Health Department asks legislators for less money
The Associated Press - December 4, 2019 11:16 am
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) – The Oklahoma State Department of Health has asked state officials for less money in its proposed budget.
Oklahoma Commissioner of Health Gary Cox asked legislators on Monday to decrease his agency’s funding by 1.5%.
The Oklahoman reports that the current state budget allocates $60.8 million to the department. Cox says he needs $56.2 million for fiscal 2021.
Cox says he aims to minimize administrative costs and maximize services. He added that he will eliminate unnecessary jobs and combine employee duties. He also notes that he plans to add nurses and other positions to work at local health departments.
Lawmakers grilled Cox during Monday’s budget hearing, saying his proposal is confusing and counterintuitive because the public needs the funds.
Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt appointed Cox in September to lead the department.