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Bills to Overhaul Okla. DHS Approved by House (May 23, 2012)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - The House has approved measures to allow Oklahoma voters to decide whether to abolish the commission that oversees the Department of Human Services and grant the governor more power to influence the agency.

The House voted 80-7 on Tuesday for a resolution seeking a statewide vote on whether to do away with the Commission for Human Services. It also approved a measure that would give the governor the authority to appoint the DHS director, with Senate confirmation.

That bill would also create four separate advisory panels to oversee four key agency divisions: child welfare, developmental disabilities services, aging services, and administration.

Opponents argued lawmakers are granting too much power to the governor, but supporters say the change will result in more accountability to an agency operating under an outdated system.


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