Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin said last week that the state must repair and maintain its capitol building in Oklahoma City despite the outlook for a flat general fund budget in fiscal 2013.

 “I am certainly open to a bond issue with targeted needs,” Fallin told reporters at a news conference. “Certainly the state capitol is one of those items that should be on a potential bond-issue list.”

Workers put scaffolding around the nearly 100-year-old structure’s southeast entrance to protect visitors from falling chunks of limestone.

An engineering analysis found damage to exterior limestone panels on two sides of the capitol, and additional deterioration is expected.

The reconstruction effort, including upgrades to the electrical and plumbing systems, is estimated at $130 million. 

Sen. Clark Jolley, R-Edmond, chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, said a bond issue for the capitol should be considered by state lawmakers. 

He said Oklahomans should be able to visit the capitol “without fear that part of the building is going to fall on their heads.”

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