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Vainieri Huttle: Department of Human Services in Flux, Needs Strong New Leadership

(TRENTON) — Assembly Human Services Committee Chairwoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen) had the following published recently in the Newark Star-Ledger:

“When any longtime chief departs, there is an expected period of transition. In this case, there will be an acting commissioner until Gov. Chris Christie appoints, and the state Senate confirms, a new commissioner. But what happens in the meantime? The department serves 1.5 million residents, employs more than 15,000 people, and has an operating budget of about $11 billion. Frankly, DHS is too big to fail.

“New Jersey can’t afford for anything to get lost in the shuffle of a transition, especially when there are so many critical issues on the department’s plate right now, from gaps in mental health coverage to the continued implementation of the Comprehensive Medicaid Waiver to the state budget process…”

To read the rest of Assemblywoman Vainieri Huttle’s op-ed, click here.