agency leaders “flexibility” to modernize its workforce.

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