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Oklahoma lawmakers approve $23.3 million for mental health

The Associated Press - November 2, 2017 2:36 pm

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) – Legislation that appropriates $23.3 million to Oklahoma’s mental health agency is headed to Gov. Mary Fallin’s desk to be signed into law.

The measure received final approval in the state Senate on Wednesday. It’s the first measure to pass both chambers of the Legislature after six weeks of a special legislative session to fill a $215 million hole in the state budget created when the Oklahoma Supreme Court invalidated a $1.50-per-pack cigarette fee passed by lawmakers earlier this year.

The measure appropriates $23.3 million to the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services from the constitutional Rainy Day Reserve Fund, leaving a balance of about $70 million in the fund.

Mental health spokesman Jeff Dismukes tells The Oklahoman the agency needs another $52 million to avoid devastating services cuts.

 

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