House Votes To Suspend Oklahoma Law Requiring Agencies To Spend Money On Art

Wednesday, March 9th 2011, 4:00 pm
By: News On 6

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.

7/26/2010 Related Story: Oklahoma Law Requires Agencies To Spend Money On Art

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.

2/21/2011 Related Story: Oklahoma Lawmakers Approve Temporary Lift Of 'Art In Public Places Act'

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."

The bill now goes to the senate.