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Oklahoma human services director seeks $33 million

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ The director of Oklahoma's Department of Human Services is asking lawmakers to appropriate almost $33 million in state tax dollars to operate the agency through the end of June.

DHS director Ed Lake will discuss the supplemental funding request on Monday at a meeting of the House Appropriations and Budget Subcommittee on Human Services.

In a letter to state officials, Lake says the agency has encountered several funding problems since the 2013 legislative session, when lawmakers approved the agency's budget for the fiscal that ends June 30.

The issues involve salaries for child welfare specialists, rate increases for family foster care, a funding shortfall for child welfare service positions and the growth in the number of children in DHS custody.

Including federal funds, the agency request totals about $49.6 million.

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