Va. Panel Looks To Streamline State Agencies and Programs | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Va. Panel Looks To Streamline State Agencies and Programs

Play associated audio

A panel in Virginia is studying ways to streamline state government. Last year, the group consolidated or abolished 49 boards and commissions. Now, the panel is looking at ways to restructure state agencies and programs.

Many proposed reforms are on the table. Secretary of Health and Human Resources Bill Hazel says a federal mandate requires states to expand Medicaid coverage, and Virginia must change how it handles 1.1 million applications per year.

"We have about a 16 percent error rate on Medicaid applications," explains Hazel. "Unacceptable. Some people get Medicaid that shouldn't, others don’t get it who should."

The panel is still pursuing goals of four-day work weeks for some state employees to save costs.

Human Resource Management Director Sarah Wilson told the members that funding the unused leave of state workers is problematic.

"This is an unfunded liability for the agencies," Wilson says. "And if everyone in my agency that's eligible to retire today retired, I don’t have the money to cover it."

Also under discussion is an inventory of surplus state property and building that need to be gauged as to whether they should be used or sold.

NPR

MacArthur Fellow Terrance Hayes: Poems Are Music, Language Our Instrument

Hayes, a professor of writing at the University of Pittsburgh, was recognized for "reflecting on race, gender, and family in works that seamlessly encompass both the historical and the personal."
NPR

Diet Soda May Alter Our Gut Microbes And The Risk Of Diabetes

There's a new wrinkle to the old debate over diet soda: Artificial sweeteners may alter our microbiomes. And for some, this may raise blood sugar levels and set the stage for diabetes.
NPR

House Passes Bill That Authorizes Arming Syrian Rebels

Even though it was backed by both party leaders, the vote split politicians within their own ranks. The final tally on the narrow military measure was 273 to 156.
NPR

3.7 Million Comments Later, Here's Where Net Neutrality Stands

A proposal about how to maintain unfettered access to Internet content drew a bigger public response than any single issue in the Federal Communication Commission's history. What's next?

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.