State lawmakers look at college and university bond projects

Tuesday, February 22nd 2005, 6:12 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) House Speaker Todd Hiett says he wants to change the way colleges and universities finance bond projects.

This comes as Governor Brad Henry has proposed a $500-million higher education bond issue.

Henry says he will review Hiett's proposal but will oppose any attempt to reopen the list of projects developed by Oklahoma's college presidents and regents.

The Democratic governor's bond package is scheduled for a vote in the Senate Wednesday.

Hiett says the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University should be able to issue debt on their own with the approval of state regents.

Hiett says $50-million of Henry's proposed $500-million bond issue should go toward creating a capital endowment fund that will be run by state regents. Regional colleges and universities would be able to tap into the fund for future projects.

The plan is similar to an existing fund in Texas.