Disability Fund Focus of Interim Study request from Rep. Mickey Dollens

Staff Report 
OKLAHOMA CITY – Rep. Mickey Dollens, D-Oklahoma City, filed a request last week for an interim study focused on improving the lives of Oklahomans living with a disability.
Dollens hopes to use the study to examine the possible creation of the Oklahoma Disability Fund and how the fund, through innovative grants and initiatives, could make the state more accessible and equitable for Oklahomans who face disability.

“This Oklahoma Disability Fund could be a catalyst to changing the way Oklahoma serves citizens affected by disabilities,” Dollens said. “By empowering local initiatives through grants, we can hopefully find new solutions to increase the quality of life for many Oklahomans.”

Dollens recognizes that this fund isn’t a silver bullet but does see it as potentially more than a band-aid for the disability-related issues facing many Oklahomans.

“Like much of our state government, this community needs adequate resources,” Dollens said. 
“This fund wouldn’t replace any funds going to agencies who serve Oklahomans with a disability. I have and will continue to advocate that those agencies receive more resources.

“What this study will look into are new funding sources, identifying project initiatives, and exploring how the Oklahoma Disability Fund could work with existing service providers to help improve the lives of Oklahomans.”
Editor’s Note: In Oklahoma, Interim Study requests are considered by the Speaker of the House every summer. Speaker Charles McCall accepted requests for interim studies from members of both parties through June 25. He is expected to announce a list of approved studies by July 23, 2021. In the past, the Interim Study process has laid the basis for many legislative proposals eventually enacted into law.