OK Supreme Court rules on school shelter debate
An effort to put more storm shelters in Oklahoma classrooms is dealt a big blow by the state Supreme Court.
Supporters of Take Shelter Oklahoma wanted voters to sign and then vote on a statewide petition.
The petition called for spending 500 million dollars in state franchise tax money to fund more shelters and safe rooms in schools around the state.
The group took the issue to court after the state attorney general changed the language on that ballot.
Take Shelter Oklahoma’s lawsuit argues the attorney general’s wording was confusing and put too much emphasize on the cost of the shelters.
Because both sides could not agree on how the ballot should be written, the issue went to the Supreme Court.
The court ruled today the ballot language written by the attorney general’s office is legal.
The court did give shelter supporters 90 days to collect another 155 thousand signatures.
The attorney generals office issued the following comment.
“I appreciate the efforts of those working to help protect Oklahoma students from severe and dangerous weather. As the court noted, the role of the Attorney General’s Office in the ballot title process is as ‘a neutral legal adviser for the people.’ As such, my office is required to review all ballot measures to ensure they comply with the law, and any changes should not be considered a statement on the merits of the proposals. The court’s ruling today affirms that my office’s ballot title is ‘legally correct, impartial and accurately reflects the effects of the proposed initiative’ and shows that any assertions to the contrary are completely false. Throughout the process, my office has acted as a neutral legal adviser and the court’s ruling upholds the correctness, accuracy and impartiality of the ballot title my office proposed.”