The Edmond Sun

Local News

March 21, 2014

Dorman, Fallin differ on storm shelter plans

EDMOND — State Rep. Joe Dorman’s solution for school safety in response to the nationwide school shootings and Oklahoma’s May tornadoes continues to motivate him in his 2014 gubernatorial campaign. His campaign is going much better than he expected with a ground swell of momentum, he said.

“People want a change. They are dissatisfied with the direction Oklahoma is going under Mary Fallin,” said Dorman, D-Rush Springs. “They’re excited there is realistic opposition and they have a choice in this election.”

Dorman, 43, represents District 65, which encompasses parts of Grady, Caddo, Comanche, Stevens counties and all of Cotton County.

On the issue of providing storm shelters, Gov. Mary Fallin told The Edmond Sun, “I think people just want to see local control because each school is different.”

DORMAN’S SHELTER PLAN

Dorman’s plan calls for using the existing franchise tax to float a $500 million bond to fortify Oklahoma’s public schools against the danger of tornadoes and intruders motivated to harm children.

The school districts would apply and use a little matching dollars from their district, to keep it a realistic storm shelter size for that district, Dorman said.

“They would get the assistance and hopefully apply to the office of Federal Emergency Management to get additional funding to build a shelter without increasing the cost (to) the local district.”

Dorman pushed for an initiative petition to bring the issue to a statewide vote of the people. He said his supporters managed to document more than 120,000 of the 155,000 signatures required by law.

Petition activists faced a 90-day deadline to deliver the signatures when Attorney General Scott Pruitt challenged the petition for not having a sufficient title, Dorman said.

So now the petition’s supporters are waiting for the Oklahoma Supreme Court to rule on the issue. The court will determine if there is enough time for the petition to complete its 90-day course, Dorman said.

Take Shelter Oklahoma will continue the effort to place the issue on the November ballot if the state Supreme Court rules against the time factor, Dorman said.

“The more opposition we faced from the powers that be at the Capitol — the executive branch — it ignited the fire in me to get out there and get this done, Dorman said. “This petition drive really changed my mind about wanting to fix some of these problems we’re facing. It’s just apparent that Mary Fallin is not interested in addressing (the issue).”

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The runoff race for the 5th District congressional seat is set for Aug. 26. If the voting were today, which candidate would you support?

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