Oklahoma House members kick the can on Capitol bond issue
It apparently will fall to Oklahoma voters to fix the state Capitol. The men and women who occupy the building have no stomach for it.
The House of Representatives voted 77-15 Wednesday against a $200 million bond issue to pay for repairs at the Capitol, which has been in bad shape for years. Rep. Earl Sears, R-Bartlesville, said members want the building repaired but, “I think it is a clear message that we need to find another alternative in funding.” Like what? Democrats called for a pay-as-you-go approach. That's nonsense.
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Our guess is Oklahomans would approve using a bond issue to repair the Capitol because they get it. They understand that when their home needs significant repairs or remodeling, they can get a loan to pay for the work instead of trying to pay for it out of pocket immediately. In deciding whether to make the loan, the bank assesses the applicant's current debt and his ability to pay back the amount being requested. If everything checks out, the loan is granted.
Bond underwriters have done the same with Oklahoma and found that we can absolutely afford to borrow the amount needed to repair the Capitol, and then some. Bond issues are routinely used by states, including Oklahoma, for such infrastructure needs. And low interest rates make borrowing now all the more sensible.
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