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Legislators' clear priorities

by Ray Carter Modified: June 27, 2013 at 10:20 am •  Published: June 26, 2013

Lawmakers voted this year to spend $120 million repairing the Oklahoma Capitol over the next two years. They separately approved $7 million to renovate Capitol offices for legislative use.

Work has already begun on the office renovations. But repair of the Capitol — which has a crumbling facade, leaky sewage, and other structural issues that can literally endanger the public — won’t begin until members of the Long-Range Capital Planning Commission are appointed and a study is conducted.

Both projects have loomed for several years, but House lawmakers continually stalled Capitol repair efforts. They showed no similar reluctance about spending taxpayer dollars on far less-pressing office renovations. Structural problems have literally forced barricades to be erected in front of the Capitol, yet some House legislators saw no reason to hurry.

When forced to choose between their personal comfort and the public’s safety, they keep prioritizing the former.

 

by Ray Carter
Editorial Writer
Ray Carter joined The Oklahoman in May 2012 after serving as Media Director for the Oklahoma House of Representatives for over seven years. A native of Oklahoma, Carter has worked in the newspaper and public relations businesses since 1998.
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