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Oklahoma DHS critic named vice chairman of panel

Rep. Richard Morrissette, new vice chairman of a House budget subcommittee on human services, quizzed Human Services Commission members on deaths of children in DHS custody.
By MICHAEL MCNUTT Published: November 10, 2011

Rep. Richard Morrissette, who quizzed several Human Services Commission members about the deaths of children who were under the agency's supervision, was named Wednesday to be vice chairman of a House budget subcommittee on human services.

Seven of the nine Human Services Commission members attended the two meetings last month, which were organized by Morrissette, D-Oklahoma City, and Rep. Mike Sanders, R-Kingfisher. The subcommittee is responsible for budgeting for the Department of Human Services.

Morrissette fills a vacancy caused when House Speaker Kris Steele named the subcommittee chairman, Rep. Jason Nelson, R-Oklahoma City, to serve as subcommittee chairman. Steele, R-Shawnee, last month named Nelson to also head a legislative group to study DHS and develop policy to consider next legislative session.

“Reps. Nelson and Morrissette may come from different political camps, but their shared desire to improve DHS transcends politics,” Steele said. “I know Rep. Morrissette won't be shy about putting forth bold ideas. When it comes to DHS, that's precisely what we need.”

Other appointments

Steele also named Rep. Lisa Billy, R-Purcell, to the Joint Water Committee. Billy, R-Purcell, will fill the position held by Rep. Dan Sullivan, R-Tulsa, who is leaving the House Dec. 1 to head the Grand River Dam Authority.


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