Critical DHS Reforms Signed by Governor

OKLAHOMA CITY – Legislation signed by Gov. Mary Fallin will make a critical improvement to the Oklahoma child welfare system, according to the bill’s author.

House Bill 3133, by state Rep. Mike Sanders, creates a new felony punishable by a fine of $1,000 and up to two years imprisonment for individuals who knowingly and intentionally falsify information in a document used in a deprived child proceeding that results in the great bodily harm or the death of the child. The legislation will ensure there are penalties for helping children fall through the cracks of the child welfare system.

“I have been continuously studying the deaths that have taken place on the agency’s watch and what is clear is that the files on these children did not contain accurate information or too little information to ensure their safe placement,” said Sanders, R-Kingfisher. “This legislation will address this critical issue. I am proud to see it signed into law.”

Sanders said other important DHS reforms have also been signed into law or sent to a vote of the people.

“An important state question will be on the November ballot that will give voters the opportunity to remove the oversight commission’s constitutional authority over DHS. This will allow other DHS statutory reforms to give lawmakers more direct oversight of the agency’s budget and the governor the ability to appoint the DHS director.”

House Bill 3133 will take effect Nov. 1, 2012.

Be the first to comment

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.