A former Oklahoma state legislator known for her work on behalf of public education has passed away.

Penny Williams was also known as a strong supporter of arts education.  

She was a co-author of the historic education bill known as HB 1017 that passed in 1990. Williams also wrote legislation to create the school of science and math in Oklahoma City and the original University Center in Tulsa that developed into the four-year campuses there (on what is now the OSU campus).

The Democrat served in the Oklahoma House of Representatives from 1981 to 1988 and then in the Oklahoma State Senate from 1989 to 2004.

Penny Williams was 80.