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Oklahoma State Senate
Communications Division
State Capitol
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105

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For Immediate Release: April 10, 2007

Senate Appropriations Chair Johnnie Crutchfield discusses supplemental appropriation agreement at the Capitol on Tuesday.
Senate Appropriations Chair Johnnie Crutchfield discusses supplemental appropriation agreement
at the Capitol on Tuesday.

Legislative Leaders Announce Bipartisan Agreement on Supplemental Funding
for Department of Military: $1.5 Million in Funds Expected to Pass Senate Today

Democratic and Republican legislative leaders in the House and Senate Tuesday announced they will immediately pass a $1.5 million supplemental appropriation for the state's military department to help replace aging and dilapidated National Guard armories.

The Senate will take up the supplemental appropriation later Tuesday in House Bill 1184, and the measure could be on the governor’s desk by the end of the week.

"This is another example of how the House and Senate are working in a true bipartisan fashion this year. We have a very short window of time to act, and this funding for the military department simply cannot wait," said Rep. Chris Benge (R-Tulsa), chair of the House Appropriations and Budget Committee. "In the continuing spirit of bipartisanship in the Legislature, we're going to act to make sure that our men and women in uniform get the help they need."

"We have come together again today in a bipartisan way to provide important emergency funding in support of Oklahoma’s National Guard troops. The men and women of the Oklahoma National Guard continue to serve with distinction in the global war on terror and as a Legislature we must do all we can to make sure they have the facilities they need to be properly equipped when they are called on to defend our freedoms," said Sen. Johnnie Crutchfield (D-Ardmore), chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee.

"This agreement on supplemental funding to help our Oklahoma National Guard troops is another example of how bipartisanship is working in the Oklahoma Legislature,” said Sen. Mike Johnson (R-Kingfisher), co-chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee. “We anticipate that additional announcements on other critical funding issues could be forthcoming in the days and weeks ahead, as well.”

Last month, the governor vetoed a bipartisan general appropriations budget for all of state government agencies and services, but he has so far failed to indicate specific details on an alternative plan. The governor's executive budget submitted in February did not include the supplemental appropriation for OMD.

The Oklahoma Military Department has indicated it needs an immediate supplemental appropriation of $1.5 million to purchase land in west Oklahoma City and in the Broken Arrow area as construction sites for Armed Forces Reserve Centers (AFRC's) for both Oklahoma Army National Guard and Reserve units.

OMD officials have said the AFRC's will replace Oklahoma's aging National Guard armories in need of substantial repair or that are unsuited to current military functions.

The federal Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC) has made federal funds available for AFRC’s, as long as the state furnishes land for the projects.

Without funding for the AFRC projects, OMD officials say, the state would not have appropriate facilities to accommodate Reserve and Guard units and equipment.

For more information contact:
Senator Morgan's Office: (405) 521-5605
Senator Coffee's Office: (405) 521-5654

Inon: Horizontal Blue Band

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