Special to The Sun
State Rep. Randy Grau will continue to emphasize government efficiency and accountability when he kicks off his third-term re-election campaign in two weeks to speak for District 81, he said.
Progress in bringing the Office of Chief Medical Examiner to the campus of the University of Central Oklahoma will be a priority, said Grau, R-Edmond.
The state Supreme Court in September ruled to allow plans to proceed, clearing the final legal hurdle for $38 million in bonds to be released with the Master Lease Program during a 30-year period.
“Now that we have all the green lights, we need to make sure we do not lose the momentum of actually getting the building built,” said Grau, assistant majority floor leader in the Oklahoma House of Representatives.
The ME’s office lost its accreditation with the National Association of Medical Examiners in 2009 and fired two chief medical examiners in two years. The association issued a report noting the deficiencies result from an inadequate staff due to a lack of funding. Also, the agency’s equipment and facilities are obsolete, the association’s report stated.
“Unfortunately because of the delay with legal challenges, I do not think the bond rates are as good now as they were,” said Grau, 38. “And, so there may be some need to go back and analyze the cost to see if we do need to supplement the funding.”
Work at the medical examiner’s office continues as best as it can in the current facility, located on the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center campus at 901 N. Stonewall in Oklahoma City, Grau said. A groundbreaking time for construction at UCO has not been set as legislators from all across the state are motivated to proceed, Grau said.
“They hear from their constituents just like I hear from mine about how difficult it is for the medical examiner’s office to do their job in the current facility,” Grau said. There are aspects of grieving families with procedural delays and the integrity of criminal justice to consider.
“It’s a state-wide issue and I think the legislators recognize that,” Grau said. “The legislative will is there to finally get this thing done.”
Grau’s goal has been to get things done at the state Capitol since he was first elected. Gov. Mary Fallin has signed 25 of his bills since voters first elected him to office in 2010.
Among his reforms, Grau has helped to streamline duplicative boards and commissions in county government, the judicial branch and agencies as a whole, he said. Grau sponsored one of the main pieces of the state’s overhaul of Workers Compensation this past session. He has been a supporter of improving the state’s roads and bridges, he added.
Grau has worked to repeal a lot of unnecessary and outdated laws as a member of the Administrative Rules, Government Oversight and Repealer Committee.
“I enjoy that because again I’m looking at analyzing, approving administrative rules to ensure that our agencies aren’t making up their own legislation,” Grau said.
Grau is married to Dr. Renee Grau, a dermatologist. They have two sons, ages 5 and 2.
TO LEARN more about state Rep. Randy Grau, go to http://www.okhouse.gov/District.aspx?District=81.