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Senate Panel OKs $40M for Indian Museum (May 12, 2011)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A Senate panel has approved a $40 million bond issue to help complete the American Indian Cultural Center and Museum along the Oklahoma River near downtown Oklahoma City, which several members say is a waste of taxpayer money.

A bill authorizing the Capitol Improvement Authority was approved in a Senate committee Thursday on a 14-6 vote.

The bill provides that three separate series of bond issues will not be authorized until the Native American Cultural and Educational Authority has in place matching funds from private donors and other sources.

Republican Sen. Dan Newberry of Tulsa complained the state already has spent close to $90 million on the project over the last decade and is paying close to $6 million annually in debt service for a "hole in the ground."

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