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Oklahoma Department Of Human Services Requests Supplemental Funding

Oklahoma Department of Human Services Director Ed Lake.
Public Radio Tulsa
Oklahoma Department of Human Services Director Ed Lake.

The head of Oklahoma’s social safety net agency requested lawmakers provide an additional $45.8 million in supplemental funding for the current fiscal years.

Department of Human Services director Ed Lake told House members at a budget hearing on Monday that the additional money is needed to fund the Developmental Disability Services Medicaid home and community based waiver program, according to eCapitol. Funds would also go toward the Pinnacle Plan and an adoption subsidy shortfall, according to eCapitol.

In addition, Lake requested a Fiscal Year 2018 budget of $766.5 million. The appropriation for the current fiscal year is $651.5 million.

Lake’s budget request comes amidst a projected $900 million shortfall in the Oklahoma state budget. Lake said DHS is dealing with a rise in child welfare costs, fewer federal dollars for the Medicaid program, the loss of federal grants, and a decrease in state appropriations.

"We're a service agency but I think we're also realists. We understand given the size of DHS that there's always an expectation that there's something we can do to reduce our budget," he said. "And that's what we've been doing over the last three years."


In past years, Lake says DHS cut non-core program, reduced out-of-state travel, consolidated offices, requested landlords reduce rent, and reduced the number of employees by 680. Lake says DHS also reduced provider waiver rates by 3.5 percent for the Advantage Waiver, as well as for the disability services waiver, according to eCapitol.


Jacob McCleland spent nine years as a reporter and host at public radio station KRCU in Cape Girardeau, Mo. His stories have appeared on NPR’s Morning Edition and All Things Considered, Here & Now, Harvest Public Media and PRI’s The World. Jacob has reported on floods, disappearing languages, crop duster pilots, anvil shooters, Manuel Noriega, mule jumps and more.
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