Fallin, other political leaders visit campus for transportation hearing

February 24, 2011 Latest Print Print
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A federal hearing on how to fix problems with roads and bridges drew some of the state’s political leaders to campus on Feb. 24.

The U.S House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure held a field hearing on ways to reduce regulations on road and highways in Oklahoma.

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin said she glad the meeting was held at OCCC.

Fallin said she came to testify before the committee to highlight infrastructure needs for Oklahoma transportation.

U.S Rep. James Lankford (R-District 5) said normally congressional hearings happen on Capitol Hill and in Washington D.C.

“We’re bringing the whole hearing staff out to talk about transportation issues specific to Oklahoma and how can we get those things resolved,” Lankford said.

He said field hearings are not uncommon in other parts of country, but rarely in Oklahoma.

“We’re glad to be able to bring it here,” he said.

Lankford said the committee hopes to resolve transportation issues plaguing Oklahoma.

“We’re listening to people here in Oklahoma when they say ‘how do we fix the transportation issue?’” he said. “We don’t have more money. We figure out how we resolve the issue based on what we have.”

Neal McCaleb, president of a state lobbying group called Transportation Revenues Used Strictly for Transportation, said the hearings are vital to Oklahoma.

“It’s going to bring back money to Oklahoma from the federal government, which is about $450 million a year from our gas taxes.”

OCCC executive vice president Jerry Steward said the House committee performs an important public function in allowing the transportation committee to hear from Oklahomans about their transportation needs.

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