Oklahoma Human Services Director Seeks $33 Million

Feb 24, 2014

DHS Director Ed Lake
Credit DHS

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The director of Oklahoma's Department of Human Services is asking lawmakers to appropriate almost $33 million in state tax dollars to operate the agency through the end of June.

DHS director Ed Lake discussed the agency's supplemental funding request Monday at a meeting of the House Appropriations and Budget Subcommittee on Human Services.

Lake says the funding problems involve salaries for child welfare specialists, rate increases for family foster care, a funding shortfall for child welfare service positions and the growth in the number of children in DHS custody.

Lake says the state funding can be used to leverage about $17 million in federal funds.

The chairman of the budget panel, Republican Rep. Jason Nelson of Oklahoma City, says the state's current revenue situation will make the request "very difficult."