storm shelters

Severe Storms
12:45 pm
Mon June 23, 2014

OU Looking To Add Storm Shelters Closer To Housing

Credit Tyler / Flickr.com

University of Oklahoma President David Boren says the planning phase for tornado shelters on the OU campus in Norman is nearing completion.

The $12 million project is an expansion of campus storm shelters for students living in university housing.

The OU Board of Regents last September approved — at Boren's request — the hiring of MA Plus to help design a campus system of additional storm shelters.

Read more
Storm Shelters
11:58 am
Tue April 1, 2014

High Court Upholds Oklahoma School Shelter Ballot

Petitions are completed in December for the Take Shelter Oklahoma organization. The group needs roughly 155,000 signatures to place the state question on the November ballot.
Credit Kurt Gwartney / KGOU

The Oklahoma Supreme Court says a ballot title written by the attorney general's office for an initiative to place storm shelters in Oklahoma public schools is legally correct but gave proponents more time to gather signatures to place the measure on the ballot.

The high court ruled Tuesday that proponents of the initiative petition, State Question 767, have 90 days to collect the signatures needed to get the measure on the election ballot. Supporters need the signatures of about 155,000 registered voters to get on the ballot.

Read more
State Capitol
12:43 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

House Approves Oklahoma School Shelter Initiative

Gov. Mary Fallin tours the devastated Plaza Towers Elementary School in Moore following the May 20 tornado that killed seven students.
Credit The National Guard / Flickr Creative Commons

A proposal supported by Gov. Mary Fallin to help local school districts pay for safety upgrades like storm shelters and safe rooms has been approved by the Oklahoma House.

The House voted 65-28 Thursday for the bill and sent it to the Senate for consideration.

“This bill empowers communities to take action to better protect their children from tornadoes and other threats," Fallin said in a statement. "It is a fiscally responsible, realistic plan that I believe will ultimately help to save lives."

Read more
School Shelters
12:30 pm
Tue February 25, 2014

Oklahoma High Court Hears School Shelter Arguments

Petitions are completed for the Take Shelter Oklahoma organization in December. The group says it does not have enough signatures to put its petition on the ballot.
Credit Kurt Gwartney / KGOU

An attorney for supporters of an initiative petition to place storm shelters in public schools told the Oklahoma Supreme Court that Attorney General Scott Pruitt's office abused its discretion by re-writing a ballot title that he says was not legally incorrect.

Read more
State Of The State
4:35 pm
Mon February 3, 2014

Fallin Proposes Income Tax Cut, Discusses Education In Annual Address

Gov. Mary Fallin delivers the 2014 State of the State address as Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb and House Speaker T.W. Shannon (R-Lawton) look on.
Credit Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Gov. Mary Fallin is proposing a .25 percent reduction in Oklahoma's income tax rate.

Fallin made the proposal Monday while delivering her State of the State address at the start of the 2014 Oklahoma Legislature.

Read more
School Storm Shelters Still Controversy
6:46 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

Legislative Leaders Don't Agree On All Oklahoma Mandates

Credit Katsrcool / Flickr.com

Legislative leaders in Oklahoma say not all mandates are equal.

House and Senate leaders say it's appropriate for Oklahoma to set academic guidelines, but they don't see telling school districts that they must build storm shelters.

Two competing shelter plans have emerged ahead of next week's opening of the Oklahoma Legislature. One legislator's plan would see the state raise $500 million, while one by Gov. Mary Fallin would let districts raise more money locally.

Read more
State Capitol
6:05 pm
Tue December 17, 2013

Dorman Will Ask Lawmakers To Consider Shelter Bond

Credit benchilada / Flickr Creative Commons

The Legislature will be asked to consider putting a $500,000 bond issue to fund school storm shelters on a statewide ballot, State Rep. Joe Dorman said Tuesday.

The Rush Springs Democrat was the principal architect of an initiative petition effort aimed at getting the issue before voters.

“I absolutely am filing a bill…” to put the question on the ballot, Dorman said Tuesday. “That is going to be my number one goal in this legislative session.”

Read more
School Shelters
9:10 am
Tue December 17, 2013

School Shelter Supporters Short On Signatures

Petitions are completed Monday evening for the Take Shelter Oklahoma organization. The group says it does not have enough signatures to put its petition on the ballot.
Credit Kurt Gwartney / KGOU

Listen to KGOU's in-depth report on the petition drive for Take Shelter Oklahoma.

Supporters of a planned state question for a $500 million state bond issue to help pay for school storm shelters say they are about 40,000 signatures short of what they need to place the question on the ballot.

Take Shelter Oklahoma steering committee member Mark Nestlen said Monday the group has collected about 120,000 signatures. To place the question on the ballot, the group needs signatures from more than 155,000 registered voters.

Read more
Ballot Title Rewritten To Fail
4:53 pm
Wed November 6, 2013

Attorney General Scott Pruitt Asked To Recuse Himself

Credit The National Guard / Flickr.com

Supporters of a $500 million bond issue to help Oklahoma school districts pay for safe-room shelters in schools say state Attorney General Scott Pruitt is biased against the proposal and are asking the Supreme Court to remove him from the case.

Attorneys for Take Shelter Oklahoma and Kristi Conatzer, the mother of one of seven children killed by a tornado in May, asked for Pruitt's recusal in a court filing on Wednesday.

Read more
StateImpact Oklahoma
11:21 am
Mon September 30, 2013

Why Gov. Mary Fallin Won’t Back School Storm Shelter Ballot Measure

Gov. Mary Fallin tours the site of Plaza Towers Elementary School in Moore days after the May 20 tornado.
Credit The National Guard / Flickr Creative Commons

Supporters of an initiative petition to fund tornado shelters in Oklahoma schools are gathering the thousands of signatures needed to send the proposal to a statewide vote, but Gov. Mary Fallin won’t be on the list.

The Tulsa World‘s Barbara Hoberock reports the plan, which would use revenue from the state franchise tax to pay the $500 million debt, does not have the governor’s support:

Read more