Oklahoma has taken a step to form a Tri-State Commission on the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System with Kansas and Arkansas.
Gov. Kevin Stitt signed House Bill 2142 into law on Tuesday. As the bill stated, it is anticipated that the State of Arkansas and the State of Kansas will enact legislation in order to complete the formation of the commission.
Authored by Rep. Chris Sneed and Sen. Kim David of Porter, the new law will allow the commission to identify available resources at the federal and state levels for proper maintenance of the riverway. It will also be tasked with prioritizing the funding and promoting it to help the economies of the three states.
The Oklahoma membership will include a member named by the governor who will also be a member of the Water Advisory Board of the Transportation Department. Three members from the State House will also sit on the board along with three members from the Senate. One member from each of the three Native American tribes that has ownership interest in the Arkansas riverbed will also be named. Another member will be named by the House Speaker to represent a statewide business organization. The Senate President will also name an appointee. And one member will be appointed by the governor who will represent a public port along the Navigation System.