Under legislation passed by the Oklahoma state Senate on Wednesday, the future maintenance and management of state-owned assets would be prioritized and made more efficient through a central Long-Range Capital Planning Commission.
HB 1910, by President Pro Tempore Brian Bingman and House Speaker T.W. Shannon, creates the Long-Range Capital Planning Commission (LRCPC). The Commission will prepare an annual capital budget plan to address state infrastructure needs over the coming eight years, similar to the highly acclaimed eight-year transportation infrastructure plan adopted by the Oklahoma Department of Transportation.
The LRCPC seeks to depoliticize and prioritize infrastructure expenditures within funding available through the Maintenance of State Buildings Revolving Fund.
Senate Pro Tem Brian Bingman called the legislation as a practical solution to capital infrastructure needs.
"This is a common-sense plan to prioritize the management of our state-owned assets,” said Bingman, R-Sapulpa. “We know we have to address the crumbling state Capitol building, and I believe it is vitally important that we care for all our public assets. We owe it to the taxpayers of Oklahoma, the owners of these properties, to be good stewards of state infrastructure resources.”
Sen. Rob Johnson, who presented the bill on the floor, praised the measure as a victory for taxpayers.
“The people of Oklahoma deserve better than to see their assets deteriorate, lose value, and become an embarrassment to our state,” said Johnson, R-Yukon. “Taxpayers have paid for buildings like the state Capitol, and they deserve a return on their investment. I believe the Long-Range Capital Planning Commission will make the management of state properties more efficient, it will save taxpayer dollars, and it will help make sure our most critical infrastructure needs are met in a timely fashion without being bogged down by political bickering.”
HB 1910 passed the Senate on a 42-3 vote, and now returns to the House of Representatives for final approval before being sent to the Governor.