Opinion

Editorial: Oklahoma Indian museum benefits the entire state






The American Indian Cultural Center and Museum sits unfinished in Oklahoma City. Photo from AICCM

Oklahoma newspaper calls on lawmakers to approve funding to finish the American Indian Cultural Center and Museum:
State Sen. Patrick Anderson, an Enid Republican who’s opposed funding the completion of the American Indian Cultural Center and Museum in Oklahoma City, now says he can support the project if the associated state tax dollars are tied to tribal enterprises.

We’ve long supported the AICCM. It can draw out-of-state tourism that economically benefits the entire state. Ideally, bond financing should have been used to complete the museum, since the repayment schedule would have minimal impact on annual funding for other state needs.

Lawmakers balked at that idea. Then they balked at using unclaimed property monies for the museum. (They instead tapped that fund for ongoing school expenses rather than true one-time needs.) Then lawmakers sidelined a plan to simply provide the $40 million through direct appropriations in piecemeal fashion over three years.

If museum opponents feel Anderson’s plan gives them political cover to reverse course and finally fund the museum, then it’s a good plan. Even so, this plan is a tacit admission that prior opposition wasn’t based on fiscal concerns, but on parochialism.

Get the Story:
Editorial: Oklahoma Indian museum funding plan deserves a hearing (The Oklahoman 11/20)

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Bill to complete Indian museum in Oklahoma City moves ahead (03/06)