OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma House has voted to suspend a state law that requires millions of tax dollars be spent on public artwork.
Our Oklahoma Impact Team first reported on the law last summer.
The Oklahoma House voted 69-20 on Wednesday to approve House Bill 1665, which would suspend the Arts In Public Places Act for the next three years.
Right now, any time a public building or renovation project costs more than $250,000, the state is required to spend a portion of the cost on "public art." Some art projects have cost as much as $500,000.
The move comes as Oklahoma faces a $500 million budget shortfall.
"It is difficult to justify spending millions on public ‘art' at the same time schools are facing funding cuts and the Department of Corrections is furloughing workers," said state Representative Leslie Osborn, R-Tuttle. "Government needs to focus on its core functions, and this legislation will free up more money for those purposes."