A plan to consolidate Oklahoma's arts, history and tourism agencies into one new organization has narrowly cleared a House committee.
The House Government Modernization Committee voted 6-5 Thursday to create the new Department of Tourism, History and Cultural Affairs. The new agency would consist of the Oklahoma Historical Society, the Oklahoma Arts Council and the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department.
Gov. Mary Fallin proposed in her executive budget that the three agencies be consolidated, along with the Oklahoma Scenic Rivers Commission and the agencies that oversee the J.M. Davis and Will Rogers museums in Claremore as a cost-saving move.
The House sponsor of the bill, Republican Rep. Jason Murphey, says he hopes to keep the bill alive so legislators can continue possible agency consolidations.