“I am concerned that the Department Human Services budget voted out of a House/Senate conference committee today leaves Michigan’s most vulnerable children and citizens without necessary resources, and stretches our caseworkers thin because of high caseloads. The budgets propose to close the W.J. Maxey Boys Training Facility, and I am not satisfied that anyone knows where these boys and young men will go next. We have a chance to rehabilitate these young men and help them choose to be productive members of society. I am concerned that closing Maxey is the wrong step and we will these young men when they most need assistance. The additional $100,000 increase I secured for indigent burials has been removed. This will hurt families who, simply because they are poor and have limited resources, have to rely on state aid to bury their loved ones. Caseloads for assistance workers remain high, which is unfair to workers and the families and children they serve. While the Departments of Health and Human Services have merged into one department, I am still concerned that we have not addressed the problems this creates for families and individuals. When offices close, it means that people have to travel farther for appointments with caseworkers. In many communities, and certainly in Detroit, there is not sufficient public transportation for those who need it. We should make sure that offices are close to the people so that transportation isn’t a problem.”