Senior meals supporters crowd Oklahoma's Capitol

BY MICHAEL MCNUTT Modified: November 5, 2009 at 1:18 am •  Published: November 5, 2009

/> Corn, who with another legislator camped out overnight on the Capitol grounds to bring attention to the funding cuts, said Gov. Brad Henry entered their tent about 12:30 a.m. Wednesday to pass on a solution: to restore the senior nutrition cuts, DHS Director Howard Hendrick is willing to use money earmarked for other programs but not due to be spent until later this fiscal year.

But Corn said Hendrick wanted assurances from legislative leaders in the Republican-controlled House and Senate that the $7.4 million would be taken out of the state’s savings account, the Rainy Day Fund, and given to the Department of Human Services when lawmakers return for their regular session in February.

Senate President Pro Tempore Glenn Coffee, R-Oklahoma City, called the idea interesting and "one we are willing to consider.”

Corn said if nothing can be worked out, he supports calling a special session. He and other legislators signed petitions Wednesday asking the governor to call a special session.

Central Oklahoma cuts

Three Oklahoma County sites that fed meals to older Oklahomans have closed because of state funding cuts, an aging agency official said Wednesday.

Senior nutrition sites in Choctaw and Edmond and the Joy site in south Oklahoma City have closed, said Don Hudman, executive director of the Areawide Aging Agency, which covers central Oklahoma.

In Canadian County, $27,364 is being cut. Both nutrition sites, in Mustang and El Reno, are closed one day a week.

In Cleveland County, the cuts in funding amount to $36,006. The Little Axe site is closed and the Eagle Heights site will serve meals three days instead of five days a week.

In Logan County, the cuts total $41,058. No nutrition sites will close

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