Senator Doug Whitsett, R-Klamath Falls, accused the governor's office last week of muzzling agency directors who are asked to appear before legislative committees to discuss pending bills.
The impetus for his charge?
The governor's chief of staff, Curtis Robinhold, sent a memorandum to agency directors in early February that said:
"There should be no surprises to the Governor's Office on the input agencies provide in formal committee testimony or otherwise regarding pending legislation. As such, even if expressing a 'neutral' position and providing factual information, agencies must provide a heads up to the Governor's Legislative Director and assigned Policy Advisor in advance. Agencies must obtain authorization from the Governor's Legislative Director or their assigned Policy Advisor before supporting or opposing bills, whether at their own initiative or when asked for input from stakeholders or legislators."