Oklahoma Representative Files Legislation Aimed at Funding Schoo - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Oklahoma Representative Files Legislation Aimed at Funding School Storm Shelters

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BRYAN COUNTY, OK--  An Oklahoma lawmaker is proposing new legislation that would fund storm shelters in public schools.

The measure was filed today by Representative Joe Dorman and could potentially protect more than 500,000 students. If passed, voters would decide whether or not the state should issue a $500 million state bond to fund the shelters.

The money would come from state revenue collected from a franchise tax, which is scheduled for reinstatement this year. That means the shelters would be built without raising any new or existing taxes and without cutting any current program spending in the state.

Colbert Superintendent Jarvis Dobbs said his district already has a safe room for the majority of students, but he said an additional shelter would be beneficial.

"Our safe room was a FEMA grant," said Superintendent Dobbs. "Local money did not pay for that. That was a FEMA grant and they're not always available. Also, with a FEMA grant, it may be four or five years from the time you started until you receive it, so I think it's a great idea."

Rep. Dorman said right now, school districts have to fund all shelter spaces through local dollars. This measure would allow the state to provide a 75/25 match to allow the state to cover the majority of the cost.