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Oklahoma governor wants to sell state plane to save money

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) – Oklahoma’s new governor is ordering the sale of his office’s state airplane and demanding agencies stop hiring contract lobbyists as part of a cost-saving effort for state government.

Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt issued a series of executive orders on Thursday, including one that takes aim at classified employees in state government. Stitt says he is lifting a state hiring freeze for 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.

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

Stitt says the governor’s King Air 350 aircraft costs the state about $ 1 million annually.

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