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March 5, 2014

State briefs

NORMAN — Bill encourages water reuse

Legislation recently approved by the Senate Energy Committee would encourage municipalities and water districts to work together on reuse projects to expand the state’s water supply of safe, local water. 

Senate Bill 1187, authored by Sen. Rob Standridge, will enable water districts to undertake projects efficiently, if they choose to make reuse a part of their conservation strategy.

“In many areas of the state, reuse is the most viable option for expanding the water supply,” said Standridge, R-Norman. “Conservation and reuse should be cornerstones of our state’s long term vision for water, and this bill supports and enables those efforts.”

The proposal establishes state policy to facilitate reuse efforts and specifies permitting requirements for projects. 

 

Plan approved to complete museum

The state Senate approved a plan Tuesday to complete the American Indian Cultural Center and Museum without undertaking further state bond debt. 

Senate Bill 1651 will fund completion of the project using $40 million in one-time monies from the state’s Unclaimed Property Fund, which will be matched by $40 million in private donations. The proposal enables the project to be completed without accepting any federal debt financing and eliminates the state agency structure of AICCM, removing its annual cost from the state budget. 

Sen. Kyle Loveless, co-author of the measure, said the proposal represents the most fiscally conservative approach to complete the project.

SB1651 will allow for the responsible completion of a valuable state asset while maximizing private donations; eliminate the Native American Cultural and Educational Authority as a state agency, removing its annual cost from the state’s budget; prohibit the use of federal debt financing; establish a structure for repayment of all previously expended state debt financing on the project.

Bill passes in House

A measure passed out of the House of Representatives today just one day after failing to receive a majority of the vote. 

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