MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

October 1, 2012

Capitol building needs repair


— State lawmakers should have to find the money to repair the Capitol building without cutting core services.

Pieces are falling off the 100-year-old building. It’s not likely it will collapse in the near future, but it needs major repairs — to the tune of $153 million.

There is no doubt it should be repaired.

The building is a reflection on all Oklahomans. We should be able to take pride when visitors come to our state.

“I’m really concerned about the future of this building,” state Rep. Harold Wright, R-Weatherford, told the Associated Press. “It’s a disgrace, quite frankly, for people to come to this building and see that scaffolding out there.”

However, the poor economy has forced the state Legislature to cut services throughout the state.

And Oklahomans are just not ready to see any kind of a tax increase when it won’t bring back lost services.

Many in our state are going looking for jobs. And many of those who have jobs are going without raises.

The Legislature appears unwilling to issue state bonds to pay for projects.

A $200 million bond package received 15 votes out of the 101 members in the House at the close of the last session.

Given the state of the economy, it will be very difficult for the state to make the needed repairs.

But any proposed solution should not include additional cuts in core services such as education, transportation and corrections.