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

For Immediate Release: April 5, 2012

Senators announce agreement to consider audit, completion plan and consolidation of American Indian Cultural Center and Museum

Sens. Cliff Aldridge, Patrick Anderson and Greg Treat today said an agreement has been reached with Gov. Mary Fallin and legislative leaders to consider legislation calling for reforms of the American Indian Cultural Center and Museum (AICCM). Prior to the consideration of any additional bond issue for the project, the lawmakers have requested the following: that the Governor request an audit of AICCM; the consideration of legislation to consolidate the agency under the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation department; and a requirement for submission to all legislators a completion plan of the museum with a full accounting of all costs.

Treat praised Gov. Mary Fallin and Senate President Pro Tempore Brian Bingman for their leadership on the issue.

“I’m very appreciative of the Governor and President Pro Tempore for their willingness to give these reforms consideration,” said Treat, R-Oklahoma City. “It is in the best interest of the state that the museum and cultural center be a success, and we believe that until its completion, having it under the oversight of the Department of Tourism will give this project a better chance to realize its promise.”

Anderson said that while the group of lawmakers opposes obligating Oklahomans to even more debt in pursuit of the project, reforms strengthening accountability for the agency deserve consideration by the Legislature.

“We believe that bringing increased accountability to the agency is in the best interest of the state and the museum,” said Anderson, R-Enid. “As lawmakers, we need to justify our expenditures and guarantee accurate oversight to ensure they are put to the best and most efficient use. An audit of state funds expended on the American Indian Cultural Center and Museum is a responsible choice.”

Aldridge said the lawmakers recognized a proposed bond issue may be forthcoming, but before it would be considered, the Legislature will require an updated completion plan, reflecting accurate projections for all costs with deadlines for completion.

“In order for this project to be successful, it must be able to provide the Legislature with timely and accurate cost estimates,” said Aldridge, R-Choctaw. “An updated plan for the completion of the museum and cultural center will give us a clear picture of the agency’s progress”

The lawmakers intend to introduce language calling for a vote on the proposed reforms in the coming weeks.

For more information, contact:
Sen. Aldridge: (405) 521-5584
Sen. Anderson: (405) 521-5630
Sen. Treat: (405) 521-5632

Inon: Horizontal Blue Band

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