Oklahoma Health Department submits plan for budget cuts

Oklahoma Health Department submits plan for budget cuts

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Oklahoma State Department of Health has proposed large budget cuts through layoffs and program cuts.

The Oklahoman reports that the proposal would cut the department's budget by about $17.8 million, twice the amount the Legislature demanded. The plan would lay off nearly 200 employees and could end grants to child-abuse prevention programs and health centers.

Department officials acknowledged in October that the department was struggling to make payroll.

The Legislature gave the department $30 million to help stabilize the situation. But it also required the department to create a corrective plan and cut its budget by 15 percent, or $8 million, by July 2019.

The State Auditor's Office, a grand jury and federal officials are investigating the department for alleged overspending and shifting of money.