Sen. Patrick Anderson is predicting that the $26 million bond issue that was approved by the Oklahoma Council of Bond Oversight is headed to the courthouse.
“Thursday’s action by the Council of Bond Oversight to rescind its prior decision to consult the Oklahoma legislature regarding the issuance of this bond issue opens the door to litigation on this matter,” said Anderson, R-Enid.
“The immediate legal issues raised are whether proper public notice of the meeting was given by the Oklahoma Secretary of State and whether the change in the use of these funds violates the Oklahoma Constitution and the legislature’s intent,” Anderson said. However, the political question to ask is what caused the Council of Bond Oversight to reverse the position it unanimously took on this issue just two weeks ago.”
Anderson said it was clear that the Council on Bond Oversight had concerns that the changes in the intended use of funds violated the State Constitution or the members would not have unanimously voted to seek the legislature’s approval of the changes on January 26th. That establishes a prima facie case that the changes that were made regarding the use of the funds violated Article X, Section 16 of the Oklahoma Constitution.
“When you add to that the question of whether proper public notice was given regarding yesterday’s meeting then you have practically guaranteed a Court challenge to this bond issue,” Anderson said. “The fact is that these legal issues could have all been avoided simply by having the legislature approve the change in the use of these funds. Although I admit it would have been difficult to get the legislature to authorize spending $26 million on a single dam that is not even owned by the State of Oklahoma.”
Recent History of Council on Bond Oversight Action on this Bond Project
On January 26, 2012, the Oklahoma Council on Bond Oversight voted unanimously to require that a $26 million bond issue be sent back to the Oklahoma legislature to approve a change in the use of the funds.
On January 30, 2012, the Oklahoma Capitol Improvement Authority met to review the Oklahoma Council on Bond Oversight’s decision and directed that the Council on Bond Oversight reconsider its decision.
An Emergency meeting of the Council on Bond Oversight was held on February 9, 2012, and the Council voted unanimously to remove the requirement that the bond issue be sent back to the legislature to approve the change in the use of the funds. It was the first time in state history that the Council on Bond Oversight reconsidered and changed a prior decision of the Council.