Human Services Commissioner Jodi Harpstead says Governor Tim Walz will have an announcement later this week about restructuring in that troubled state agency. But on Monday Harpstead advised lawmakers not to break the department into several separate agencies. She says, “When you split departments and people over time — not in a planful way, but just because it happens over time to add infrastructure — you end up with two more costly departments than the one original department.”
Harpstead says it would also complicate counties’ dealings with the state. But Harpstead says it does make some sense to potentially split direct care and treatment services into a separate state agency.