Human Services Agency may be restructured

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(Host) The House has given its final approval to legislation that is designed to make sweeping changes in the organization of the Human Services Agency. The Agency, which was created in the early 1970s, now consists of more than a dozen different departments and it offers services to 235,000 Vermonters.

The goal of the legislation is to consolidate many of the departments to provide a more effective package of services to many clients. The proposal gives state officials the authority to implement a restructuring plan and it creates a special legislative committee to oversee the entire process.

Representative Bill Lippert (D-Hinesburg) thinks the Legislature is giving up too much power with this bill:

(Lippert) “I personally question whether this is an appropriate delegation of our authority and whether this is the best manner in which to proceed with an undertaking of this magnitude.”

(Host) But Representative
Floyd Nease (D-Johnson) urged members to support the bill.

(Nease) “This process must start and it must start now. The agency has had 30 years to get where it’s gotten and it’s time for the change to begin.”

(Host) The legislation was approved on a strong voice vote. It now goes to the Senate for consideration.

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