Wednesday, February 27, 2013

House Approves DHS Reform Requiring Family Impact Statements

OKLAHOMA CITY – Legislation to give lawmakers more information about proposed Oklahoma Department of Human Services rules has been approved by the Oklahoma House of Representatives.

House Bill 2219, by state Rep. Tom Newell, would require a family impact statement tied to every proposed rule prior to or within 15 days after the date of publication of the notice of proposed rule adoption.

“Rules, if lawmakers approve them, have the effect of law,” said Newell, R-Seminole. “Lawmakers need to oversee the rule-making process and DHS rules effect a lot of people in Oklahoma.”

Newell said the family impact statements would inform lawmakers about how a rule would impact the status of marriage and parenting and if it helped a family to function better or substituted a government activity in place of parenting.

“We want to know the long-term effects of the proposed rule on the intuition of the family,” said Newell. “For example, a proposed rule might only apply to single parents but might actually encourage an individual to forgo a traditional family structure. This legislation helps us make an informed decision.”

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