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Bill to fix crumbling state Capitol passes Oklahoma House

A bill authorizing $120 million in bonds to finance repairs to Oklahoma’s crumbing state Capitol building was passed Thursday by members of the state House of Representatives.
by Rick Green Published: May 22, 2014


photo - Most of the limestone facade at the State Capitol building in Oklahoma City, OK, is cracking and water-stained and is needing repair, Thursday, April 24, 2014,  Photo by Paul Hellstern, The Oklahoman
Most of the limestone facade at the State Capitol building in Oklahoma City, OK, is cracking and water-stained and is needing repair, Thursday, April 24, 2014, Photo by Paul Hellstern, The Oklahoman

The Oklahoma House approved a measure Thursday to authorize $120 million in bonds to fund the biggest repair, refurbishment and remodel of the state Capitol since it was built nearly a century ago.

The measure, which was approved, 55-34, is set to be considered by the state Senate Friday.

The project is to address ongoing concerns over crumbling limestone on the building’s exterior, leaky plumbing and outdated electrical components.

Problems with the plumbing are known to send a sewage smell through parts of the building. Some of the grounds outside the Capitol are cordoned off to protect people from falling chunks of the limestone exterior. Some of the electrical wire in the building is cloth-covered and is of concern as a potential hazard.

Gov. Mary Fallin supports legislation to make repairs to the longstanding problems.

During arguments before the vote, Rep. Scott Inman, D-Oklahoma City, suggested a pay-as-you-go approach with money from the state’s Rainy Day Fund.

“I know in my family, if a roof needs to be repaired or the tile in the kitchen needed to be repaired, if I got plenty of money in my savings account, I pull that money out and repair it. I don’t go take out a loan that I will pay interest on,” he said.

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by Rick Green
Capitol Bureau Chief
Rick Green is the Capitol Bureau Chief of The Oklahoman. A graduate of Humboldt State University in Arcata, Calif., he worked as news editor for The Associated Press in Oklahoma City before joining The Oklahoman.
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