ODMHSAS present FY22 budget requests

The House Appropriations and Budget Subcommittee on Health hosted a day-long series of budget hearings Wednesday, January 20, 2021, at which the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (ODMHSAS) outlined its FY 22 Budget Request.

by Tyler Talley, eCapitol

ODMHSAS Commissioner Carrie Slatton-Hodges broke down her agency’s almost $314.4 million dollar appropriations request to maintain the current level of services it offers, which actually represents a 6.1 percent decrease from its FY2021 appropriation. A key reason for the decrease is the agency expects to save an estimated $29.9 million due to Medicaid expansion.

Should the agency be kept flat, however, Slatton-Hodges provided proposals on how to best reinvest those dollars left on the table, namely funding a statewide, evidence-based crisis system. Included in that plan, she continued, would include contracting with a private company for an estimated $2 million to transport individuals in mental crises in certain situations as opposed to police officers per recently filed legislation.