Security & Business Resilience

Fight for Storm Shelters in Schools Heads to Oklahoma Supreme Court

January 1, 2014

A fight to build more storm shelters in schools heads to the Oklahoma Supreme Court.

Organizers of Take Shelter Oklahoma have argued that the Oklahoma state attorney generals’ ballot language, which emphasized that franchise tax money would be diverted from the general fund, confused voters and cost them signatures. The group hopes to spend $500 million to build storm shelters in schools around the state.

The AG’s office claims it merely attempted to inform voters about how the shelters would be financed, said KFOR TV.

The mother of 9-year-old Emily Conatzer, who died in Plaza Towers Elementary in the Moore, Okla tornado last year, is frustrated the effort to build more storm shelters in schools has devolved into a political and legal fight, said KFOR TV.

“It shows me how much the attorney general and the governor care about kids, because if they did we wouldn’t be here,” said Kristi Conatzer.  “This is just disgusting they’re acting this way.  These people are toying with kids lives.”

David Slane, a local attorney involved with Take Shelter Oklahoma, said, “We asked the Supreme Court to rewrite the ballot because the two sides will never agree, and so this can go to a vote of the people and they can decide.”

If the court throws out the current ballot language, it could also grant the petition organizers another 90 days to collect the needed signatures, said KFOR TV.

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