A bill to rename a section of highway in the panhandle for President Trump narrowly passes in a senate committee.
The bill passed five to four, but there were plenty of questions about whether it’s even legal.
State senator Nathan Dahm (R) Broken Arrow wants to name a 20-mile section of highway from Boise City to the Texas Oklahoma Border, the President Donald J Trump Highway, in part because of the high voter turnout in Cimarron County for the president.
Opponents wondered whether the bill breaks the law.
“It’s my understanding that we have some clear guidelines as to how bridges and highways can be named based on individuals that have been deceased not less than three years,” said Senator Carri Hicks (D) Oklahoma City.
Dahm replied, “If you read the very beginning of it, it says notwithstanding any other provision of law. So that three-year qualifier does not apply to this bill.”
Senator Bill Coleman (R) Ponca City said, “When I look at the statute I cannot get my arms around how this is legal according to state statute that clearly says a person must be deceased at least three years. And I watched the Daytona 500 Sunday and he looked to be alive and kicking quite well.”
Dahm replied, “When President Obama was in office there were several roads and highways that were named for him while he was in office in addition to schools that were named after him. Even different animals and insects as they were discovered that were named for him while he was in office as well.”
The bill passed with title off, which means there can be changes before it goes to the full Senate for a vote.
“We have done that with roads and bridges. We have done that with other provisions of law. It’s not just my interpretation of it. This is what we do,” Dahm insisted.
Dahm also backed away from a bill that would make license plates that said, “Make America Great Again” and “Keep America Great”, campaign slogans used by President Trump. Instead, he pushed for a bill that creates plates saying “America first” with proceeds going to Veterans groups.