OKLAHOMA CITY – The following is a statement from Speaker of the House Jeffrey W. Hickman after the passage of House Bill 3168 today in the House Appropriations and Budget Committee. The measure, authored by Hickman (R-Fairview), would allow the state to issue up to $125 million in bonds to complete the Capitol Restoration Project, which began in 2015 and is scheduled to be finished by 2022. Under House Bill 3168, the bond would not be let until 2018 when other state bonds are paid off and those revenues will be directed to the Capitol bonds meaning no new state dollars will be needed as a current $350 million infrastructure bond funded by tobacco tax revenues will expire.

“We will have substantial revenues freed up in the coming years that will allow us to fully service the final Capitol restoration bond without taking a single dime from the General Revenue Fund. The first phase of the Capitol restoration was to make urgent repairs to keep the building open and determine how much work is needed to restore the century old building, preparing it for its next 100 years of service to Oklahoma.

“Passage of the final phase now will save millions of dollars by allowing contractors to continue working through the currently funded phase to the final completion date in 2022 without stopping and starting construction. House Bill 3168 will also continue the work of the State Capitol Repair Expenditure Oversight Committee, a bipartisan committee consisting of nine members, who have done a great job of overseeing the restoration project and ensuring that all work is being done in an efficient and fiscally conservative manner.

“This building is a symbol of our great state’s history, heritage and culture, and we must preserve it for future generations of Oklahomans.”

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