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"Catastrophic Cuts" Coming to Oklahoma Department of Human Services


AsTexas grapples with pervasive troubles in its foster care system, Oklahoma looks to be trying to match its neighbor to the south. The Oklahoma Department of Human Services warned this week of catastrophic cuts. The department is expecting to lose up to $150 million from next year's budget, reports KOTV. Human Services is only the latest casualty of Oklahoma’s staggering $1.3 billion budget gap, which has left schools, state parks and hospitals reeling.

DHS may have to close some offices, lay off workers, increase fees and cut programs that help the elderly, disabled and parents. The new cuts come on top of 1,200 welfare positions that DHS has already cut over the past two years. Not only is the state budget gap hurting the agency, but DHS’s own budget has been increasing. Helping children will cost DHS $46 million more next year.