At that time budgets were busting and I was chairing an issue area with much need. Then Senator Linda Smith (later a Member of Congress) was the first chair and I was the only other one. She moved into leadership and I took the chairmanship as an incoming freshman. Smith stayed on the committee along with Sen. Phil Talmadge.
During that time I proposed legislation to break up DSHS. I suggested four new departments and moving of some of the administrative offices to other existing agencies. I mention this as a reminder that the concept of breaking up this sometimes dangerous monolith is not a new one. Heck...I new this needed to be done BEFORE we began counting the bodies of children, the mistreatment of the elderly, and the escape of a wacko at the fair grounds.
And, the breakup may be coming.
This comes via an AP story in MYNorthwest.com, April 12th. Kessler is the retiring House Democrat Caucus Chair but has an eye to the future and next session's cost saving needs. DSHS is so big that the people at the top can not control it. They could...but their purposes are better served by turning an eye at what goes on there. Kessler said of DSHS:
"It's such a monolithic agency and the people we serve may be better served if we broke that up." Kessler said.
There it is...a glimmer....
(Breaking up DSHS is the suggestion. Not contracting out...not giving the jobs to private industry. The agency is too big to "fix." There is no leadership that wants to do that or has the skills in the first place. So...to the reader who wanted to add to what I clearly said...please just read the text.)