FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 5, 2015
Republicans Stand on Legacy of Repairing Oklahoma Highways and Bridges
OKLAHOMA CITY – As session’s end comes upon the Legislature, House Republicans stand firm in supporting Oklahoma transportation.
After Republicans took control of the Oklahoma House of Representatives in 2005, the ROADS fund was created to begin investments to restore Oklahoma’s transportation infrastructure. Since that time, more than $2.1 billion in new funding has been directed to ODOT and the results are seen throughout the entire state. Under GOP leadership, Oklahoma has also funded county improvements for roads and bridges. In the past ten years, the state has reduced the number of deficient county bridges from more than 6400 to approximately 3200 and repaired countless miles of highway, including those that bring commerce to the rural areas.
“When the Democrats were in power, transportation funding remained flat,” said House Appropriations and Budget Chairman Earl Sears, R-Bartlesville. “You could tell because you would have to get the alignment fixed on your car all the time, and frankly, you had to wonder if you were safe going over many of our bridges. In the past ten years, we have raised transportation repair funding from $200 million a year to more than half-of-a-billion dollars a year.”
Earlier today, Democrats held a press conference making claims that the ROADS and CIRB funds would be raided to fix this year’s budget issues.
“This is simply not true,” said Rep. Mike Sanders, R-Kingfisher. “Transportation is of the highest priority because it is essential to the economic growth and prosperity of our state. Under Democrat control, transportation funding remained flat for decades resulting in the crumbling infrastructure that Republicans have made great efforts to repair. We do not intend to repeat their mistake.”