Oklahoma

Economy, Energy, Natural Resources: Policy to People

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

Gov. Mary Fallin at a state capitol press conference in Oklahoma City.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Gov. Mary Fallin at a state capitol press conference in Oklahoma City.

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:

“I am not sure that is the best way of doing it,” Fallin said.

Fallin spokesman Alex Weintz explains further:

“If this issue goes to a vote of the people, Oklahomans will vote their conscience and Gov. Fallin will respect their decision,” said Alex Weintz, a spokesman for the governor. “It’s important for people to understand, however, that funding storm shelters or safe rooms in every school is an expensive proposition.”

Weintz told The World if money from the franchise tax is used, it will mean less to go around for other important education-related priorities.

But state Rep. Joe Dorman, D-Rush Springs, points out that a Republican lawmaker tried to get rid of the franchise tax entirely last session. The bill, authored by Rep. Leslie Osborn of Mustang, failed.

Weintz says Fallin is also against a statewide ballot measure on the issue because such decisions should be made locally. Supporters counter that the decisions would be made locally, as school districts would be responsible for coming up with some matching funds.


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Comments

  • Lynne Jones

    She does NOT care about the people of Oklahoma in any way, shape or form. Please voters get rid of her.

  • Tim C

    If the people want to vote to put storm shelters in schools then get it on a ballot and vote to have it done. BUT, Better idea. If you have kids in a school and want a storm shelter there, dig in your pocketbook and start paying for it. Don’t ask everybody else to pay for your little darlings protection. I wasn’t there for the conception of little johnny so don’t expect me to pay for his protection. That’s the parents job

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