Date: 07/28/2009

Presentation from the Department of Human Services


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01:57 PM -- Presentation from the Department of Human Services

Karen Beye, Executive Director of the Department of Human Services (DHS), discussed the department's budget and some of the challenges facing the department. Ms. Beye discussed the "Department Summary" which was provided to commission members (Attachment F). The document summarizes the services offered by the department. Ms. Beye provided an overview of the department budget in terms of the number of staff employed, and discussed funding sources for the department, including the General Fund and federal funding.


02:05 PM

Will Kugel, Budget Director, DHS, highlighted a number of points regarding the budget. He discussed General Fund appropriations to the department, growth in the budget which has grown at about the rate of inflation, federal stimulus funding, and budget drivers such as the number of employees and caseload growth. In response to commission member Donna Lynne's question, Mr. Kugel described how Medicaid funding is distributed to programs within the department. In response to Representative Gerou's question, Ms. Beye discussed the gambling intercept program which increased funding to the department.

02:10 PM

Ms. Beye discussed the increased use of assistance programs within the context of the current economic downturn and how the department has responded to increased caseloads. She also described some of the positive outcomes of the department's programs, as well as additional programs offered in recent years. She noted some department challenges, including budget constraints, maintaining a certain level of services, and meeting ARRA requirements to receive federal funds.

02:17 PM
Lynn Johnson, Director of the Jefferson County Social Services Department, described the human services system at the county level. She provided a number of materials to commission members as follows:

- Attachment G: Biography for Lynn Johnson


- Attachment H: 2009 Human Services Fact Sheet


- Attachment I: Diagram of Interaction Between State and Federal Agencies


- Attachment J: State FY 2008-09 Major Program Funding Snapshot


- Attachment K: Application for Colorado Public Health Insurance for Families


Ms. Johnson shared her story of working at a women's correctional facility and the success of unique programs offered by the facility. She then discussed how budget cuts negatively impacted the success of the facility. She compared her experience at the correctional facility to that of the Department of Human Services. Ms. Johnson discussed successes in Jefferson County human services that have come from community partnerships. Ms. Johnson also described the connections between escaping poverty, education, opportunity, and community partnerships. She also discussed challenges in coordinating efforts between programs offered by DHS and other departments and how simplifying complex regulations could result in better services. Ms. Johnson described lessons learned from other states in reducing costs and increasing services by coordinating interdepartmental efforts and coordinating with the community.

02:38 PM

Ms. Beye, Representative Ferrandino, and Representative Gerou's discussed the developmentally disabled waiting list. In response to Representative Court's question regarding what health and human services should be offered by the state and how much they should cost, Ms. Johnson and Ms. Beye discussed the need to simplify regulations, provide stable funding, and increase investment. Ms. Beye and Ms. Johnson also discussed community centered boards.