Governor and state House speaker reach agreement on higher education bond plan

Wednesday, March 16th 2005, 5:33 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Governor Brad Henry and House Speaker Todd Hiett finally reach an agreement on a higher education bond plan.

The proposal would pay for $475-million in capital improvements at state colleges and universities and create a $25-million bond bank for future capital needs.

The agreement followed weeks of negotiations and political sparring between the Democratic governor and the Republican speaker over details of Henry's original $500-million college bond plan.

Tuesday, Henry was joined by Hiett, higher education Chancellor Paul Risser and Democratic and Republican leaders of the House and Senate.

Hiett says the agreement fundamentally reforms the way future higher education bond issues will be handled and gives the University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State University and the state regents authority to issue bonds without legislative approval.

Henry credited Hiett and Senate President Pro Tem Cal Hobson for continuing to negotiate even when his office and Hiett ran into some obstacles.