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Transparency extends to emergency preparedness

September 13, 2013

The Oklahoma House recently refused to consider funding for storm shelters in public schools across the state, but one representative wants to take the vote to the people. According to the Chicago Tribune, Oklahoma Dem. Representative Joe Dorman said he plans to hold a special committee meeting to discuss a possible ballot initiative regarding the funding of storm shelters in public schools. This initiative is essential, as these shelters would help protect school children from tornadoes and other natural disasters, and it would make the vote open to the public.

"The motion to kill it means to me that no one else had a plan or that they wanted to leave it up to local schools to fund shelters, many of which cannot afford to do so," Dorman noted, according to the news source. The state House voted 57 to 26 in favor of not considering shelter funding.

State funding would be essential as many town, county and city councils cannot afford to build these emergency shelters on their own. By taking the vote public on a local level, transparency and open government efforts can be upheld in addition to public safety.

 Communities in Oklahoma experienced two EF5 tornadoes earlier this year which devastated two towns and resulted in the deaths of more than 43 people, including several schoolchildren.