The Norman Transcript

Homepage

May 24, 2014

Fallin’s fight for school storm shelter initiative ends unsuccessfully

OKLAHOMA CITY — A disappointed Gov. Mary Fallin said Friday that she “went down fighting” for her signature school storm shelter initiative. But it wasn’t to be.

After squeaking through the House on Thursday, Fallin’s storm shelter plan died on the Senate floor when a majority decided it wasn’t in the state’s best interests.

The Senate dealt the bill a death blow, killing it on the final day of the session, about an hour before adjourning for the year.

The bill would have allowed school districts that have reached their borrowing capacity to exceed that to build shelters.

The shelter issue has become a political one following the death of seven children during last year’s EF-5 tornado that hit Plaza Towers Elementary School in Moore. Their school did not have a shelter.

“I think it could have helped save lives,” Fallin said of the bill, noting that the Legislature adjourned with “nothing to offer our children.”

Critics said the bill would target only about 25 of more than 500 school districts — or about 3 percent of Oklahoma students — since its focus was on those districts that had reached their bonding capacity.

The initiative would have still needed separate elections — a statewide referendum, as well as local ones — before districts could start building shelters, meaning construction could be at least a year away.

The plan faced stiff resistance in the House, which initially failed to pass it Thursday before Republicans banded together to resuscitate it later that night.

“Moving forward, I hope that we can continue to find solutions to be able to help our schools put in safe rooms and (put) other safety precautions into schools,” Fallin said.

Breaking news, severe weather alerts, AMBER alerts, sports scores from The Norman Transcript are available as text messages right to your phone or mobile device. You decide which type of alerts you want to receive. Find out more or to signup, click here.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
New and Developing

Headlines

Sports
Opinion

Features

Must Read

Big 12 Media Days
Video
Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kerry: No Deal Yet on 7-Day Gaza Truce Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Gaza Residents Mourn Dead Amid Airstrikes Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp Cumberbatch Brings 'Penguins' to Comic-Con Raw: Air Algerie Crash Site in Mali Power to Be Restored After Wash. Wildfire Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive In Case of Fire, Oxygen Masks for Pets Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites
Business

Photos


Facebook