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OKLAHOMA CITY - Senator Brad Henry's legislation which would let voters decide whether school bond issues should be decided by a simple majority has passed its first hurdle. SJR 39 was approved today by the Senate Finance Committee.
Currently, school bond issues can only be approved by a super majority, which is three-fifths of all votes cast.
"What this means is a minority of people voting on a school bond issue can cause it to fail. We've seen this happen time after time, which has left too many Oklahoma students in buildings that are literally crumbling around them. Leaking ceilings don't get fixed. Other critical capitol needs must simply go unmet. It is an unfair situation at best," said Senator Henry.
Under SJR 39, Oklahoma voters could amend the state constitution so that a simple majority would be enough for passage of a school bond issue.
"One of the first things prospective businesses want to know about is the quality of the local schools. No one wants to locate in an area if it means sending their children and their employees children into dilapidated, over-crowded schools," noted Senator Henry.
"I don't believe it is right for a minority of voters to sentence children and teachers to learn and work in that kind of environment. I believe the people of this state should have an opportunity
to consider this issue," said Senator Henry.
SJR 39 must now be considered by the full Senate.