Oklahoma

State

Senate

Legislative
Brief

July 2000


Highways

Issue Background
The Oklahoma Department of Transportation in 1995 released a comprehensive highway needs study which concluded that there was a $4.57 billion backlog of state highway construction needs. At that time, state fuel taxes were the only significant source of revenue for highway construction, and projected fuel tax growth of 2% annually would never bridge the gap between revenues and needs.

Summary of Actions
In 1997 the Legislature adopted HB 1629, a plan (CIP) that will provide $1.01 billion in new revenue for highway construction. HB 1629 was the state's largest capital improvement plan and was meant to supplemental ODOT's 5-year road plan. Using a combination of appropriated funds and bond sale proceeds, HB 1629 nearly doubled the amount ever spent for state highway construction. HB 1629 authorized a specific list of road projects to be accomplished with the new funding. It also required ODOT to construct, improve, maintain and repair all highway projects listed on the 5-year plan as it existed on May 28, 1997. Funding for the 5-year plan and the CIP was to remain separate.

State Highway Funding Under 1997 Road Plan

Of the $1.01 billion total, $560 million is provided as direct appropriations to ODOT and $450 million is bond financing. The $1.01 billion funding is divided into two phases:

  • Phase I of the Capital Improvement Program provides for the funding of $710 million in specific road projects listed in HB 1629. Of the total, $410 million was directly appropriated between 1998 and 2002 to provide cash, and $300 million was generated by the sale of revenue bonds in 1999.
  • Phase II of the CIP provides for the anticipated funding of $300 million in specified road projects. Phase 2 provisions are contingent on reevaluations of highway needs and economic performance. Of the total, $150 million is direct appropriations and $150 million is bond financing. The Legislature agreed only to issue the bond portion of Phase II in FY'01.

FY'98 Funding of the 1997 Capitol Improvement Program - HB 3048

In addition to providing funding for the 5-year plan, the Legislature also appropriated $50 million from the Constitutional Reserve Fund and $37.4 million from other funds to the Department of Transportation for the purpose of funding the first year of the Capitol Improvement Program.

FY'99 Funding of the 1997 Capitol Improvement Program - HB 2259

In addition to providing funding for the 5-year plan, the Legislature also appropriated $80 million from the Constitutional Reserve Fund and $46.7 million from other funds to the Department of Transportation for the purpose of funding the second year of the Capitol Improvement Program. Of the total new money, $26.7 million was used to pay debt service on the $300 million CIP bond issue.

FY'00 Funding of the 1997 Capitol Improvement Program - HB 2259

In addition to providing funding for the 5-year plan, the Legislature also appropriated $82.2 million from the Constitutional Reserve Fund and $49.7 million from other funds to the Department of Transportation for the purpose of funding the third year of the Capitol Improvement Program. Of the total new money, $39.4 million will be used to pay debt service on the $300 million CIP bond issue.

FY'01 Funding of the 1997 Capitol Improvement Program - HB 2259

In addition to providing funding for the 5-year plan, the Legislature also appropriated $70.6 million from the Constitutional Reserve Fund and $61.3 million from other funds to the Department of Transportation for the purpose of funding the fourth year of the Capitol Improvement Program. Of the total new money, $39.4 million will be used to pay debt service on the $300 million CIP bond issue. In addition, the Legislature voiced the intent to issue phase 2 bonds during FY'01.

Contact For More Information:

Ron Henderson
Legislative Analyst
(405) 521-5775
henderson@lsb.state.ok.us

Randy Dowell
Fiscal Analyst
(405) 521-5769
dowell@lsb.state.ok.us

Prepared By:
The Oklahoma State Senate, Senate Staff
Senator Stratton Taylor, President Pro Tempore


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