State Sen. AJ Griffin’s legislation to enhance partnerships between the Department of Human Services and Oklahoma’s non-profit and private sectors has won the praise of the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy (OICA). Griffin’s measure, Senate Bill 748, would help Oklahoma address problems associated with poverty, incarceration and mental health outcomes.
“My legislation uses a ‘pay for success’ model that other states have already utilized and is already part of a pilot program for women inmates in Oklahoma,” said Griffin, R-Guthrie. “Private companies raise the money to create and fund new programs, then non-profits, like OICA, help implement them. If they work, the state will fund them, and if they don’t, no state resources will be expended.”
Former state representative Joe Dorman is the CEO of OICA applauded Griffin’s efforts to attract new resources to pay for much-needed social programs. He said while there’s tremendous support for programs that successfully reduce incarceration, poverty and deliver better mental health outcomes, no one wants to spend taxpayer dollars on programs that might not work.
“Senator Griffin is helping to solve this problem with legislation that allows the private sector to innovate and assume risk, something which it does well. Non-profits can then add their expertise in implementing new programs, and then the state government can invest if it likes the results,” Dorman said. “It’s a win-win solution that will benefit a lot of Oklahomans.”
Griffin held an interim study last fall to examine how the pay for success model could be utilized to generate resources for new social programs and was convinced it was an approach that would work for Oklahoma.
“We know there are new methods and approaches being developed all the time that can make a dramatic difference in the lives of countless men, women and children,” Griffin said. “We know the reality of Oklahoma’s budget, but it doesn’t mean we give up on bringing these programs to the people who need them most. Pay for success is an innovative approach that is working elsewhere and can work for Oklahoma. I greatly appreciate the support of the Institute for Child Advocacy as we work together to win approval for SB 748 this session.”