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Norman legislators respond to Supreme Court decision allowing ACCESS Oklahoma project to proceed

Norman legislators respond to Supreme Court decision allowing ACCESS Oklahoma project to proceed

Sen. Mary Boren, Rep. Jacob Rosecrants, Rep. Annie Menz, and Rep. Jared Deck released the following statement Friday regarding the Oklahoma Supreme Court’s decision to allow the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority (OTA) to continue with plans to build the South Extension turnpike.

“The people I serve will not be defeated by the Supreme Court’s ruling. We remain hopeful that Auditor Byrd’s ongoing investigation of OTA will clarify if federal and state dollars have been wrongfully combined with bond funds to build turnpikes. When the OTA reports to federal agencies that it does not use state or federal dollars to construct the turnpikes, they avoid having to comply with every regulation designed to best protect our drinking water and biodiversity of our wildlife and habitats surrounding Lake Thunderbird.” – Sen. Mary Boren, D-Norman

“I’m disappointed by the staggering reluctance of Oklahoma’s Supreme Court to recognize the statutory limits of the OTA. It is hard to believe other influences have a higher priority than restraining the power of unelected agencies. But I am encouraged knowing that several bills designed to reform the OTA are still making their way through the Legislature with authors on both sides of the aisle. This past session, we successfully overrode the governor’s veto to empower the Legislature to appoint members to the OTA. Many of my legislative colleagues have joined the fight for transparency and accountability, and we greatly appreciate Attorney General Drummond for requesting an investigative audit by State Auditor Cyndi Byrd. Our resolve for justice for our constituents remains strong.” – Rep. Annie Menz, D-Norman

“The state Supreme Court ruling shows the decisions of past Legislatures have given the OTA vastly broad powers. Reform is in the hands of current lawmakers, particularly the supermajority. We must work together with the political courage to advance bipartisan solutions that protect residents. We need clear, unmistakable, and effective oversight over the OTA. If we neglect our duty, then the rights of citizens across the state will remain in the crosshairs of a few unelected bureaucrats who seem to have no known limits to their power.” – Rep. Jared Deck, D-Norman

“Throughout the last year of litigation and legislative battles, it’s clear the OTA has failed to respectfully consider how their turnpike plans impact Oklahomans. Unfortunately, our constituents have had to sacrifice significant amounts of time and money to make sure their rights were honored by OTA.  It’s a shame. Oklahomans deserve to live in a state where the government works for them, not against them.” -Rep. Jacob Rosecrants, D-Norman

1 Comment

  1. Bill Bynum on August 7, 2023 at 9:19 am

    The whatever Timmy claims building another Turnpike will add more safety and whatever.
    Another road is just spending more money for a dirty road for more savage deaths of people and Animals!
    Am I STUPID or whatever?
    Spending Billions of Dollars to search and kill neighborhoods and Communities is not just WHATEVER! People First!
    Thank you .
    REPEAL The Oklahoma Turnpike Authority LAW!

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