“When you consider that 97 percent of the goods transported in Oklahoma go over our roads and bridges, it gives you an idea of the scope of how important our transportation system is,” said Vaughan, R-Ponca City. “Nothing gets to your door without going over our roads. Transportation is absolutely the bedrock to a solid economy.”
Patterson and other staff members from the Department of Transportation appeared before the House Appropriations & Budget Committee on Thursday in a public meeting in House Chambers to answer questions about the agency’s budget, to define the agency’s 8-year road plan and to give an idea of the agency’s priorities. This is one of five meetings scheduled with agencies that make up about 80 percent of the state’s appropriated budget.
Vaughan called the transportation presentation exemplary.
“This is an agency with projects stretching everywhere in the state,” Vaughan said. “It is one of the top appropriated agencies, and yet it is only receiving 4.5 percent of the state’s total appropriated budget. I am pleased to see how well they are doing with the funds they have been given.”
Vaughan also praised the agency for being a team player, explaining that last year when the state faced a $1.3 billion revenue shortfall, the agency offered to give part of the money that had been set aside for transportation projects to education instead.
“That to me says they are committed to making sure that everybody in the boat gets safely to the shore together,” Vaughan said.