Senator Brian Bingman, R-Sapulpa
For Immediate Release:
April 2, 2008
Sen. Brian Bingman
Republican Senators Call for Adequate Transportation
to Be Priority
Bingman, author of roads and bridges bill, says with $10 billion
backlog in maintenance and potential to lose $127.5 million in currently
scheduled construction projects lawmakers have made transportation
a priority this year with the passage of HB 3342
State Capitol, Oklahoma City—In response to recent criticism,
Senator Brian Bingman said there is room in the state budget to
fund both transportation and education at adequate levels. Members
of the Senate Appropriations Committee thought so too when they
passed Bingman’s House Bill 3342 today with a 16-0 vote.
HB 3342 mirrors Bingman’s Senate Bill 1396 that unanimously
passed the Senate and redirects existing motor vehicle taxes from
the general revenue fund to roads and bridges over a 5 year period.
“Republicans led the push in 2005 and 2006 to increase road
funding. A portion of the plan moved $80 million of our existing
motor vehicle fees to roads from general revenue to transportation.
During that same two year period, education funding increased by
more than $500 million,” said Bingman.
“In the short term and the long term we can and must do more
to fix our roads and bridges, while maintaining education as a top
priority,” added Bingman.
Several other lawmakers in the state House and Senate have called
for resolve in making transportation a top priority this session,
and warned without immediate action the state will experience dramatic
cuts in highway and bridge projects slated for repair.
Senate Transportation Committee Co-Chairman Cliff Branan said,
“If the Legislature does not act, we stand to lose highway
and bridge projects in ODOT’s current eight-year construction
In numerous statewide polls, voters have expressed overwhelming
support for roads and bridges to be a top priority among leading
issues. One poll shows 82% of Oklahomans agreeing that the Legislature
should use more of the state’s existing road taxes and fees
to repair transportation infrastructure.
Bingman also pointed out the unpredictable nature of growth revenues
underscores the need to provide our state roads and bridges with
a dedicated revenue source that is more dependable, such as our
state motor vehicle fees.
“In order to have more jobs in Oklahoma, fewer highway fatalities
and a more robust economy in our rural and urban areas, we have
got to start making transportation a priority,” said Bingman.
Bingman notes that Legislators have an obligation to keep the public
safe and it’s time to do the right thing. “Leadership
is about making difficult choices and being the wisest stewards
possible of taxpayer money. We must provide leadership on transportation.
It’s what the people of Oklahoma want.”
For more information contact:
Senator Bingman's Office: (405) 521-5528