Oklahoma’s public health lab needs more funding to continue
The Associated Press and The Oklahoman - February 2, 2017 2:46 pm
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) – A state health leader has warned lawmakers that without legislative action, Oklahoma’s public health laboratory will not only lose accreditation, but it will also close.
The Oklahoman reports that State Health Commissioner Terry Cline told a group of lawmakers at a budget hearing Tuesday that his agency will need the Legislature to approve a 20-year bond for $58.5 million. He also requested $632,000 to pay the interest of the bond.
Each year, the public health lab processes thousands of newborn screenings. It’s the only facility in Oklahoma that tests for rabies and drug-resistant strains of tuberculosis. The health lab also responds to public health emergencies and can quickly test for serious health threats.
The agency was appropriated $54.9 million in state funds during the 2017 fiscal year, which is a 27 percent reduction since 2009.
Information from The Oklahoman, http://www.newsok.com