Skip to main content
You have permission to edit this article.
Edit
Editorial: Let's make highway choices on the basis of safety, traffic and costs

Editorial: Let's make highway choices on the basis of safety, traffic and costs

  • 0
{{featured_button_text}}
Casino_riverwind.jpg

An Interstate 35 interchange that would help traffic to the Chickasaw Nation's Riverwind Casino is an issue of debate.

Last week, the former speaker of the state House of Representatives questioned Transportation Secretary Tim Gatz about whether Gov. Kevin Stitt’s office intervened in a proposed new interchange at Interstate 35 and Oklahoma 9.

The interchange would relieve congestion near the Riverwind Casino, which is owned by the Chickasaw Nation. The $17 million project would include $10 million from the tribe, plus an easement donation, said Shannon, who is CEO of the tribally owned Chickasaw Community Bank.

A March 22 meeting that would have put the project into motion was canceled, Shannon said.

It’s no secret that the governor’s relationship with the state’s tribes has been rocky at times. Most recently, Stitt has been pushing for resolution to issues raised by last year’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling in so-called McGirt case. The decision found that the Creek Nation reservation was never dissolved by Congress and that the state doesn’t have criminal jurisdiction there in cases involving Native Americans.

In responding to Shannon, Gatz said his office is seeking additional input from Stitt’s office because of uncertainty created by the McGirt case.

The McGirt case doesn’t address highways. The Supreme Court specifically limited its reach to criminal cases in the Creek Nation, but other courts have extended its effects throughout the eastern half of Oklahoma, and the McGirt logic could easily impact some of the most critical elements of state government, including taxation and regulation.

The Oklahomans using Interstate 35 and Oklahoma 9 are tax-paying citizens. That includes the Native Americans. They have the right to expect highway projects to be decided on a rational basis of cost, traffic and safety, not who owns a business at the end of the road.

We understand the governor’s concerns about the McGirt decision. He’s right to defend the state’s sovereignty, but we think the solution to the issue raised should settled in Congress, not on the state’s eight-year road plan.


Featured video:

Tulsa World Editorial Pages Editor Wayne Greene reads the April 11 editorial.

Subscribe to Daily Headlines

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Catch the latest in Opinion

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Related to this story

Most Popular

  • Updated

Tulsa County Sheriff Vic Regalado needs to show more discretion about who he speaks to and who he appears with, the editorials says. Further, he should leave his uniform in the closet and wear a business suit when attending speaking engagements where there's any chance that his comments or his appearance with a controversial organization could be misread. 

  • Updated

"The new statute will reduce the spread of communicable disease among intravenous drug users, and open the door to treatment and sobriety," the editorial says. "It also will lower the risk of accidental needle sticks to law enforcement. For ordinary citizens, it will mean fewer dirty syringes littering public streets and paths."

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.

Topics

Breaking News