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.