A bill proposed to name an Oklahoma highway after President Donald Trump is forging ahead in the Oklahoma state legislature after it passed a state Senate committee on Tuesday.
Sen. Nathan Dahm (R-Broken Arrow) and Sen. Marty Guinn (R-Claremore)— the bill’s sponsors— want to rename a 20-mile stretch of highway on Highway 287 from Boise City to the Oklahoma/Texas state border, calling it the “President Donald J. Trump Highway.”
Dahm says he wants to rename the highway partly because of the high voter turnout in that area for Trump. But some senators are wondering whether the move is legal, because of laws that state that buildings and highways should only be named after the deceased after a number of years.
“It’s my understanding that we have some clear guidelines as to how bridges and highways can be named based on individuals that have been deceased not less than three years,” said Senator Carri Hicks (D-Oklahoma City).
“When I look at the statute I cannot get my arms around how this is legal according to state statute that clearly says a person must be deceased at least three years, said Sen. Bill Coleman (R-Ponca City). And I watched the Daytona 500 Sunday and he looked to be alive and kicking quite well.”
Dahm responded that the three-year rule does not apply to this bill, adding other presidents had things named after them while they were still alive.
“When President Obama was in office there were several roads and highways that were named for him while he was in office in addition to schools that were named after him. Even different animals and insects as they were discovered that were named for him while he was in office as well,” Dahm replied.
The senators who sponsored the bill initially wanted to name a portion of Route 66 after Trump but changed their minds after receiving backlash from the community.