March 13, 2014
Governor Mary Fallin today thanked the state House of Representatives for its bipartisan support of a constitutional amendment that would allow Oklahoma school districts to pursue a one-time increase in bonding capacity to fund upgrades such as storm shelters, safe rooms and precautions against intruders.
The House voted 65-28 to pass House Joint Resolution 1092. The measure now goes to the Senate.
“My thanks go out to House members who voted for this responsible plan to improve safety and security at Oklahoma schools,” said Fallin, who asked lawmakers to pass the amendment in her State of the State Address earlier this year. “This bill empowers communities to take action to better protect their children from tornadoes and other threats. It is a fiscally responsible, realistic plan that I believe will ultimately help to save lives.
“I especially appreciate the efforts of Representatives Mark McBride and Jon Echols on crafting this legislation.”
McBride, from Moore, and Echols, from Oklahoma City, both represent areas hit hard by last May’s deadly tornadoes.
Legislative approval of HJR 1092 would put the measure on the Nov. 4 general election ballot for Oklahoma voters to consider.
What They’re Saying:
The Tulsa World: School Storm Safety Plan a Good Fit: “Gov. Mary Fallin has found a better way to allow school districts to invest in storm shelters and school safety if they want without taking the decision-making authority away from local officials or tying up state revenue. …”
The Lawton Constitution Shelters: Gov. Fallin’s Plan Makes Sense: “Gov. Mary Fallin is backing a good, local-option plan to help improve safety and security at public schools. …Fallin’s plan is superior to one authored by state Rep. Joe Dorman …”
The Oklahoman: “Also making the highlight reel was Fallin’s support of legislation giving school districts greater ability to finance tornado shelters or safe rooms. This solidifies a separation on this issue between her and a Democratic legislator who wants her job. He favors a statewide bond issue financed with the franchise tax. Fallin supports the better approach.”