Feb 18 2011
Senator Bryant Calls for DHHS Audit
Bipartisan group of 20 legislators join request
Sen. Kevin Bryant, joined by 20 other members of the General Assembly including Senate Majority Leader Harvey Peeler and House Majority Leader Kenny Bingham, sent a request to the Legislative Audit Council on Wednesday for an audit of the state Department of Health and Human Services. The agency is running a budget deficit of more than $200 million and is seen as the largest problem in the state budget dilemma this legislative session. Next year, the deficit projection tops $1 billion.
“We need to find out how and why DHHS went so deep in the red,” Bryant said of the bipartisan effort. “We cannot allow state agencies to operate this way now or in the future. By getting the Audit Council on the case, we’ll be able to get to the bottom of this problem.”
Peeler and Bryant have submitted a bill to create a proviso that allows new DHHS director Tony Keck more flexibility in budget decisions at the agency. However, Senate Democrats are currently blocking consideration of the legislation.
The audit request by Bryant asks the LAC to look into management care programs, provider reimbursement methodology and ways other states have handled similar crises. Keck, representing Haley, is joining the legislators and asking for additional information.