The Oklahoma Department of Health has announced that it will lay off almost 200 employees, in an attempt to clean up the mess that it wrought during last year’s financial scandal, in which the department acknowledged that it had overspent and mismanaged millions of dollars.
To correct the budget woes, the Health Department may also end grants that support child abuse prevention programs and health centers throughout Oklahoma. A grand jury is currently investigating the financial debacle.
Gov. Mary Fallin has signed a bill that put $30 million toward stabilizing the beleaguered agency. State lawmakers also required the department to submit a corrective plan by Jan. 1 and demanded that the department cut its budget by 15 percent. In response, the agency submitted a plan that slashed the budget by double the requested amount. That plan includes the proposed 200 layoffs, which are expected to save $10 million in the department budget.