OKLAHOMA CITY – Sen. Paul Rosino, R-Oklahoma City, and Rep. Mark Lawson, R-Sapulpa, announced Monday that Oklahoma had reached an important milestone. For the first time since 2009, the number of people receiving developmental disabilities services exceeds the number of people on the waitlist.
Rosino is the chair of the Senate’s Health and Human Services Committee, and vice chair of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services. He said as of Monday, Dec. 20, there were 5,531 people receiving services, compared to 5,499 on the waitlist.
“This is an important turning point on behalf of thousands of Oklahomans and their families who’ve been waiting for services,” Rosino said. “The hard work and dedication of the Legislature, by the Department of Human Services, and Secretary of Human Services and Early Childhood Initiatives, Justin Brown, has been focused on making sure our most vulnerable citizens receive the assistance they need. I can assure you, that effort will continue to be a priority for me, Representative Lawson, and our fellow members here at the Capitol.”
In September, the state began case-by-case assessments to determine individual needs and the costs of getting thousands of Oklahomans on the waitlist the services they need, including providing service navigation to connect them immediately to services already available.
Lawson is the chair of the House Appropriations and Budget Subcommittee on Human Services.
"This milestone marks a significant achievement in our efforts to assist the many Oklahomans who have been wait-listed for years," Lawson said. "The services offered by the Oklahoma Department of Human Services ensure that people with developmental disabilities have every resource at their disposal so they can live their best possible lives. While we celebrate this milestone, we know there remains several thousand Oklahomans still waiting for assistance, and I am committed to working with Senator Rosino and Secretary Brown to get the waitlist down to zero."
For more information, contact: Sen. Paul Rosino at 405-521-5618 or email Paul.Rosino@oksenate.gov or Rep. Mark Lawson at 405-557-7414, or email Mark.Lawson@okhouse.gov.