Snyder marks merger of Michigan’s social services agencies

Gov. Rick Snyder speaks at a election night party in Detroit Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2014. Snyder won a second term Tuesday, defeating Democrat Mark Schauer after a race in which the Republican touted an economic and fiscal turnaround and promised to keep Michigan on the right path.

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Gov. Rick Snyder says combining two of Michigan’s largest agencies will help focus on improving outcomes for recipients of government assistance.

Tuesday marked the second business day of the new state Department of Health and Human Services. It’s a combination of the former Human Services and Community Health departments.

Snyder says he wants to treat those is need as “people, not programs.” He says people often need help from multiple public programs, and he wants to work with the federal government for approval to better coordinate services.

The governor marked the merger at the Ingham County branch of the new agency.

The merger was first announced during Snyder’s annual State of the State address in January. The Legislature did not object, and it officially took effect Friday at midnight.

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