An Oklahoma House panel has approved a bill intended to help
bring the state’s roads and bridges up to speed.
The Oklahoma House Transportation Committee voted
unanimously Feb. 27 to advance a bill that would dedicate money collected for
vehicle tags and taxes to construction and maintenance of the state’s roads and
The state’s Department of Transportation says more than
3,000 miles of Oklahoma’s more than 12,000 miles of highway need to be repaired
or replaced. In addition, about 1,160 of the state’s more than 6,700 bridges
are either deficient or obsolete.
Sponsored by Rep. Jeff Hickman, R-Dacoma, the bill would
reroute $221 million that is funneled into the state’s General Fund to help fix
roads and bridges throughout the state.
“Many Oklahomans are under the impression that the money
collected for their vehicle tag is already going toward fixing roads, but only
0.31 percent of the money collected is currently put toward road construction
and repair,” Hickman said in a written statement. “Money generated from car
tags should go to fix the very roads those vehicles will be traveling – and
this bill does just that.”
Hickman’s bill also would send the portion of the fuel tax
collections on gasoline and diesel now sent to the General Fund to roads. That
would amount to an additional $7 million for OKDOT.
The bill – HB1863 – now heads to the full House for further