MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Oklahoma News

February 1, 2014

Five things to know about the 2014 state legislature

(Continued)

Capitol

A plan to divert $120 million to pay for major repairs to the Capitol was included in the bill rejected by the court, so an overhaul of the nearly 100-year-old building has stalled.

Bright yellow barricades in front of the building’s grand front staircase prevent pedestrians from nearing where giant pieces of the building’s facade have fallen, and major problems remain with the Capitol’s hodgepodge of plumbing and electrical systems. Still, legislators separately approved $7 million to help pay for dozens of new and remodeled offices, opulent new conference rooms, and other renovated Capitol space.

Museum Bonds

Plans for a state bond issue to pay for museums in Oklahoma City and Tulsa were derailed in 2013 when a tornado ripped through Moore during the final week of the legislative session.

The American Indian Cultural Center and Museum, an ambitious multimillion-dollar project two decades in the making along the banks of the Oklahoma River near the capital city’s downtown, is half-built and short of the $40 million in state funds needed to complete the project.

A separate $40 million proposal for a Tulsa museum devoted to Oklahoma popular culture, dubbed OKPOP, also has been in the works for years.

Both plans have bipartisan support and opposition in both chambers, and are expected to be pushed again in 2014

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