Michigan House Republicans
Rep. Phil Green: DHHS budget must focus on child welfare, address substance abuse
RELEASE|February 15, 2024
Contact: Phil Green

Legislator leads conversation in budget hearing on critical issues

State Rep. Phil Green on Wednesday led discussions on key areas impacting the state and families across our communities – child welfare and substance abuse prevention – within a budget plan for the upcoming fiscal year.

Green joined other House Appropriations Department of Health and Human Services Subcommittee members for a presentation from DHHS Director Elizabeth Hertel on budget recommendations for the department.

Green, who serves as Republican Vice Chair on the committee, asked Hertel about the recently announced easing of federal oversight on Michigan’s child welfare system – showing that reforms Green and the Legislature have undertaken in recent years are working to deliver accountability, effectiveness and compliance while keeping kids safe.

“We have a responsibility for the care and supervision of children under the watch of the state – notably those in foster care and our juvenile justice system,” said Green, of Millington. “It was outstanding to hear that changes are having an impact on the quality and availability of care while creating more clarity and efficiency within the system for care providers. This is a system that is closer to working as intended.”

Green also underscored a continued need to address substance abuse issues such as alcohol, marijuana, tobacco and vaping, including in younger generations. The budget recommendation included ongoing amounts devoted to addiction and treatment, including $8.3 million to substance use disorder support and $5 million to smoking prevention – and Green said these commitments must reflect growing trends with substance abuse.

“This is a proposed budget of almost $38 billion, and the department is charged with maintaining strong standards involving the health and well-being of people in our communities,” Green said. “I’d like to see more emphasis on educating our future generations about the dangers of addiction as it relates to these products, along with support to help people get out from addiction, so we can promote a healthier, safer society and make our state a more attractive place to live and raise a family.”

Final, approved budget bills must be presented to the governor by July 1.

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