DHS Faces House Committee over Budget

The Oklahoma Department of Human Services provided testimony concerning its budget to the House Appropriations and Budget Subcommittee on Human Services, on Thursday.

According to the Office of State Finance, OKDHS received $420.9 million in state appropriations for FY2010 and $500.1 million in FY2011.

OKDHS Chief Financial Officer, Phil Motley told the committee the budget situation could hurt federal funding. Motley explained the OKDHS budget is largely supported by matching funds from the federal government for many programs.

According to Motley, there is an even greater need for state funding because of the current economic condition.

Motley told the committee there is a record number of individuals who are participating in programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps. DHS set another record in December 2010 with 615,664 participants during the month, an increase of 1,750 over the November numbers.

This money goes directly into communities in Oklahoma making its way into the private sector and creating jobs.

“There is a high multiplier effect with the benefits people receive in these communities,” said Motley.

The agency will make a similar presentation to the Senate Health and Human Services Budget Subcommittee next week.

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