Lowry signs bills to vote on medical examiner, expand higher education center

SPOKANE - Gov. Mike Lowry today signed into law Senate Bill 6226, which allows counties with populations over 250,000 to vote on whether to have an elected coroner or an appointed medical examiner. Six counties in the state are affected by this legislation, including Clark and Spokane, which both favored the bill.

"This gives county residents a choice about the functions of local government," Lowry said. "In some jurisdictions, autonomy is desired among government officials, but in other cases, voters may wish to have a single elected body choose the stewards of various departments. This bill gives voters that choice."

SB 6226 allows qualified county legislative authorities to place on the ballot a motion to switch from an elected coroner to an appointed medical examiner. A medical examiner must be a certified forensic pathologist or qualified physician able to take the forensic pathology exam within a year of appointment. A coroner does not need to be a qualified pathologist. During the recent legislative session, the bill passed the House 94-0 and the Senate 35-14.

The governor also signed into law House Bill 2637, which expands the board of the Joint Center for Higher Education. The center promotes higher education services in the Spokane area and coordinates higher education programs at the Riverpoint Higher Education park. The center also oversees the multi-institutional Spokane Intercollegiate Research and Technology Institute. The bill passed both houses unanimously.

Gov. Lowry also signed into law SB 6441, which requires that nonresident pharmacies include the expiration date of medication on all prescription container labels for prescriptions that are shipped, mailed or otherwise delivered to Washington residents. The bill enhances consumer protection in the rapidly expanding field of mail-order pharmacies. This bill passed both houses unanimously.


For more information, contact the Governor's Communications Office at 360-753-6790.