Oklahoma Lawmakers To Consider Suspending 'Art In Public Places' Act

Tuesday, November 30th 2010, 9:14 pm
By: News On 6

Jennifer Loren, Oklahoma Impact Team

OKLAHOMA CITY -- There are new developments tonight in a story the Oklahoma Impact Team brought you earlier this year about Oklahoma's Art in Public Places program.

The Oklahoma Impact Team discovered all state agencies are required to spend part of their construction budgets on some type of art.

11/26/2010 Related Story: Oklahoma Law Requires Agencies To Spend Money On Art

Some of the projects have already been completed and there are many more on the way, totaling more than $5 million. Now, state legislators say they'll ask for the program to be suspended in the next session.

Incoming Speaker of the House Kris Steele says he'll author a bill calling for a moratorium, even though he voted in favor of the program in 2004.

"I do not feel like this is a luxury that the state of Oklahoma can afford," he said. "And so we want to make sure in a tough economy that we're protecting those core services of government, those things that are vital."

The Oklahoma Department of Transportation has spent millions of dollars on Art in Public Places projects, even though they are one of the two state agencies with the ability to opt out.  Representative Mike Reynolds says he's frustrated that ODOT has wasted money on the projects and he will support the program's suspension.