Oklahoma agencies notified of cuts as no state budget deal reached
OKLAHOMA CITY (KOKH) —
Allocations three state agencies were supposed to receive Tuesday, will not arrive. They were notified they by the Oklahoma Office of Management and Enterprise Services.
A total of $215 million to be allocated to three health agencies, became null and void due to a State Supreme Court decision. The court ruled lawmakers passed an unconstitutional tax on cigarettes during the last day of the regular session in May.
The Oklahoma Legislature was convened to a special session on September 25 to address the budget issue. Lawmakers met for a few hours at the Capitol, before the session was put on pause on September 27 so leaders work behind the scenes to reach a budget agreement.
With no budget agreement still, the Department of Human Services, Oklahoma Health Care Authority and Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services could lose their entire appropriations.
For DHS, that adds up to about $69 million. The OHCA would lost $70 million. Mental Health Services would lose $75 million.
"DHS leaders are currently working on calculations and timelines for reductions to meet balanced budget requirements. We will make an announcement as soon as those plans are finalized," a DHS spokesperson released in a statement.
"In order to comply with the OMES request and transparency requirements, the agency has announced potential provider rate reductions should no additional revenues be found," the OHCA said in a statement.
Mental health and substance abuse providers called the budget cuts devastating.