State Democrats wanting more information on a GOP-backed college bond issue proposal

Tuesday, March 15th 2005, 6:01 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- House Democrats renew their support for Governor Henry's $500-million higher education bond plan but say they'll keep an open mind regarding a Republican alternative.

House Speaker Todd Hiett is offering a $475-million college bond proposal that University of Oklahoma President David Boren helped him develop.

The GOP-controlled House is scheduled to vote on Hiett's plan on Wednesday. Henry's plan is stalled in the House Appropriations and Budget Committee.

House Minority Leader Jari Askins said Monday that House Democrats are solidly behind Henry's proposal, which passed the state Senate without opposition on February 22nd. That plan was drafted by presidents and regents at Oklahoma's 36 schools and would fund 140 projects statewide.

Askins says stalling action on the measure could make it more expensive.

Hiett's plan would funneling $25-million into a bond bank that regional universities could tap into for future capital needs.

Democrats say they'll consider details of Hiett's proposal but prefer to do so in separate legislation.