It is the intent of the Oklahoma Legislature and the purpose of this article to make educational television services available to all Oklahoma citizens on a coordinated statewide basis. Said educational television services shall be provided by and through the various educational and cultural agencies in the State of Oklahoma under the direction and supervision of the Oklahoma Educational Television Authority hereinafter created.
The Oklahoma Educational Television Authority is hereby authorized and empowered to plan, construct, repair, maintain and operate educational television facilities with channels assigned by the Federal Communications Commission to the State of Oklahoma for educational television purposes. The purpose of said Authority shall be to provide a statewide educational television system, including any arrangements for extension thereof and interchanges and rental may be necessary in establishing such statewide facilities.
The Oklahoma Educational Television Authority is hereby authorized to issue revenue bonds of the Authority payable solely from dedicated revenues to pay the cost of providing educational television facilities as authorized in this article. Such revenue bonds shall never become obligations of the State of Oklahoma, but shall be retired by the Authority as provided in this article. Such revenue bonds shall contain on the face thereof a statement to the effect that neither the state nor the Authority shall be obligated to pay the same or the interest thereon except from revenues dedicated by the Legislature, and that neither the faith and credit nor the taxing power of the state or any political subdivision thereof is pledged, or may hereafter be pledged, to the payment of the principal of, or the interest on, such bonds.
It shall be unlawful for the Authority to permit any individual, company, corporation, or organization to advertise or otherwise attempt to sell its products or services through the use of the facilities controlled by the Authority; and it shall also be unlawful for said Authority to permit any individual or organization to in any way sponsor the election of any party or individual for any public office; provided, however, that nothing in this section shall be construed in a manner which would exclude announcements and programs of nonprofit charitable and educational organizations which are for the public good. Information programs sponsored by legally authorized agencies of the state and federal governments for the public good are to be considered proper program material. Provided further, that the influence, direction or attempt to influence or direct the program content or programs shown on public television by an elected official or his representative for the purposes of personal gain or political benefit, direct or indirect, shall be unlawful and that violation of this section shall be a misdemeanor punishable by a fine not to exceed One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00) or imprisonment not to exceed one (1) year, or both.
Oklahoma Educational Television Authority cannot accept advertisements in its monthly publication of ODYSSEY if any education television “facilities” are used in the process of publication. December 19, 1979 (AG Op. No. 79-339)
As used in this article, unless the context indicates otherwise:
1. “State Department of Education” means that department of the state government in which are placed the agencies created or authorized by the Constitution and Legislature charged with the responsibility of determining the policies and directing the administration and supervision of the common school system of the state. These agencies are the State Board of Education, the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, and such divisions and positions as may be established by law or by the State Board of Education.
2. “State Board of Education” means that agency in the State Department of Education which is the governing board of said Department and of the common school system of the state.
3. “State Superintendent of Public Instruction” means the elected official provided for in Article VI, Section I of the Constitution of Oklahoma, who is the executive officer of the State Board of Education.
4. “Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education” means that body created by Article XIII-A of the Constitution of Oklahoma to coordinate the affairs of all institutions of higher learning supported by taxation in the State of Oklahoma.
5. “Common schools of Oklahoma” means all private schools and all schools supported by public taxation, and including elementary and secondary schools, the first two (2) years of junior college, night school, adult and other special classes, and vocational instruction.
6. “Institutions of higher learning” means all private institutions and all the state universities and colleges which are supported by public taxation or otherwise authorized by laws in effect or enacted hereinafter.
7. “Authority” means the Oklahoma Educational Television Authority created by Section 23-105 of this article, or, if said Authority shall be abolished, the board, body, or commission succeeding to the principal functions of said Authority, or to whom the power is given by law.
8. “Facilities” means channels, all equipment, and properties, including the construction and operation thereof at any given point together with all rights, easements, leases, and interests which may be acquired by the Authority for such construction and operation which may be deemed necessary for the accomplishment of the purposes set forth in Section 23-101 of this article.
9. “Cost” as applied to the facilities means the cost of construction including the acquisition of all land, rights-of-way, property, rights, easements, and interest acquired by the Authority for such construction; all machinery and equipment, financing charges, interest prior to and during construction; engineering and legal expenses, plans, specifications, surveys, estimates of cost and of revenues, other expenses necessary or incident to determining the feasibility or practicability of constructing any such facilities; administrative expense, and such other expense as may be necessary or incident to the construction of the facilities; and the financing of such construction and the placing of the facilities in operation.
10. “Owner” means all individuals, copartnerships, associations, or corporations having any title or interest in any property, rights, easements, and interest authorized to be acquired by this article.
11. “Oklahoma Educational Television Network” means the educational television channels allocated to the state by the Federal Communications Commission and maintained and operated by the Oklahoma Educational Television Authority.
12. “Executive Director” means the Executive Director of the Oklahoma Educational Television Authority, authorized by the provisions of Section 3 of this act.
There is hereby re-created, to continue until July 1, 2008, in accordance with the provisions of the Oklahoma Sunset Law, Section 3901 et seq. of Title 74 of the Oklahoma Statutes, a body corporate and politic to be known as the “Oklahoma Educational Television Authority”, and by that name the Authority may sue and be sued, and plead and be impleaded. The Authority is hereby constituted an instrumentality of the state, and the exercise by the Authority of the powers conferred by this article for the planning, construction, operation, and maintenance of educational television facilities shall be deemed and held to be an essential function of the state.
The Oklahoma Educational Television Authority shall consist of thirteen (13) members, including the President of the University of Oklahoma, the President of Oklahoma State University, the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, the Chancellor of the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, the president of one of the state-supported four-year colleges to be chosen by the presidents of this group of institutions, the president of one of the state-supported two-year colleges to be chosen by the presidents of this group of institutions, and seven additional members to be appointed by the Governor with the consent of the Senate, to serve seven-year terms.
The appointed members shall have been residents of the state for at least five (5) years preceding the date of their appointment. The appointed members shall include one member from each of the five Congressional Districts and members-at-large. A majority of the appointed members shall be actively engaged in the profession of education. Each appointed member of the Authority, before entering upon the duties of the member, shall take the oath provided for by Section 1 of Article XV of the Constitution of the State of Oklahoma.
The seven original members appointed by the Governor shall continue in office for terms expiring on June 30, 1954; June 30, 1955; June 30, 1956; June 30, 1957; June 30, 1958; June 30, 1959; and June 30, 1960, respectively. The terms of each of the original appointed members shall be designated by the Governor, and said members shall serve for their appointed terms and until their respective successors shall be appointed and qualified. The successor of each appointed member shall be appointed for a term of seven (7) years, except that any person appointed to fill a vacancy shall be appointed to serve only for the unexpired term in said vacancy.
The Authority shall elect from the membership of the Authority a chairman, a vice-chairman, and a secretarytreasurer. Any such officers elected by the Authority on or after July 1, 1984, shall be appointed to serve a term of one (1) year. Seven members of the Authority shall constitute a quorum, and the vote of seven members shall be necessary for any action taken by the Authority. No vacancy in the membership of the Authority shall impair the right of a quorum to exercise all the rights and perform all the duties of the Authority. The Authority shall meet at least quarterly.
The members of the Authority shall not be entitled to compensation for their services, but each member shall be reimbursed for travel expenses incurred in performing official duties in accordance with the provisions of the State Travel Reimbursement Act. No liability or obligation shall be incurred by the Authority beyond the extent to which monies shall have been provided pursuant to the authority of this article.
The Authority is hereby authorized and empowered:
1. To accept, assume and control the television channels assigned by the Federal Communications Commission to the State of Oklahoma for educational purposes;
2. To adopt bylaws for the regulation of its affairs and the conduct of its business;
3. To adopt an official seal and alter the same at pleasure;
4. To maintain an office at such place or places within the state as it may designate;
5. To sue and be sued in its own name, plead and be impleaded; provided, however, that any and all actions, at law or in equity, against the Authority shall be brought in the county in which the principal office of the Authority shall be located, or in the county of the residence of the plaintiff, or in the county where the cause of action arose;
6. To construct, maintain, repair and operate television facilities which with their access connections are designated ultimately to extend to and include all sections and areas of the State of Oklahoma;
7. To issue revenue bonds of the Authority, payable solely from dedicated revenues, for the purpose of paying all or any part of the cost of needed facilities;
8. To fix and revise from time to time any necessary charges for the use of any facilities;
9. To pay for the annual cost of the operation, maintenance and repair of such facilities;
10. To pay as and when due the principal and interest on the revenue certificates or bonds issued to pay for such facilities;
11. To accumulate and maintain such reserves as are provided for in the resolution or trust indenture under which such bonds are issued or secured;
12. To acquire, hold, or dispose of real and personal property in the exercise of its powers and the performance of its duties under this act;
13. To acquire in the name of the Authority by purchase or otherwise, on such terms and conditions and in such manner as it may deem proper, or by the exercise of the right of condemnation in manner hereinafter provided, such public or private lands, rights-of-way, property, rights, easements, and interests, as it may deem necessary for carrying out the provisions of this article; and it is the intent of the Legislature that all public property damaged in carrying out the powers granted by this article shall be restored or repaired and placed in its original condition as nearly as practicable;
14. To designate, except as is provided for herein, the locations; and to establish, limit and control such points of ingress to and egress from each facility as may be necessary or desirable in the judgment of the Authority to insure the proper operation and maintenance of such facility;
15. To make and enter into all contracts and agreements necessary or incidental to the performance of its duties and the execution of its powers under this article, and to employ consulting engineers, attorneys, accountants, construction and financial experts, superintendents, managers, and such other employees and agents as may be necessary in its judgment, and to fix their compensation;
16. To receive appropriations from the State Legislature and accept from any federal agency grants for or in aid of the construction and operation of any project; provided, the acceptance of such grants or appropriations will not reduce the amount of federal aid for other education in this state; and to receive and accept aid or contributions from any source of either money, property, labor, or other things of value;
17. To do any and all things necessary to comply with rules, regulations, or requirements of the Federal Communications Commission or any other federal agency administering any law enacted by the Congress of the United States to aid or encourage education;
18. To do all things necessary or convenient to carry out the powers expressly granted in this article.
It shall be unlawful for any member, officer, or employee of the Authority to transact with the Authority, either directly or indirectly, any business for profit of such member, officer, or employee; and any person, firm or corporation knowingly participating therein shall be equally liable for violation of this provision.
The term “business for profit” shall include, but not be limited to, the acceptance or payment of any fee, commission, gift or consideration to such member, officer or employee.
Any person found guilty of violating any of the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a felony, and shall be punishable by a fine of not less than Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00), and not more than Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00), or by imprisonment in the State Penitentiary for not more than five (5) years, or by both such fine and imprisonment.
The Authority is hereby authorized and empowered to acquire by purchase, whenever it shall deem such purchase expedient, any land, property, rights, rights-of-way, franchises, easements, or other interests in lands as it may deem necessary or convenient for the construction, maintenance, and operation of the facilities upon such terms and at such price as may be considered by it to be reasonable and can be agreed upon between the Authority and the owner thereof, and to take title thereto in the name of the Authority.
Whenever a reasonable price cannot be agreed upon, or whenever the owner is legally incapacitated, or is absent, unknown, or unable to convey valid title, the Authority is hereby authorized and empowered to acquire by condemnation proceedings in the same manner as land is condemned for railroad purposes any land, property, rights, rights-of-way, franchises, easements, or other property deemed necessary or convenient for the construction or the efficient operation of any facilities, or necessary in the restoration of public or private property damaged or destroyed. No act or obligation of the Authority shall impose any liability upon the state or the Authority except such as may be paid from the funds provided under the authority of the article.
The Authority may provide by resolution, at one time or from time to time, for the issuance of revenue bonds of the Authority for the purpose of paying all or any of the cost of any one or more projects, but each project shall be covered by a separate resolution and separate bond issue or issues. Provided, each such resolution must receive legislative approval prior to actual issuance of said revenue bonds. The principal of and the interest on such bonds shall be payable solely from the funds herein provided for such payment. The bonds of each issue shall be dated, shall bear interest at a rate not to exceed ten percent (10%), and shall mature in annual installments at such time or times not exceeding the maximum time permitted by the Constitution of the State of Oklahoma, but in any event not more than forty (40) years after their date as may be determined by the Authority. The Authority may cause the bonds or any installment thereof to be made redeemable before maturity, at the option of the Authority, at such price or prices, and under such terms and conditions as may be fixed by the Authority prior to the issuance of the bonds. The Authority shall determine the form of the bonds, including any interest coupons to be attached thereto, and shall fix the denomination or denominations of the bonds and the place or places of payment of principal and interest, which may be at any bank or trust company within or without the state. The bonds shall be signed by the chairman of the Authority, and the official seal of the Authority shall be affixed thereto and attested by the secretary treasurer of the Authority, and any coupons attached thereto shall bear the facsimile signature of the chairman of the Authority. In case any officer whose signature or a facsimile of whose signature shall appear on any bonds or coupons shall cease to be such officer before the delivery of such bonds, such signature or such facsimile shall nevertheless be valid and sufficient for all purposes the same as if he had remained in office until such delivery. All bonds issued under the provisions of this article shall have and are hereby declared to have all the qualities and incidents of negotiable instruments under the negotiable instruments law of the state. The bonds may be issued in coupon or in registered form or both, as the Authority may determine, and provisions may be made for the registration of any coupon bonds as to principal and interest. The authority shall sell such bonds at public sale. Notice of the sale shall be published in a Thursday issue for two (2) successive weeks in a daily newspaper of general circulation in the State of Oklahoma. The date mentioned in the notice for the sale of bonds shall not be less than ten (10) days after the first publication thereof. All bonds shall be sold to the bidder who will bid therefor par and accrued interest, and who shall stipulate in his bid the lowest rate of interest which such bonds shall bear. It is the intent of this article that the bonds shall be awarded to the bidder bidding rate or rates of interest which will be the lowest interest cost during the life of the bonds. Any premium bid shall not be considered in figuring such interest cost but shall be considered only in case two or more bidders bid the same interest cost. Upon the acceptance of such bid, the bonds shall be issued in accordance therewith and shall be delivered to the purchaser upon payment of the purchase price. Each bidder shall submit with his bid such sum in cash or its equivalent as may be determined by the Authority, and upon the acceptance of any bid such deposit shall become the property of the Authority and shall be credited on the purchase price of the bonds, upon the understanding that if the purchaser shall fail five (5) days after the tender of bonds to pay the balance of the purchase price, said sale shall be thereby annulled and said deposit shall be in such event retained by the Authority and credited to the account for which such bonds are being issued and shall be used accordingly. All other deposits shall be returned. The Authority shall have the right to reject all bids and readvertise the bonds for sale. The bonds need not be issued and sold in series. In no event shall the bonds be sold at a price so low as to require the payment of interest on the money received therefor at more than ten percent (10%), computed with relation to the absolute maturity of the bonds in accordance with the standard tables of bond values, excluding, however, from such computation the amount of any premium to be paid on the redemption of any bonds prior to maturity.
The proceeds of the bonds of each issue shall be used solely for the payment of the cost of the project, for which such bonds shall have been issued, and shall be disbursed in such manner, and under such restrictions, if any, as the Authority may provide in the resolution authorizing the issuance of such bonds or in the trust agreement hereinafter mentioned securing the same. If the proceeds of the bonds of any issue, by error of estimates or otherwise, shall be less than such cost, additional bonds may in like manner be issued to provide the amount of such deficit, and, unless otherwise provided in the resolution authorizing the issuance of such bonds or in the trust agreement securing the same, shall be deemed to be of the same issue and shall be entitled to payment from the same fund without preference or priority of the bonds first issued. If the proceeds of the bonds of any issue shall exceed such cost, the surplus shall be deposited to the credit of the sinking fund for such bonds.
Prior to the preparation of definitive bonds, the Authority may, under like restrictions, issue interim receipts or temporary bonds, with or without coupons, exchangeable for definitive bonds when such bonds shall have been executed and are available for delivery. The Authority may also provide for the replacement of any bonds which shall become mutilated or shall be destroyed or lost. Bonds may be issued under provisions of this article without obtaining the consent of any department, division, commission, board, bureau or agency of the state except legislative approval as required herein, and without any other proceedings or the happening of any other conditions or things than those proceedings, condition, or things which are specifically required by this article.
The principal and interest necessary to retire any bonds issued by the Authority shall be paid out of the “Oklahoma Educational Television Bond Sinking Fund” hereinafter established by Section 23-111 of this article.
There is hereby created the Oklahoma Educational Television Bond Sinking Fund in the State Treasury and the State Treasurer is hereby authorized and directed to transfer revenues accruing to the Public Building Fund, not otherwise appropriated as of the date this article becomes effective, to the Oklahoma Educational Television Bond Sinking Fund to be used solely for the purpose of retiring bonds issued by the Oklahoma Educational Television Authority.
Bonds payable from future accruals to Public Building Fund cannot be issued. AG Op. No. 71-179, November 30, 1971
In the discretion of the Authority any bonds issued under the provisions of this article may be secured by a trust agreement by and between the Authority and a corporate trustee which may be any trust company or bank having the powers of a trust company within or without the state. Such trust agreement may pledge or assign the revenues to be received from the project constructed by the use of the proceeds of the bonds, but shall not convey or mortgage any project or part thereof. Such trust agreement or resolution providing for the issuance of such bonds may contain such provisions for protecting and enforcing the rights and remedies of the bondholders as may be reasonable and proper and not in violation of law, including covenants setting forth the duties of the Authority in relation to the acquisition of property and the construction, improvement, maintenance, repair, operation and insurance of the project in connection with which such bonds shall have been authorized, and the custody, safeguarding and application of all monies, and provisions for the employment of consultants or operation of such project or projects. It shall be lawful for any bank or trust company incorporated under the laws of the state which may act as depository of the proceeds of bonds or of revenues to furnish such indemnifying bonds or to pledge such securities as may be required by the Authority. Any such trust agreement may set forth the rights and remedies of the bondholders and of the trustee, and may restrict the individual right of action by bondholders as is customary in trust agreements or trust indentures securing bonds and debentures of corporations. In addition to the foregoing any such trust agreement may contain such other provisions as the Authority may deem reasonable and proper for the security of the bondholders. All expenses incurred in carrying out the provisions of such trust agreement may be treated as part of the cost of the operation of the project or projects.
The Authority, subject to the provisions hereof, is hereby authorized to fix, revise, charge and collect fees for the use of any of its facilities.
All monies received pursuant to the authority of this article, whether as proceeds from the sale of bonds or other revenues, shall be deemed to be trust funds, to be held and applied solely as provided in this article. The resolution authorizing the bonds of any issue or the trust agreement securing such bonds shall provide that any officer to whom, or any bank or trust company to which, such monies shall be paid shall act as trustee of such monies and shall hold and apply the same for the purposes hereof, subject to such regulations as this article and such resolution or trust agreement may provide.
Any holder of bonds issued under the provisions of this article or any of the coupons appertaining thereto, and the trustee under the trust agreement, except to the extent the rights herein given may be restricted by such trust agreement, may, either at law or in equity, by suit, action, mandamus or other proceeding protect and enforce any and all rights under the laws of the state or granted hereunder or under such trust agreement or the resolution authorizing the issuance of such bonds, and may enforce and compel the performance of all duties required by this article or by such trust agreement or resolution to be performed by the Authority or by any officer thereof including the fixing, charging and collecting of fees.
The exercise of the powers granted by this article will be in all respects for the benefit of the people of the state, to serve their educational and cultural interests and needs, and for the improvement of their health and living conditions. The operation and maintenance of projects by the Authority will constitute the performance of essential governmental functions, and the Authority shall not be required to pay any taxes or assessments upon any project or any property acquired or used by the Authority under the provisions of this article or upon the income therefrom, and the bonds issued under the provisions of this article, their transfer and the income therefrom, including any profit made on the sale thereof, shall at all times be free from taxation within the state.
Bonds issued under the provisions of this article are hereby made securities by which all banks, trust companies, trust and loan associations, investment companies and others carrying on a banking business, all insurance companies and insurance associations, and others carrying on an insurance business may legally and properly invest funds including capital in their control or belonging to them.
Each project when constructed and placed in use shall be maintained and kept in good condition and repair by the Authority. When all bonds issued under the provisions of this article in connection with any project and the interest thereon shall have been paid or a sufficient amount for the payment of all such bonds and the interest thereon to the maturity thereof shall have been set aside in trust for the benefit of the bondholders, such project, if then in good condition and repair to the satisfaction of the State Legislature, shall become part of the State Educational System.
All counties, cities, towns, municipalities and school districts of the state and all state boards, commissions, officials, and other public agencies, notwithstanding any contrary provision of law, are hereby authorized and empowered:
1. To lease, lend, grant or convey to the Authority at its request upon such terms and conditions as the proper authorities of such counties, cities, towns, municipalities, school districts of the state, and all state boards, commissioners, officials and other public agencies may deem reasonable and fair and without the necessity for any advertisement, order of court or other action or formality other than the regular and formal action of the authorities concerned, any personal property, real property and other things of value which may be necessary or convenient to the effectuation of the authorized purposes of the Authority, including real property already devoted to public use; and
2. To lease, rent or contract from the Authority for telecasting purposes, any programs that would be beneficial to their interest and that of the State of Oklahoma.
The Authority is hereby authorized and empowered to enter into contract with other television stations, networks or other agencies for the purpose of receiving or exchanging television programs.
The Authority is authorized in its discretion to file an application with the Supreme Court of Oklahoma for the approval of any bonds to be issued thereunder, and exclusive original jurisdiction is hereby conferred upon the Supreme Court to hear and determine each such application. It shall be the duty of the Court to consider and pass upon the applications and any protests which may be filed thereto as speedily as possible. Notice of the hearing on each application shall be given by a notice published in a newspaper of general circulation in the state that on a day named the Authority will ask the court to hear its application and approve the bonds. Such notice shall inform all persons interested that they may file protests against the issuance of the bonds and be present at the hearing and contest the legality thereof. Such notice shall be published one time not less than ten (10) days prior to the date named for the hearing and the hearing may be adjourned from time to time in the discretion of the Court. If the Court shall be satisfied that the bonds have been properly authorized in accordance with this article and that when issued, they will constitute valid obligations in accordance with their terms, the Court shall render its written opinion approving the bonds and shall fix the time within which a petition for rehearing may be filed. The decision of the Court shall be a judicial determination of the validity of the bonds, shall be conclusive as to the Authority, its officers and agents, and thereafter the bonds so approved and the revenues pledged to their payment shall be incontestible in any court in the State of Oklahoma.
The Authority is hereby authorized to provide by resolution for the issuance of revenue refunding bonds of the Authority for the purpose of refunding any bonds then outstanding which shall have been issued under the provisions of this article, including the payment of any redemption premium thereon and any interest accrued or to accrue to the date of redemption of such bonds. Each refunding issue shall be limited to the project in connection with which the bonds being refunded were issued, and revenues pledged to pay any such refunding issue shall be limited to the revenue derived from said separate project. The issuance of such bonds, the maturities and other details thereof, the rights of the holders thereof, and the rights, duties and obligations of the Authority in respect of the same shall be governed by the provisions of this article insofar as the same may be applicable.
The Authority shall make and submit to the Legislature, on or before December 31 of each year, a full report showing projects under construction and in operation, planned projects, and the financial condition of the Authority, and such other information as the Legislature shall require.
The foregoing sections of this article shall be deemed to provide an additional and alternative method for the doing of the things authorized thereby, and shall be regarded as supplemental and additional to powers conferred by other laws, and shall not be regarded as in derogation of any 398 powers now existing; provided, however, that the issuance of revenue bonds or revenue refunding bonds under the provisions of this article need not comply with the requirements of any other law applicable to the issuance of bonds.
This article being necessary for the advancement of education and the welfare of the state and its inhabitants shall be liberally construed to effect the purposes thereof; provided that until specifically authorized by the Legislature the provisions of this article shall not be utilized in any other manner.
Purchases made by the Oklahoma Educational Television Authority from sources other than state-appropriated funds for the acquisition of television programs shall be excluded from the provisions of Title 74, Section 85.7 of “The Oklahoma Central Purchasing Act”. The said Authority is hereby authorized to make such purchases against special authorization orders submitted to, approved and encumbered by, the Director of State Finance. Contracts for the purchase of television programs entered into by the Oklahoma Educational Television Authority and charged against a special authorization order as herein provided shall be maintained as a permanent record of the Authority for a period of not less than three (3) years after liquidation of the contract.