Sen. Cliff Aldridge today applauded statements by House Speaker Jeff Hickman regarding Senate Bill 1651, which would allocate $40 million from the state’s Unclaimed Property Fund to the American Indian Cultural Center and Museum. Aldridge said the House Speaker has remained consistent in his requirement that 51 members of the House Republican Caucus support the proposal before it is given a hearing in the House chamber.
“In the midst of a budget shortfall, and with pressing needs to improve our transportation infrastructure, it would be tremendously irresponsible to allocate additional government funding for the project,” said Aldridge, R-Choctaw. “Every day, Oklahoma families and school buses are driving across more than 450 structurally deficient bridges. We have a fundamental responsibility to Oklahomans to ensure that our roads and bridges are safe. Each dollar we allocate to this project makes it more difficult for us to repair those bridges, or address other critical needs.”
Aldridge also criticized statements from House Minority Leader Scott Inman suggesting the Speaker’s approach was unreasonable.
“The Speaker’s decision has been a reflection of responsible leadership, and that is what the taxpayers of Oklahoma deserve,” Aldridge said. “On the other hand, the Minority Leader is a member of the minority precisely because taxpayers have rejected democratic leadership after many decades of malfeasance and waste. Oklahomans have made it clear that they expect elected officials to be better stewards of their money, and allocating another $40 million to this project is simply not in their best interest.”