OKLAHOMA CITY — Funding to pay for a new $42 million State Medical Examiner’s Office will be included in the upcoming budget.
State Senator Clark Jolley said lawmakers have reached an agreement to allocate additional money to pay for the new facility.
Sen. Jolley said the M.E.’s Office will receive an additional $2.5 million over the agency’s standard budget.
According to Sen. Jolley, lawmakers increased the budget by an additional $1 million last year and $1.5 million this year.
The University of Central Oklahoma plans to build the new facility on the campus in Edmond.
Officials said UCO will use bond money to pay for the building.
The $2.5 million in state money will then be used to pay off the bond.
In a written statement released last week, Sen. Jolley said “I believe constructing this much-needed facility for the Medical Examiner’s Office holds tremendous potential for the public, for law enforcement and for education.”
The state funding doesn’t guarantee that this project will move forward.
State Sen. Patrick Anderson has requested that the Office of the Oklahoma Attorney General take a look at this proposal.
Sen. Anderson doesn’t believe the bond money through UCO can be used to build a state agency.
“They (bonds) have always been paid for by fees or tuition by the colleges. With the Medical Examiner’s Office, there is no funding source for that other than an appropriation coming from the state legislature, so they are going to build it first and then ask for us to come and make the payments,” Sen. Anderson, R-Enid, said.
A spokesperson for the Attorney General said they are currently looking at the proposal and hope to have an answer as soon as possible.