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Oklahoma Supreme Court approves turnpike bond measure’s legality

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OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma Supreme Court has approved the issuance of $480 million in bonds to fund construction of several turnpikes across the state.

The state’s highest court affirmed the validity of the bond issue Tuesday in a petition where justices unanimously overruled objections by an Oklahoma City attorney who had protested their issuance.

Jerry Fent claimed the bond issue was flawed because it allowed for funding multiple projects, which violates a constitutional requirement that they include only one subject. Fent also claimed it violates the Constitution because the authority continues to accumulate bond debt.

The court ruled the projects are not unrelated because they all involve the construction or maintenance of turnpikes. The court also said the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority “has the express legislative authority to issue bonds for turnpike projects.”