Last year the Legislature funded an academy for cadets for the first time in three years. This needs to continue. Thompson's request for an additional $7 million next year merits serious consideration.
So too does Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Eric Pfeifer's warning that without a new building in Oklahoma City, the medical examiner's office won't regain its national accreditation. Additional pathologists are also needed, but the biggest issue is the cramped and outdated building, where last year a cooler broke down and cadavers had to be stored temporarily in refrigeration trucks.
A bond issue is the perfect vehicle to pay for construction of a new building, but conservative lawmakers have rejected that idea over misguided concerns about adding to the state's debt. Many fail to grasp, or simply refuse to acknowledge, the difference between responsible investment in infrastructure, which a bond issue would be, and irresponsible deficit spending such as that seen in Washington.
All three of these agency requests deserve serious deliberation driven by pragmatism, not ideology.
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