The full Senate has given final approval to a measure to help Oklahoma military bases slated for expansion. Sen. Randy Bass, D-Lawton, is principal author and Sen. Don Barrington, R-Lawton is co-author of Senate Bill 751, which was approved on Wednesday.
SB 751 would authorize the state to finance bond issues for a loan program for school districts and cities already providing services to the military bases targeted for expansion under the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure Commission review. Those include Fort Sill in Lawton, Vance Air Force Base in Enid, Tinker Air Force Base in Midwest City, and Altus Air Force Base. Those facilities have an annual economic impact of $6 billion in Oklahoma.
“I cannot emphasize enough how important this bill is to our military communities. Getting this passed this session was critical,” Bass said. “I again want to commend the entire delegation from the Lawton area, as well as legislators representing other military communities for their hard work on this bill.”
“In Lawton alone we’ll see our population grow by more than 11,000 as a result of the expansion,” Barrington said. “We need to have the schools and other infrastructure in place to address those needs. This legislation will ensure our military communities can do that.”
SB 751 also contains language allowing two state tire manufacturers, Goodyear in Lawton, and Michelin in Ardmore, to apply for a one-time extension of up to 12 months to meet requirements of a 2002 law which enabled them to receive Quality Jobs funds in connection with the retooling or modernizing of their facilities.
The measure now moves to the House for consideration.