Ok House Seeks Sale of State Properties
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Published: 01-Mar-2012

Legislation approved by the Oklahoma House of Representatives today (Thursday, March 1) authorizes the sale of unneeded state properties and directs that the money generated be used to maintain other buildings.

“For too long, state government has allowed its properties to deteriorate while holding onto other buildings that are no longer needed,” said state Rep. T.W. Shannon, a Lawton Republican. 

“This legislation will require that basic management practices become standard operating procedure in state government, providing a way to pay for essential repairs without a tax increase or diversion of other funds.”
House Bill 2262, by Shannon, creates a Maintenance of State Buildings Revolving Fund, which will receive the revenue generated by proceeds from the sale of state-owned properties (both land and buildings). Money in the fund would then be used to maintain and repair other state properties and buildings.
In addition, the bill requires that the state’s Long Range Capital Plan include an index ranking state buildings based on maintenance needs. Money in the Maintenance of State Buildings Revolving Fund would be allocated to projects based on those with greatest need.
House Bill 2262 builds on the Oklahoma State Government Asset Reduction and Cost Savings Program, a measure that Shannon shepherded into law last year. That legislation required the Director of the Department of Central Services to identify 5 percent of the most underutilized state-owned properties on a yearly basis with an eye toward liquidating them.
There are now more than 9,000 state-owned properties, according to the most recent estimates.
“It just makes sense to liquidate unneeded properties to pay for the maintenance of those that continue to serve a public purpose,” Shannon, the House Speaker-designate, said. “While the backlog of needed repair at state buildings will not disappear overnight, this legislation finally puts us on the path to resolving those problems.”
House Bill 2262 passed out Oklahoma House of Representatives on an 87-0 vote. It now proceeds to the state Senate for consideration.

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