OKDHS employees breathed a sigh of relief recently as Director Howard Hendrick briefed employees on the budget situation. “I do not intend to recommend the previously proposed July 16th start of an agency-wide furlough plan,” Director Hendrick said in his June 4th e-mail to OKDHS employees.
Hendrick cautioned against false optimism as the budget situation for OKDHS is tenuous at best. “Projected revenues for 2011 could fail as they did in 2010. Since we don’t know what will happen, we can’t take furoughs completely off the table during the upcoming fiscal year.”
OPEA applauded the announcement but also expressed concerns about the budget situation. “We are certainly pleased that the furlough situation is lessoned by the budget agreement,” said OPEA Executive Director Sterling Zearley. “I believe that OKDHS and OPEA worked very well together in achieving an appropriations level that is manageable if the state revenue picture holds.”