KGOU

Arguments On Capitol Improvement Authority Issuance Of Bonds For Repairs

Dec 2, 2014

Barricades surround the south steps of the Oklahoma Capitol.
Credit Meghan Blessing / KGOU

An Oklahoma Supreme Court referee heard arguments Tuesday in a challenge to the Oklahoma Capitol Improvement Authority’s application to validate a $120 million in bonds to fund State Capitol repairs.

Oklahoma City attorney Jerry Fent challenged the authority’s application for the court’s validation. He argued Tuesday that House Joint Resolution 1033, which authorized the $120 million bond issue, was a special law.

Fent’s argument that the resolution was a special law hinged on a 1910 statute that authorized construction of the State Capitol and the governor’s mansion in Oklahoma City. “This has to go back, historically, to the beginning of the State of Oklahoma,” he told the Gregory Albert, the referee hearing the arguments.

Fent argued House Joint Resolution 1033 was a special law because it dealt with only one of those buildings – the Capitol.

Assistant Solicitor General Cara Rodriquez called the resolution “a universal law that applies to everyone in the state” because it funds to repairs to the state’s only capitol building.

To bolster her position, Rodriquez pointed to a 1911 challenge to the legislation that created the statute to which Fent referred. The court ruled then, she explained, that there could only be one capital. “The law applied to every part of the state even though it located the Capitol in one particular place,” she said.

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