Senate Approves Bill to Allow Beebe to Split DHHS

FEBRUARY 19, 2007 - Posted at 3:34 p.m. CST

LITTLE ROCK, AR - The Senate approved a bill today that gives Governor Beebe the authority to split up the state Department of Health and Human Services.

Senators approved the measure by a vote of 22-4.

Senator Tracy Steele, a Democrat from North Little Rock, sponsored the measure.  He says giving the governor the power to split the two agencies would help address problems in communication, morale, administrative red tape and other issues that faced the agencies when they merged two years ago.

The senators who voted against the measure were: Kim Hendren, a Republican from Gravette; Bill Pritchard, a Republican from Elkins; Sharon Trusty, a Republican from Russellville, and Shawn Womack, a Republican from Mountain Home.

The bill now heads to the House.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)