Local & Regional
Tue May 15, 2012
State Lawmakers Propose Overhaul of Oklahoma DHS
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — State lawmakers are proposing a major overhaul of the Oklahoma Department of Human Services that includes abolishing the agency's current governing board and replacing it with four separate advisory panels, each charged with overseeing a different agency division.
House Speaker Kris Steele unveiled the proposals on Monday with members of a House working group that has been studying the agency since the state settled a multi-million dollar lawsuit over how Oklahoma cares for vulnerable children.
Among the changes is a resolution seeking a statewide vote on whether to abolish the current Commission for Human Services, a nine-member, constitutionally created board that has overseen the agency for more than 70 years.
Lawmakers also want to streamline administration in the agency's child-welfare division and require additional training for child-welfare workers.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.