SQ 765 would revamp Oklahoma's troubled DHS

By JUSTIN JUOZAPAVICIUS
Associated Press

TULSA, Okla. (AP) - A November ballot issue proposes to restructure power and accountability at Oklahoma's troubled Department of Human Services.

Supporters of State Question 765 say the measure would shift oversight and power to the governor's office, which would be responsible for appointing the agency's director with the consent of the Oklahoma Senate.

But some opponents say the measure goes too far in trying to fix past problems and worry that consistency at the 7,000-employee agency would be hard to attain if DHS directors serve only as long as a governor's term lasts.

The proposed ballot issue comes after years of strife at the agency, which has endured a string of high-profile child abuse cases and a class-action lawsuit that accused the agency's employees of being of overworked and poorly managed.

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