County Commissioners United Against Bill Giving Governor More Power Over Tulsa Health Department
The Board of Tulsa County Commissioners is formally opposed to legislation that would give the state more power over the Tulsa Health Department.
The board unanimously passed a resolution Monday saying they are against House Bill 2504, which would make changes like banning THD from adopting regulations more stringent than the state health department and involving the state health commissioner in hiring local directors.
Tulsa County Commissioner Ron Peters said the bill goes against the concept of local control.
"The health department in Tulsa is run by taxes from Tulsa County. So, we ought to decide how we want things to run out here," Peters said.
Commissioner Karen Keith agreed with Peters and said THD should be applauded for their efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"And their work was more progressive, probably, than what the state was doing. And I think in an urban area, it makes us have more comfort," Keith said.
Board of County Commissioners Chairman Stan Sallee said THD running counter to the state health department's objectives isn’t really a problem.
"I visited with Dr. Dart on this last week. We’ve always pretty much been in line with the state health department in taking care of Tulsa County. So, this pandemic was just one thing that maybe we disagreed with on certain aspects of it," Sallee said.
HB2504 would also apply to the Oklahoma City-County Health Department. It narrowly passed the House last week on a largely urban-rural split.