Two Lawton Senators said the full Senate will soon be voting on a bipartisan compromise measure to help Oklahoma military bases meet needs for additional infrastructure. Sen. Randy Bass, D-Lawton, and Sen. Don Barrington, R-Lawton, are co-authors of Senate Bill 751, which creates the “Military Base Protection and Expansion Incentive Act.”
“This is probably the most important piece of legislation this year for our military communities here in Oklahoma,” Bass said. “I want to commend the entire delegation from the Lawton area, both House and Senate, as well as legislators representing other military communities for their hard work on this bill.”
“It was extremely critical for the state to facilitate additional infrastructure needs for military bases in Oklahoma,” Barrington said. “This bipartisan agreement lets the Department of Defense know we are being a proactive partner and are up to the task of preparing for these expansions.”
The final details of SB 751 were worked out in a joint conference committee. The measure 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.
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.
SB 751 is expected to be voted on Tuesday in the Senate General Conference Committee on Appropriations, then by the full Senate.