Wolf actions indicate plan to merge state agencies has been tabled
With the nomination of separate state Health and Human Services secretaries by Gov. Tom Wolf on Thursday, it appears a plan to merge those two state agencies is off the table — at least for now.
On Thursday, he nominated acting Secretary of Health Rachel Levine and acting Secretary of Human Services Teresa Miller to serve as secretaries of their respective agencies, pending approval by the Pennsylvania State Senate.
As part of the budget, the governor had initially proposed merging four agencies — the departments of Human Services, Health, Aging, and Drug and Alcohol Programs — into one. The plan was touted as providing taxpayer savings and better services for those who need assistance from more than one agency.
The website touting the benefits of agency unification and laying out further details now just leads to budget information.
The idea met with resistance from some advocates and legislators, particularly concerning the Department of Aging and the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs. Many legislators voiced concerns about moving too hastily to combine agencies in order to meet a budget deadline, others said they did not want to see senior issues or drug addiction issues lose