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Oklahoma governor forms special panel on developmental disabilities

The blue-ribbon panel would, among other things, act in an advisory capacity to the governor on all issues related to providing community services for people with developmental disabilities.
BY MICHAEL MCNUTT Published: March 6, 2013

The 10-member panel was given one year to prepare and deliver its report.

Fallin's decision to form the blue-ribbon panel comes as legislation is waiting to be heard that would stop a plan to close Northern Oklahoma Resource Center in Enid and Southern Resource Center in Pauls Valley.

House Bill 2053, by House Speaker Pro Tem Mike Jackson, R-Enid, would direct DHS to cease the plan's implementation and to take no further action without approval of the Legislature. DHS commissioners in November voted to set an April 30, 2014, deadline to close the Pauls Valley center and an Aug. 31, 2015, deadline to close the Enid institution. The vote occurred just days before the board was voted out of existence when Oklahoma voters approved State Question 765.

HB 2053 is waiting to be brought up for a hearing in the House of Representatives. It earlier passed a House committee 7-0.