LANSING – State Representative Henry Yanez (D-Sterling Heights) introduced House Concurrent Resolution 6 today that would block Gov. Rick Snyder’s merger of the Departments of Community Health and Human Services until he explains how this will lead to cost savings, administrative efficiencies and improved services to Michigan residents.
“Michigan is not a laboratory and our most vulnerable citizens – the seniors, children and struggling families served by DCH and DHS programs – are not guinea pigs,” said Yanez. “We haven’t heard any specifics about how the merger of these two departments will actually impact them. What programs will be combined in this merger and how will that affect the people who receive services? How will the merger affect caseworkers, and will it help reduce the caseload burden? This merger has raised a lot of questions from me and my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, and we are still waiting for detailed answers from the governor and Director Nick Lyon.”
If adopted, Yanez’s resolution says that the Legislature disapproves the merger because “The legislature cannot determine that this merger is in the best interest of the people of the state of Michigan and opposes it until the governor can demonstrate how it will lead to administrative efficiencies, cost savings, and improved services to Michigan citizens …” Gov. Snyder issued Executive Order No. 2015-4 on Feb. 6. The Legislature has 60 days to disapprove the order before it takes effect, meaning it would have to act before April 10. The Legislature adjourns today for a two-week spring recess and won’t return to session until April 13.
“I strongly believe in a streamlined, efficient government, but I and many of my colleagues don’t know if this is the correct move because we haven’t had our questions answered,” said Yanez. “This affects our constituents on a daily basis, and we have a duty to ensure the services they rely on are protected. I would hope that we would approve my resolution and stop this merger until we can look at it more carefully and determine if it really is in the interest of the state and the people we serve.”