This weekend our IS department will be changing our email software over to another program. Nothing changes with respect to contacting me, firstname.lastname@example.org remains my email address. The expectation is the changeover will be seamless and you won’t notice any changes.
However, there is a possibility that there may be slight delay between when you send an email and it actually gets to me over this weekend and the first part of next week. Please be patient as we make this change. If there is a need to contact me on a time sensitive matter my office phone number remains the same (651) 296-2365.
The Senate held a joint meeting of the Senate Health and Human Services Finance and Policy and the Human Services Reform Finance and Policy Committee on Wednesday Sept. 4th.
Newly appointed Department of Human Services Commissioner Jodi Harpstead appeared before the Senate Committees. She indicated she will focus on restoring trustworthiness to the agency. She will be examining a variety of important areas that obviously need work, including reforming the federal programs billing process, finalizing her senior leadership team and examining the fundamental structure of the department and what changes may be necessary to restore that trustworthiness.
A voice webcast of the 3 hour senate hearing is available here. I have listened to the hearing and in particular Commissioner Harpstead’s comments. The senators provided constructive concerns on the agencies’ performance and some recommended changes they feel are needed to Commissioner Harpstead. It was an important opportunity for the Commissioner to begin the important interface between her agency and the Minnesota Senate.
Despite formal requests from all of us in the minority in the Minnesota House of Representatives, Speaker of the House Melissa Hortman indicated by letter this week that it would not be appropriate or useful to ask the new commissioner to appear before the House’s Health and Human Services related committees for at least 90 days.
It’s disappointing and I believe discourteous that Speaker Hortman and key house committee chairs have decided that it’s not appropriate to invite the new commissioner to at least introduce herself and hear the general concerns many of you have expressed with respect to DHS’s performance. We all want the new commissioner succeed, we do that by working together.
I will provide the concerns that many of you have raised to Commissioner Harpstead directly.