Governor Tom Vilsack is proposing “comprehensive” changes in the Department of Human Services.Dozens of D-H-S supervisors will lose their jobs and offices around the state will be closed or reduced to part-time hours under the plan.Vilsack didn’t have the total number of supervisors who’d be out of work, but, about one-third of the managers in the field offices outside Des Moines will be laid off or encouraged to retire; and 26 percent of managers in the agency office near the capitol will go.Vilsack says he wants to reduce the unnecessary “busy work” for those employees who’re remain on the job.Vilsack wants lawmakers to approve the purge of mid-level managers in a special legislative session next month so he can avoid laying off social workers and other “front-line” employees who would lose their jobs under the across-the-board cut in the state budget.Vilsack will shift some D-H-S duties, like inspecting day care centers, to other state agencies that do those sorts of things. Vilsack also proposes opening D-H-S records when a child dies or is severely injured, and the case was being investigated by the D-H-S — a response to recent, high-profile child abuse cases.
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