Editorial: $307,000,000.00 cost overrun?

What’s a great way to grow government?

  1. Hire a contractor who has champagne taste on a beer budget.
  2. Let the contractor know that you are willing to borrow money for overruns.

The Oklahoma Legislature has approved borrowing $120,000,000.00 to fix the State Capitol. For decades, irresponsible officials didn’t do the necessary maintenance to keep up the huge building. (This is just like the City of Tulsa when it didn’t take care of the old City Hall, now a hotel).

Contractors Manhattan Construction and J.E. Dun Construction met with the State Capitol Repair Expenditure Committee this month and said that the $120,000,000.00 wouldn’t cover all the needed repairs.

They want $307,000,000.00.

That is a 150 percent increase.

That is a whale of a change order.

State finance officials don’t see a problem with simply approving more bonds and paying the whole cost. After all, Oklahoma has less debt than other states like New Jersey and California.

That’s like going in for an oil change and deciding to buy a new car that will more than double your car payment.

Couldn’t you build a whole new Capitol for $120,000,000.00?

Not in Oklahoma, with our rich history of not getting full value out of state contracts. If you want to get rich here, just get a government contract.

Here’s the worst part of this. Two years ago, Oklahoma had enough money in the Rainy Day fund to fix the Capitol with cash. Now, our kids are going to pay for the government’s inattention to maintenance.

And they want to borrow a boatload of money that outrgrandchildren will have to repay.