OKLAHOMA CITY – Sen. Frank Simpson said he was relieved that the Senate unanimously passed legislation Tuesday to protect vital services and programs at the Department of Human Services (DHS). The Springer Republican presented House Bill 1058X, which outlines priority spending for the upcoming fiscal year for the agency
“This was a critical bill that we needed to get to the governor’s desk to protect our elderly, disabled and other vulnerable Oklahomans as well as continuing assisting foster and adoptive families,” said Simpson. “Even though our state is facing dire financial problems, our first and foremost responsibility is to our most vulnerable citizens. Without these programs, many elderly and disabled citizens would risk going hungry and becoming homeless and foster kids would remain in state care rather than finding their forever families. The legislature has a moral responsibility to protect these Oklahomans and I’m proud that this bill was passed quickly and unanimously in both chambers.”
HB1058X provides legislative intent that DHS fully fund the Advantage Home and Community-based Waiver Program, Money Follows the Person, Homeward Bound Waiver, In-home Supports, Intensive In-home Service, Advantage Waiver, Personal Care and state-funded community residential and vocational services within DHS, Adult Day Services, foster care, residential, group home care and adoption subsidy rates, and the Senior Nutrition Program at original FY-18 funding levels; taking into account restoration of funds.
The measure also provides legislative intent that services to clients and provider rates for stated programs not be reduced below contracted rates in effect at the beginning of FY-18; taking into account restoration of funds.