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Tue April 22, 2014
State House Says No To Bonds That Would Help Pay For Crumbling Capitol
The Oklahoma House has defeated legislation that would authorize up to $160 million in bonds to repair the state's nearly 100-year-old Capitol.
House members voted 62-34 against the Senate-passed measure that is one of Republican Gov. Mary Fallin's top priorities for the 2014 Legislature. The bill's author, Rep. Skye McNeil of Bristow, kept the measure alive by serving notice that she may ask the House to reconsider the vote.
Supporters and opponents agree that the Capitol needs extensive repairs. But they disagree on how to pay for them.
Rep. Paul Wesselhoft of Moore said bonded indebtedness has caused financial problems for other states. Others, including Rep. Ben Sherrer of Choteau, favored taking $160 million from the constitutional Rainy Day fund to pay for the repairs.
100-year-old building needs overhaul