Oklahoma City, OK 73105
For Immediate Release: November 5, 2009
Sen. Debbe Leftwich
Sen. Leftwich Outraged by DHS Raises; Applauds
for Shining Light on Agency Action
State Sen. Debbe
Leftwich said it was unconscionable for the Department of Human
Services (DHS) to pass out nearly $200,000 in pay hikes at a time
when the agency has cut $7.4 million from senior nutrition programs.
Leftwich said while many employees at DHS and other state agencies
are underpaid, raising salaries while cutting senior nutrition is
the wrong thing to do. She applauded House member Randy Terrill,
R-Moore, for bringing attention to the situation on Wednesday.
“This is outrageous, but it proves what I’ve said many
times—DHS has deep pockets when it comes to something they
want, like these raises. We have seniors who are literally going
to suffer because of the cuts to the nutrition program, but the
bureaucrats claim they couldn’t make cuts elsewhere,”
said Leftwich, D-Oklahoma City. “This is indefensible.”
DHS has argued the raises were a necessary market-rate adjustment.
Twenty-nine of the top 36 administrators at DHS have been given
raises ranging from $135 to $1,894 per month.
“We have agencies that are being forced to leave empty posts
unfilled, furlough remaining workers and cut programs, yet DHS proceeded
with these raises. It’s just unbelievable,” Leftwich
said. “For years I’ve tried to move state services for
seniors out of DHS and other agencies to a stand-alone entity that
will make taking care our older Oklahomans the priority it should
be. As far as I am concerned, this action by DHS just underscores
why they should not be entrusted with programs older Oklahomans
need to survive.”
For more information contact:
Sen. Leftwich: 405-521-5557