The Norman Transcript

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February 17, 2013

State ranks high in mental illness, addiction

(Continued)

NORMAN —

We’ve gone from 2,200 employees when I started to about 1,800 employees. We have lost services in local communities. Our waiting list has increased. We lost about 96 substance abuse treatment beds. We have had over $3 million in cuts to our private provider network over the last several years.

· But some legislators seem to believe that government is just too big and that the solution is to shrink government across the board.

If the goal is to shrink government and spend less … put the dollars here. We can save you money in corrections, we can save you money in uncompensated health care, we can save you money in foster care.

If you really want to shrink the state budget, then you invest here to prevent these negative consequences that are costing you millions of dollars.

Oklahoma Watch is a nonprofit organization that produces in-depth and investigative journalism on important public-policy issues facing the state.

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