A plan to fix longstanding plumbing, exterior and electrical problems at the state Capitol won final legislative approval Friday and was sent to Gov. Mary Fallin for her signature.
Fallin has placed a priority on repairing and refurbishing the nearly 100-year-old building.
The bill authorizes $120 million in bonds to pay for the project. The Senate approved the bill Friday after it won House approval Thursday evening.
The project will include securing the limestone exterior of the building and repairing leaky pipes inside. Pieces of limestone have fallen from the building, and plumbing problems have resulted in the stench of sewage in the Capitol. Also, old cloth-wrapped electrical wires will be replaced with modern electrical components deemed safer.
The Senate earlier supported a $160 million bond proposal, which was pared down in the House proposal. The final plan, which passed the Senate, 34-8, also calls for the bonds to be retired in 10 years, saving on interest compared to the costs of a longer duration bond plan.
Senate President Pro Tem Brian Bingman, R-Sapulpa, praised the action.
“The state Capitol is the people’s house and they deserve a top-notch building that easily allows them to see their government in action,” he said. “This is an important state asset that must be maintained and improved to ensure it continues to serve as the seat of our state government for decades to come. In recent years, the exterior and interior alike have been in need of serious repair. This legislation will allow for that restoration while taking advantage of historically low interest rates and maintaining Oklahoma’s status as a low-debt state.”
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