June 26, 2015

Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse

Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (ODMHSAS) Executive Director Terri White said individuals currently receiving services will not lose those services over the next fiscal year. The board unanimously approved the 2016 fiscal year budget at Friday’s meeting.

ODMHSAS is one of only eight state agencies that received an increase in state appropriations for the 2016 fiscal year in comparison to FY2015, from $338.6 million to $340.6 million, or a 0.6 percent increase.

Due to some unexpected federal funds and a few other changes, White said the agency will not cut services to those individuals who currently receive them.
 

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June 26, 2015

A new law going into effect July 1 will allow

A new law going into effect July 1 will allow counties to more fully negotiate spending on road and bridge projects that extend across county lines.

Rep. Randy Grau, R-Edmond, gave an example of a project on Waterloo Road between Oklahoma County and Logan County, a road that is “very important” to both counties. Oklahoma County, Grau said, has more than 15 times the population of Logan County, with much more money in its coffers.

In the past, funding for a project between the counties would have had to be split 50-50. “Well, that doesn’t work out so well when Oklahoma County says, ‘OK, we need to make this four-lane asphalt’ and Logan County, under the law, would be forced to pay exactly half of that,” Grau said.

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June 25, 2015

Board of Education unanimously approved the 2016 f

The State Board of Education unanimously approved the 2016 fiscal year budget for the State Department of Education, one of few state agencies held harmless in 2016 fiscal year state appropriations, at Thursday’s meeting.

The amounts detailed in the FY2016 budget are for the financial support of public schools, textbooks and instructional materials, Flexible Benefit Allowance (FBA), the support of public school activities and the administrative and support functions.

The FY2015 and FY2016 state appropriation of $2.48 billion had only one major shift in funds of $8.7 million from the support of public school activities to the FBA, a state paid statutory benefit for covering the cost of health insurance over a 12-month period.

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June 25, 2015

Career Technology Education will reduce $5.8

The Oklahoma Department of Career Technology Education will reduce $5.8 million in funding to the field as a result of recent budget cuts, said the agency’s Chief Financial Officer Jim Aulgur at Thursday’s board meeting.

The agency received a 3.5 percent cut to their 2016 fiscal year state appropriations compared to FY15, a total of about $4.85 million. Monies were also reconciled from CareerTech’s revolving fund, $2 million, creating a total loss of $6.85 million or 4.9 percent.

Aulgur said 85 percent of the agency’s funds are applied directly to the field, in classrooms and centers all over the state, and 15 percent is used to cover administrative costs and skills centers. In staying true to that formula, 85 percent or $5.8 million was reduced from the field and $807,333 to the agency and skills centers.

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June 25, 2015

Workers’ Compensation Commission gave its approv

The Workers’ Compensation Commission gave its approval Thursday to a $6.5 million 2016 fiscal year budget Wednesday and agreed to further delay implementation of its Electronic Data Interchange Program.

The bulk of the commission’s FY2016 funding -- $5 million – will come from a portion of premiums paid to the Multiple Injury Trust Fund. The money was apportioned to the commission in HB2238. That differs from FY2015, the current fiscal year that ends Tuesday, when the agency received a direct appropriation of $2.7 million from the Legislature.

Interim Executive Director Kim Bailey said the remaining $1.5 million will come from fees generated by the commission.
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June 25, 2015

Workers’ Compensation Commission named Kim Baile

The Workers’ Compensation Commission named Kim Bailey as its new executive director during a meeting Thursday.

Bailey becomes the commission’s second executive director, succeeding Rick Farmer. Farmer announced in May he was resigning the post effective July 2.

Bailey, an assistant attorney general, had served as the commission’s general counsel under a contract with the Attorney General’s Office prior to taking a leave-of-absence from that office earlier this month to serve as interim executive director for the commission.
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