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House budget panel approves cutting 1,000-plus human service workers

State capitol
Lester Graham
Michigan Radio
The legislature will vote on changes to health care benefits for public employees tomorrow.

A state House budget panel is recommending cutting more than a thousand human service workers. The Michigan Department of Human Services handles things like child welfare and food assistance.

The subcommittee’s plan would also close the state’s three juvenile justice facilities.

Rashida Tlaib is the top Democrat on the panel. She says the proposed cuts are extreme.

“I don’t want to hear these kinds of stories in our communities and our neighborhoods where we are still suffering in regards to resources to protecting our kids and making sure that we do everything in our power to not put them in harm’s way.”

Republicans on the panel say the proposal reflects the fact that the department’s caseloads have dropped recently.

Governor Rick Snyder’s proposed budget includes much lighter cuts to the Department of Human Services. Some Democrats and DHS officials say they could live with the governor’s proposal.

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