OKC Council Sets Its State, Fed Legislative Agenda

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The Oklahoma City Council has identified its state and federal legislative priorities.

Two resolutions adopting certain legislative issues and positions -- one on the state level and one regarding federal issues -- were approved by the council.

Four priority issues were identified on the state level.

The first is enacting a fee in-lieu-of-franchise provision on broadband and telecommunications using public rights of way. The city is seeking changes in state legislation that would include broadband and telecommunications using public rights of way in the fee-in-lieu-of-franchise provision. The change would allow the municipality to audit the companies to ensure compliance.

Second, the city is seeking exemptions from the Open Records Act and Open Meetings Act regarding information related to the city's vulnerability to domestic terrorism. Schematics, diagrams of technology infrastructure and defensive/response plans relating to acts of terrorism would be kept confidential.

Third, the city is seeking increased state funding for the Public Transit Revolving Fund to provide $5 million for urban and rural transit in Oklahoma, and an increase in urban county allocations from 20 percent to 25 percent.

Fourth, the city would like to change state statutes relating to debt payment structure and refunding savings requirements to allow the city greater flexibility in using debt refunding measures.

Eight priorities were identified on the federal level.

Obtaining federal dollars to fund the Interstate 40 Crosstown Project heads the list. The latest estimate of the project cost is $342.3 million.

While the congressional delegation pledged $103 million in TEA- 21 funds for the project, the Oklahoma Department of Transportation has informed the city that only $91. …