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Maryland's Health Department Takes Brunt of Layoffs

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Maryland's health department is taking the brunt the layoffs made in the state's latest round of budget cuts. The Health Department will absorb 160 of 202 layoffs approved by the Board of Public Works. They're part of $454 million in reductions made this week.

John Colmers is Maryland's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Secretary. He says the reductions could persuade health providers to avoid serving Medicaid patients. The changes also mean the Upper Shore Community Mental Health Center will close its inpatient psychiatric units in February. Two wards at Spring Grove Hospital will also close.

It is the sixth time the Board of Public Works has made midyear budget cuts since Governor Martin O'Malley took office. The state's Board of Revenue Estimates will meet in mid- September to provide a better picture of the state's finances.

Natalie Neumann has more....

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