The Norman Transcript

October 1, 2013

Fallin opposes bond issue for school shelters

Associated Press
The Associated Press

OKLAHOMA CITY — A proposed bond issue to pay for storm shelters in every Oklahoma school won’t have the support of Gov. Mary Fallin if the measure makes it to the ballot.

The proposal calls for using franchise tax revenue to retire the $500 million debt needed to install shelters or safe rooms in Oklahoma schools.

“I am not sure that is the best way of doing it,” Fallin said, adding that the addition of storm shelters should be a local decision, not mandated by the state.

Spokesman Alex Weintz told the Tulsa World that Fallin would respect the decision if the measure makes it on the ballot and is approved.

“It’s important for people to understand, however, that funding storm shelters or safe rooms in every school is an expensive proposition,” Weintz said.

Once the ballot language is given final approval by the attorney general, supporters have 90 days to gather about 155,000 signatures of registered voters.

A survey released last week by the measure’s backers said that nearly 60 percent of Oklahoma schools have no safe space for students and employees to shelter from severe weather.