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Oklahoma House member to challenge museum funding

An attempt will be made Monday to redirect $40 million in proposed state funding away from Oklahoma City’s American Indian Cultural Center and Museum, state Rep. Sean Roberts announced Friday.
by Randy Ellis Modified: March 28, 2014 at 9:19 pm •  Published: March 29, 2014
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A proposal will be made Monday to redirect $40 million in proposed state funding away from Oklahoma City’s partially built American Indian Cultural Center and Museum, state Rep. Sean Roberts announced Friday.

Roberts, R-Hominy, said he wants the $40 million to be redirected and split evenly, with $20 million going for exterior repairs to the state Capitol and $20 million going to fund kindergarten through 12th-grade schools.

“It is irresponsible to propose providing money to a questionable project that will primarily benefit Oklahoma City when we are struggling to provide adequate funding for education and for the repair of the ‘People’s House,’” Roberts said.

State Rep. David Dank, R-Oklahoma City, contends Roberts is the one being fiscally irresponsible and said he plans to strongly fight the proposed change.

The $40 million in proposed funding for the museum would come from excess revenues in the state’s Unclaimed Property Fund.

Dank said revenues made available to the Legislature from the Unclaimed Property Fund vary greatly from year to year and should not be relied on for education operational expenses, because that can lead to future funding crises.

State Treasurer Ken Miller issued a similar warning.

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by Randy Ellis
Investigative Reporter
For the past 30 years, staff writer Randy Ellis has exposed public corruption and government mismanagement in news articles. Ellis has investigated problems in Oklahoma's higher education institutions and wrote stories that ultimately led to two...
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