Edmond leaders have been pushing for years to build the new medical examiner's office on the University of Central Oklahoma campus across the street from the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation's forensic laboratory. The nationally recognized Forensic Science Institute also is on the Edmond campus. Leaders would like to make Edmond a forensic science hub.
The Legislature in 2010 approved moving the medical examiner's office to Edmond, but provided no funding for the move.
UCO officials have come up with a plan to sell bonds through the state regents' master lease program to construct the building on the campus. A House committee last year decided not to kill the idea, meaning there is hope state leaders can nail down the funding for a new office.
Rep. Randy McDaniel, R-Edmond, said, “We will try to find solutions. Whatever it takes, we need to get that done.”
Rep. Randy Grau, R-Edmond, said “I see more political will, since my time there, to get that done.”
Several of the legislators were encouraged with leadership changes this session which they think will open the doors for the two houses to work together.
“I am confident that the senate and house will work together much better than they did last year,” Johnson said. “It was kind of two ships passing in the night at times last year.”
The most enthusiastic response from the crowd came as Grau told about his crusade this session to get unnecessary laws off the books.
“I call it low-hanging fruit,” Grau said as the chambers members clapped. “Someone said it is dead wood.”