Split of Arkansas DHHS Said 80 Percent Complete

LITTLE ROCK, AR - State Health and Human Services Director John Selig says the de-merger of his agency is on track to be completed by July 1.  Selig said in a memo released yesterday that the split into the Arkansas Dept. of Health and the Arkansas Dept. of Human Services is 80 percent completed.

The agencies were merged in 2005 under Governor Mike Huckabee.  The combined agency, with a total budget of $4.7 billion, serves about a million Arkansans.

Beebe signed an executive order last month splitting DHHS back up into the two agencies that were merged to create it...the Dept. of Health and Human Services.  Beebe said the department will become two separate cabinet-level agencies effective with the start of the upcoming fiscal year.

Selig said major steps remaining in the agency's split include receiving legislative approval for recruiting administrators for the Dept. of Health and accounting for items on the Health Department's inventory list.

Selig said the department has taken steps to avoid payroll problems that could come from separating the two agencies, which he said is a significant risk for such a restructuring.

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