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Oklahoma pop museum gets support from stars but lacks go-ahead from Legislature

Oklahoma lawmakers would have to authorize a $42.5 million bond issue this year in order for the Oklahoma Museum of Popular Culture to open in 2017 in Tulsa, the director of the state's historical society says.
BY MICHAEL MCNUTT mmcnutt@opubco.com Modified: May 6, 2013 at 11:18 pm •  Published: May 7, 2013

She also appeared in the movies “Being John Malkovich” in 1999 and “Sweet Home Alabama” in 2002.

Singers Garth Brooks and Leon Russell and the family of singer Bob Wills earlier donated items to the museum.

Blackburn still faces a challenge of getting lawmakers — especially Republican members in the GOP-controlled House who oppose any additional bond issues for state projects — to support a bond issue.

“On the Senate side … they've been saying they're willing to consider that,” Blackburn said. “We have not heard the same thing from the House.”

House Speaker T.W. Shannon, R-Lawton, said Monday he didn't know of any plans to revive a proposed bond issue.

“I haven't seen any specific legislation,” he said. “I'd be happy to take a look.”

Blackburn, whose agency would manage the museum, said it would produce about $2.1 million in annual revenues to pay for its operating costs.

Revenue would come from admissions, gift shop sales, special events and revenue from its 650-space parking garage.