Governor to ask lawmakers for more money for mental health
BY BARBARA HOBEROCK World Capitol Bureau
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
OKLAHOMA CITY – Gov. Mary Fallin said Wednesday she will ask lawmakers for $16 million to pay for more mental health services.
Fallin and legislative leaders spoke to reporters in advance of her Feb. 4 state-of-the-state address to a joint session of the Oklahoma Legislature.
The governor said the funds will go to strengthen and expand services provided by the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services.
The funds will be used to build a third crisis center. Funds last year were provided to build two, she said.
She is seeking more funding for services for children with emotional problems, she said.
In addition, more needs to be done to prevent depression, suicide and prescription drug abuse, Fallin said.
Fallin said she will also propose a modest reduction in the state's income tax to be paid for with growth revenue. The measure will not be tied to a revenue trigger or the elimination of tax credits and economic incentives, she said.
Democratic legislative leaders, however, vowed to oppose any tax cut proposal until funding to core services, such as education, was increased.