Sen. Patrick Anderson has filed a court action seeking a judicial determination that the issuance of $25 million of state bonds is unconstitutional.
The bonds in question were originally authorized by the Oklahoma Legislature in 2009 and were intended to secure $50 million in additional federal funds for the construction of a series of low water dams along the Arkansas River. Legislators were told the project would create 9,450 jobs and have a $2.8 billion dollar positive impact on the state’s economy. However, the federal funds were never appropriated and the state bonds were never issued.
“The project that the Legislature voted to support never materialized,” said Anderson, R-Enid. “Despite that fact, there is now a push to have those 2009 bonds issued for a different purpose. In short, those who are now advocating for the issuance of the bonds are asking the tax payers of Oklahoma to make a $25 million gift so that aesthetic improvements can be made to a city park. That was not the Legislature’s intent when it passed this legislation in 2009.”
“The use of state bond funds for this purpose violates multiple provisions of our state’s Constitution,” said Anderson. “Using the funds to raising the level of the Zink dam by 3 feet was not the legislature’s original intent; the Zink dam is not a state asset; and, there is no source of repayment for these bonds if they are issued. This is simply an attempt to get the state to pay someone else’s bill.”
“We have developed a spending problem at the state Capitol and as a result we have abandoned and ignored the requirements of our Constitution. We must return to the core principles of our Constitution; otherwise, we will be mortgaging the future of our children and grandchildren. Hopefully the declaratory judgment lawsuit that I have filed today will be the beginning of a renewed effort by state leaders to start following the Constitution rather than attempting to circumvent it.”
Legal Action filed by Anderson