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House Suspends Art in Public Places Act (Mar 09, 2011)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Oklahoma House has voted to suspend a state law that requires tax dollars to be spent on art projects.

The House voted 69-20 Wednesday to suspend the law for three years. Its author, Rep. Leslie Osborn of Tuttle, says it is hard to justify spending tax dollars on public art when schools face funding cuts and correctional workers face furloughs due to a $500 million budget shortfall.

The law requires 1.5 percent of the cost of a building project or renovation costing at least $250,000 be dedicated to public art. The cost of the art can be as much as $500,000 per project.

Osborn says art is being purchased even as the state grapples with the budget shortfall. She says state government needs to focus on its core functions.

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