Construction Shuts Down State Capitol During Special Session

Friday, October 13th 2017, 7:04 am
By: Grant Hermes

Lawmakers have been asked to leave the state Capitol so construction crews can begin work for the next 10 days. 

Legislators had to be out by Friday so crews could start work on the electric system and wiring and it could not come at a worse time. 

Lawmakers are supposed to be finding a way to fund a $215 million budget gap, and this construction is forcing them to continue the recess of the special session. 

Negotiations are said to be ongoing to reach a budget deal at outside locations already and those are expected to continue, but a News 9 source at the Capitol with decades of experience said "nothing's going on."

Should a deal be reached while the Capitol is closed, legislators will likely wait until they're allowed back into the building to hold an official vote.  

In the meantime, state agencies have been asked to cut $214 million from their budgets, which could affect 1 million of Oklahoma's neediest who depend on state services, according to Gov. Mary Fallin. 

Lawmakers will still be able to get messages as well as receive and make phone calls during the closure.

The Capitol is scheduled to reopen Oct. 23.