NOVEMBER 6, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Oklahoma City, OK– The ACLU of Oklahoma and the Oklahoma Disability Law Center filed an amended petition today in Anderson, et. al. v. Lake, the case challenging the Oklahoma Department of Human Services threatened termination of critical waiver services for thousands of Oklahomans with disabilities.
After informing over 20,000 Oklahomans with disabilities that the services they rely on each day would be cut off December 1, 2017, the Department of Human Services temporarily halted this termination following a temporary appropriation from the Legislature. The Department has said that it will, however, be required to again terminate those benefits by March 1, 2018.
“Simply kicking the can down the road for three months has not solved our clients’ problem,” said Brady Henderson, Legal Director for the ACLU of Oklahoma. “Thousands of Oklahomans depend on these services for their dignity and their livelihood, and deserve stability from their government. Our clients need a guarantee these benefits will be funded, or appropriate community-based alternative services provided, as mandated by the United States Supreme Court.”
The petition, amended today, serves notice to the State of Oklahoma that the ACLU of Oklahoma and the Oklahoma Disability Law Center intend to litigate this case for as long as it takes to come to a permanent funding model for these crucial state services.
“Despite passing a temporary funding solution for these benefits, the State has failed to address the harm our clients endure each time they receive threats to their benefits,” said Melissa Sublett, Executive Director at Oklahoma Disability Law Center. “This case isn’t going away until our clients no longer face uncertainty and limbo. We are committed to eliminating the imminent threat of institutionalization our clients are facing. ”
Brady Henderson, Legal Director, ACLU of Oklahoma,
Melissa Sublett, Executive Director, Oklahoma Disability Law Center,