Oklahoma State Senate
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105
For Immediate Release: February
Senator Johnnie Crutchfield
Higher Education Bond Issue Approved by Committee
A $500 million Higher Education Bond Issue cleared
its first legislative hurdle today, passing out of the Appropriations
Subcommittee on Education, Senator Johnnie
Crutchfield, chairman of the committee said.
“Today we accomplished the first step in passing the biggest
economic development program Oklahoma has seen in more than a decade.”
Crutchfield, a Democrat from Ardmore said. “Our goal is to
get this bill through the Senate and over to the House for action
as quickly as possible.”
Senate Appropriations Chairman, Mike
Morgan, (D-Stillwater) said the bill will be heard by the full
Appropriations Committee on February 16th. Senate President Pro
Hobson said he was pleased Senators worked quickly to pass the
bill out of committee and said consideration on the Senate floor
for the legislation could come as early as the following week.
Hobson, author of Senate Bill 745, said the legislation is clean
and doesn’t include any “funding gimmicks.”
“We are investing $500 million in education without raising
taxes, without increasing fees for our college students and without
passing along the costs to parents who already invest so much in
their child’s education,” Hobson said.
Crutchfield agreed. He explained revenue generated from the lottery
that voters overwhelmingly passed in November will be used to pay
off the bonds at a rate of $30 million for 25 years.
“Passing the Higher Education Bond Issue as quickly as possible
is an investment for a brighter future in Oklahoma and funding education
first is an important part of our continuing work to make a better
tomorrow for our children,” Crutchfield said.
The Higher Education Bond Issue includes $500 million for capital
improvement projects for colleges and universities throughout the
state. The project is expected to create 4000 construction jobs
and have an initial economic impact of more than $737 million.
Hobson said an enormous amount of research has already gone into
the bill and the bond projects included in the $500 million package
represent the priority needs of the state’s colleges and universities.
“The Governor, the Regents for Higher Education and all 24
college presidents are in support of this measure,” the lawmaker
said. “Building a state-of-the-art learning environment on
every campus in Oklahoma will help produce more college graduates
in our state and expanding the research capabilities of our colleges
will create new job opportunities in the private sector and allow
our young people to compete in the global marketplace.”
“Passing this measure will not only build better classrooms
and expand learning opportunities across the state,” Hobson
said. “I agree with Senator Crutchfield that it will also
allow us to continue to build a better tomorrow for our children.”
Senate President Pro Tempore's Office - (405) 521-5605