Oklahoma Speaker removes budget committee chair

The Associated Press and The Oklahoman - July 19, 2017 10:49 am

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) – The Oklahoma House Appropriations and Budget Committee chair has been removed a day after she and two other lawmakers publicly disagreed with the House speaker on cuts by the state Department of Human Services.

A spokesman for Republican Speaker Charles McCall said Tuesday that McCall decided to replace Republican Leslie Osborn after a private conversation with Osborn.

Spokesman Jason Sutton said it “has nothing to do” with her comments about spending cuts. GOP Rep. Kevin Wallace will replace Osborn as committee chair.

On Friday, McCall questioned why DHS would cut $30 million in services after receiving a $53 million budget increase. On Monday, Osborn and two other GOP lawmakers said they’re concerned over what they consider a “mischaracterization” of the cuts and said rising costs have outpaced budget increases.

Osborn issued a statement saying she is “disheartened,” but will continue to work to provide leadership and improve Oklahoma.

 

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