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Bill Would Affect Care for Severely Disabled (May 18, 2011)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Oklahoma House has passed a bill requiring the Department of Human Services to develop a plan to change or discontinue operations at two state-operated facilities that care for about 250 severely disabled residents.

The bill passed 52-48 Wednesday and now heads to the Senate.

It requires DHS to submit a plan to the Legislature by Jan. 1. Supporters say the measure includes input from the families and guardians of residents and employees of the Enid and Pauls Valley facilities.

But Republican state Rep. Doug Cox of Grove says DHS has already made the decision to close the facilities.

The Senate sponsor, Republican Sen. Patrick Anderson, says he expects the department to consider moving residents into residential-style group homes operated by private contractors.

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