Powell blames both the Legislature and Governor for mental health cuts


Powell blames both the Legislature and Governor for mental health cuts

In the wake of unprecedented cuts to mental health services by the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services announced by Commissioner Terri White, leading Libertarian gubernatorial candidate Chris Powell placed the blame squarely on state legislative leaders and Gov. Fallin.  

“No one in the state Capitol has been willing to prioritize spending and eliminate vast swathes of crony capitalism by ending special interest tax credits and subsidies in order to plug the budget holes.  Instead they settled on an illegal cigarette fee.”  Powell said.  “That led directly to the shortfalls at ODMHSAS, the Oklahoma Healthcare Authority, and the Dept. of Human Services.  And still no one at 23rd and Lincoln is calling for cutting the hundreds of millions of dollars in incentives, or seriously considering using funds from the Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust which holds over $1 billion, or coming up with any plan at all.”

Powell pointed out that the effects will go beyond just those receiving services.  As those individuals have mental health issues of varying magnitude, inpatient services providers and first responders will be put under greater pressure and the general public will be needlessly placed at greater risk.  Powell went on to say that “It’s no wonder that there is little confidence in the Governor or either of the establishment parties to solve these problems, as no one is willing to either compromise with each other or find any non-essential spending to cut.  Waste, legal graft, and unnecessary spending must be cut now to fill the gap created by the foolish reliance on the illegal cigarette fee.”