Life-changing decisions

Planned budget cuts and adjustments may have been thrown another wrench courtesy of a bill approved by Oklahoma state lawmakers on the last day of session.

Senate Bill 694 spells out how the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (OKDHS) is to use its entire $2.2 billion budget (including $651.5 million in state-appropriated funds).

Section 3 of SB694 states OKDHS should fully fund several waiver programs, including the In-Home Supports Waiver (IHSW), “with all of the state, federal, and other existing financial resources available to the Department, including increasing state funds to make up for the loss of Federal FMAP funds so that total spending in FY-2017 is no less than FY-2016.”

Entrance sign at Dale Rogers Training Center
Dale Rogers Training Center

OKDHS announced plans to offset some of the $27 million reduction from FY16 levels by cutting $11 million from the IHSW. Slashing the IHSW would impact 31 of the families served through Dale Rogers Training Center’s (DRTC) programs at its main campus in Oklahoma City and dozens of other agencies across the state.

While both SB694 and SB1616 (appropriations bill for FY17) passed and now await Governor Mary Fallin’s signature, OKDHS is still faced with deciding how to fund its programs.

If OKDHS eliminates the IHSW, there will be no funding for 24% of the individuals participating in DRTC’s programs to come to the nonprofit agency and be contributing, tax-paying citizens.

An individual works on a subcontracting project in DRTC's Vocational Services Program.
An individual works on a subcontracting project in DRTC’s Vocational Services Program.

In DHS’ own words, reducing/eliminating the IHSW “could risk individual’s ability to remain at home, requiring 24-hour skilled nursing care.” Skilled nursing is far more expensive and moves people with disabilities toward segregated environments rather than toward federally mandated community integration.

Your advocacy is still needed

TAKE ACTION NOW!

Call/email DHS Director Ed Lake at 1-877-751-2972 or email inforeferral@okdhs.org

Tell Director Lake to provide services for persons with disabilities who live at home through the In-Home Support Waiver!

Dale Rogers Training Center (DRTC) is the oldest and largest community vocational training and employment center for people with disabilities in Oklahoma. With multiple locations in Oklahoma, DRTC trains or employs more than 1,100 people with disabilities per year. Visit us online: DRTC.org

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s