The Norman Transcript

Breaking News


February 10, 2012

Commissioner seeks more for mental health

OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma’s mental health commissioner urged state lawmakers Thursday to restore millions of dollars that have been cut from her agency in recent years to increase services for the thousands of people suffering from mental illness or substance abuse in the state.

About $36.5 million has been trimmed over the past three years from the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services’ budget, forcing the elimination of behavioral health and substance abuse treatment units, Commissioner Terri White said.

“We have huge needs and a lot of people out their suffering,” White told members of a House budget subcommittee. “You will spend more taxpayer dollars on the consequences than if you had funded these in the first place.”

Without treatment, people suffering from addiction or mental illness often come into contact with law enforcement officers, increasing local police and incarceration costs, she said.

White said about 245,000 Oklahomans above the age of 12 struggle with alcohol or drug addiction. The state ranks first in the nation in addiction to prescription drugs and has the country’s eighth highest suicide rate.

Gov. Mary Fallin’s budget calls for increasing the agency’s budget by almost $143 million, a 76.4 percent increase that would be paid for by a $146.7 decrease in state appropriations to Oklahoma’s Medicaid provider, the Oklahoma Health Care Authority.

The budget cut to OHCA would be offset by funding from other sources, principally the Supplemental Hospital Offset Payment Program adopted by lawmakers last year that would produce an estimated $152 million a year and an additional $269 million in federal matching funds.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • movieposter Movie about Moore tornado survivors premieres May 16

    MOORE — Exploring ideas of faith and hope, an Oklahoma faith-based documentary on the May 20, 2013, EF-5 Moore tornado is scheduled to premiere at the Moore Warren Theatre May 16....

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Survivors observe 19th anniversary

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Survivors, rescue workers and the family members of victims of the Oklahoma City bombing have observed the 19th anniversary of the terrorist attack....

    April 20, 2014

  • Police arrest man connected to homicide

    Norman Police have arrested Abid Sandhu, 37 years old, of Norman, on a complaint of Murder in the First Degree. Formal charges have yet to be filed. At approximately 3:35 a.m. Saturday, the Norman Police Communications Center received a ...

    April 20, 2014

  • Cody’s Run raises $14,000

    Cody Ponder’s positive attitude was infectious even while he struggled with esophageal cancer. He always worked to help others and his giving spirit inspired a 5k race to benefit struggling patients. Last year Cody’s family organized a run ...

    April 20, 2014

  • State budget talks center on cuts

    OKLAHOMA CITY — With six weeks left in the 2014 session, behind-the-scenes negotiations among the House, Senate and governor’s office are ramping up on how to plug a $188 million hole in the budget and fund programs for education, public ...

    April 20, 2014

  • Dental groups oppose measure

    TULSA — Some Oklahoma dental groups are opposing a bill in the state Legislature, proposed as a reaction to the case of an oral surgeon accused of maintaining filthy office conditions, that deals with training requirements for oral surgery ...

    April 20, 2014

  • Former mayor files for county office

    Local physician and former Norman Mayor Harold Haralson recently filed his candidacy for the Cleveland County Commission District 3 seat....

    April 20, 2014

  • Selling Norman is love at first sight

    Meeting planners who make a site visit to Norman tend to fall in love, convention and hospitality experts said this week. The staff of the Norman Convention and Visitors Bureau are commissioned with the job of promoting tourism and selling ...

    April 20, 2014

  • Green House is a homegrown business

    Nancy Muenzler was a banker in her previous life. That was before the Green House, 1708 SW 24th Street, became her passion....

    April 20, 2014

  • Conan’s martial arts moves downtown

    Conan’s Kickboxing, Karate, Boxing, Jujitsu, MMA Academy is celebrating the grand opening of a new facility right in the heart of downtown Norman at 310 E. Main St. Founded in 1996 by four-time World Kickboxing Champion Scott “Conan” ...

    April 20, 2014