State Capitol

News from Oklahoma's Capitol: from the state legislature, governor's office and state agencies.

Oklahoma state Capitol
Nicolas Henderson / Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

On a 51-43 vote, lawmakers concluded Wednesday’s late evening session by approving a bill that doubles the amount of funding available for the project to repair Oklahoma’s crumbling state Capitol.

House Speaker Jeff Hickman’s legislation authorizes the state to issue a second $125 million bond issue for the second and final phase of the Capitol repair project, which would be used for the rest of the building’s interior and exterior infrastructure.

Meghan Blessing / KGOU

Officials from a Tulsa-based construction company plan to outline their strategy for repairing Oklahoma's nearly 100-year-old state Capitol to members of a legislative oversight committee.

Administrators from Manhattan Construction Co. will appear before the State Capitol Repair Expenditure Oversight Committee on Thursday. Afterward, committee members will discuss their options for phasing in repairs to the interior of the Capitol.

A nine-member panel charged with overseeing a $120 million renovation of the Oklahoma Capitol wants more time for a detailed investigation of the 100-year-old building's interior needs.

The State Capitol Repair Expenditure Oversight Committee voted unanimously on Thursday to ask the Legislature to delay until December 2015 the due date for a final report on the building's interior.

Oklahoma City attorney and legislative watchdog Jerry Fent, who has successfully challenged laws in the past, comes out of a hearing room at the State Supreme Court, where a referee heard his lawsuit over House Bill 2562.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

An Oklahoma Supreme Court referee is set to hear arguments at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday about whether a planned $120 million bond issue for improvements to the Capitol building should proceed.

Oral arguments are scheduled to take place Tuesday before Supreme Court Referee Greg Albert, who will compile a report and forward it to the full court.

Barricades surround the south steps of the Oklahoma Capitol.
Meghan Blessing / KGOU

Officials in Oklahoma are getting some tips from their counterparts in Kansas before launching a multi-year, multi-million dollar restoration project on Oklahoma's 100-year-old state Capitol.

More than a dozen Oklahoma lawmakers and managers of the Capitol restoration project traveled to Topeka, Kansas, this week to examine that state's Capitol, where this year a nearly $330 million, 13-year restoration project was completed.

Oklahoma Capitol Improvement Authority members voted unanimously Monday to seek the Oklahoma State Supreme Court’s validation of the legislation authorizing a bond issue to fund improvements to the State Capitol.

bungasagadue /


An Oklahoma County judge has dismissed a lawsuit that challenges a Ten Commandments monument on the grounds of the state Capitol.

District Judge Thomas Prince granted Friday the motion filed by the Oklahoma Capitol Preservation Commission.

The lawsuit alleged the monument violates the state constitution's ban against using public property to support "any sect, church, denomination or system of religion."

Attorneys for the American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma, which filed the lawsuit last year, say they will appeal to the state Supreme Court.

Barricades surround the south steps of the Oklahoma Capitol.
Meghan Blessing / KGOU

The Oklahoma Capitol Improvement Authority took the first steps Monday toward the issuance of the $120 million in bonds that will be used to fund State Capitol repairs and renovations.

Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb made the motion to allow OCIA staff to prepare and distribute requests for proposals for underwriters, bond counsel, printer and other necessary service providers for the $120 million that was authorized by HJR1033.

Barricades surround the south steps of the Oklahoma Capitol.
Meghan Blessing / KGOU

The leader of the Oklahoma Senate has approved three members to a committee that will oversee a $120 million renovation of the state Capitol.

Senate President Pro Tem Brian Bingman announced the appointment of Republican Sens. Dan Newberry of Tulsa and Corey Brooks of Washington, along with Democrat Susan Paddack of Ada.

Oklahoma state Capitol
LLudo / Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Gov. Mary Fallin has appointed three people to a committee that will oversee spending on repairs to Oklahoma's nearly century-old state Capitol.

Fallin said Friday she had named David Thompson, Phil Kennedy and Steve Mason to the State Capitol Repair Expenditure Oversight Committee. They will join a group of state lawmakers named by House Speaker Jeff Hickman and Senate President Pro Tem Brian Bingman.

April Weeks /

The Oklahoma Senate has given final approval to a 10-year, $120 million bond issue to overhaul the nearly 100-year-old state Capitol.

The bill already passed the House and was approved Friday in the Senate on a 34-8 vote. It now heads to Gov. Mary Fallin, who is expected to sign it.

The House has been reluctant to issue bonds to pay for state projects, but members were placated by the creation of a bipartisan committee of lawmakers to oversee the project.

Steve /

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.

Serge Melki /

A nine-member committee that oversees the long-term management of state buildings is urging the Legislature to support a bond issue of up to $160 million to repair the state Capitol.

The Long-Range Capitol Planning Commission voted Thursday to send a letter to lawmakers urging support of the bond issue.

The Senate already has passed a bill authorizing up to $160 million in bonds to pay for an overhaul of the nearly 100-year-old building. That measure is pending in the House, where conservatives have rejected the idea of borrowing money.

Barricades surround the south steps of the Oklahoma Capitol.
Meghan Blessing / KGOU

Oklahoma's nearly 100-year-old Capitol could receive a $160 million face lift under a measure given final approval by the Oklahoma Senate.

The bill approved 36-11 on Thursday authorizes a state bond issue to pay for the repairs, a financing method that is expected to face stiff resistance in the increasingly conservative House.

Several Democrats questioned why Senate leaders didn't consider tapping the state's Rainy Day Fund, which currently has a balance of $535 million.

Bridget Graham and Narmin Kandalaft

The Oklahoma Blood Institute (OBI) gives Oklahomans the opportunity to save lives with blood donations at the Spring 2014 Bedlam Blood Drive. The campaign began Monday but runs Thursday and Friday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Army ROTC building at the University of Oklahoma.