Legislature Mulls $34 Million Funding Infusion For DHS

Monday, March 27th 2017, 11:25 am
By: News 9

The Oklahoma Legislature is considering a bill to immediately provide $34 million in funding to the Department of Human Services to prevent worker furloughs and provider rate cuts.

A bill is scheduled for a hearing Monday that would tap about $30 million from the state's Unclaimed Property Fund and another $4 million from the Rainy Day Fund. The money would be used to fund programs for the elderly and developmentally disabled.

Amid budget shortfalls in recent years, Oklahoma lawmakers have increasingly looked at one-time funding sources, like the Unclaimed Property Fund and Rainy Day Fund, to help fill the gaps.

Oklahoma's DHS Director Ed Lake warned lawmakers before the session that without the immediate infusion of funding, his agency would be forced to furlough workers or cut provider rates.