The Norman Transcript

Editorials

May 9, 2013

Capitol face lift proceeds

NORMAN — If the state Capitol were for sale, inspectors would be preparing a laundry list of “deferred maintenance” items to take care of before any closing could happen. It’s the people’s house so it’s not for sale. It is, however, in need of a makeover.

The repairs may begin as late as this summer. Gov. Mary Fallin this week signed HB 1910, which forms a state board to oversee Capitol repairs. Even though record interest rates make this an ideal time to borrow and catch up on the work, lawmakers decided to do a pay-as-you-go plan.

Lawmakers for years have ignored the Capitol’s maintenance and repairs. Workers deal with antiquated wiring and plumbing. Visitors, lawmakers and Capitol employees have been detoured after falling chunks of limestone posed a hazard to entrances and exits.

First up will be the crumbling limestone exterior facade. It has been estimated to cost about $8 million to fix, far short of the $200 million some lawmakers had said was needed to repair the entire building. The proposed budget included $60 million for state Capitol building repairs and another $30 million for a new maintenance fund.

A suggestion made early in the session was to sell some of the state’s surplus buildings and property and use the proceeds to fund Capitol repairs. Many of those properties sit idle in Norman. We encourage lawmakers to follow through on that and use the money to fast-track repairs to the people’s house.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Editorials
  • State is No. 2 in barbecue

    Americans love the marriage of smoke, fire and meat, but geography plays a part in how strong the passion is. Estately Blog has created a map charting which states are home to the most barbecue enthusiasts. Oklahoma comes in at No. 2 in ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Keep guns off campus

    Some Oklahoma lawmakers just won’t let the issue of allowing handguns on campus to go away. A joint legislative study will take a look at campuses around the nation to see if there is a way to accommodate faculty, staff and students who ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Improving children’s lives

    Social service organizations that have long-term debt for their headquarters and operating needs often spend much of their fundraising efforts meeting those obligations....

    July 29, 2014

  • State, local jobmarkets look up

    A tight labor market is often a big problem for economic development professionals. They need to be able to promise companies that there are willing workers in the community’s labor pool....

    July 26, 2014

  • Be careful out in the heat

    This week’s triple-digit temperatures are contributing to heat-related illnesses. The state health department’s Injury Prevention Service reminds Oklahomans of the symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke....

    July 25, 2014

  • Get smart on crime

    It’s no secret that prison guards have become the frontline mental health case workers in Oklahoma prisons. Accessing mental health services outside of prison is tough but even harder behind the walls....

    July 25, 2014

  • Quite the resilient bunch

    The people of Moore are a resilient bunch. They’ve bounced back from tornadoes before, but the current renaissance may be the quickest yet. FEMA officials said it would take two years to see some sense of normalcy. That’s hardly the case....

    July 24, 2014

  • A fresh start for VA

    All of us have high hopes for the confirmation and success of Veterans Affairs Secretary nominee Robert McDonald. If confirmed — and most believe he’s a shoe-in — McDonald will take over a paralyzed system of health care that is not ...

    July 24, 2014

  • Call up National Guard

    We’re not sure it will help, but you have to hand it to Texas Gov. Rick Perry. He deployed up to 1,000 Texas National Guard troops to help secure his state’s border with Mexico this week....

    July 23, 2014

  • It’s only getting worse

    Conditions for children in Oklahoma were starting to look up for a few years, according to the annual Kids Count reports. Now we know it wasn’t getting better. The recession was impacting the rest of the country, dropping their scores....

    July 23, 2014