Utah looking at merging some health, environmental governmental agencies

The Utah State Capitol in Salt Lake City. Utah, March 8, 2018 | File photo by Rick Bowmer/Associated Press, St. George News

SALT LAKE CITY — Plans are underway to merge Utah’s Department of Health with the Department of Human Services, and Utah’s Department of Environmental Quality with Utah’s Department of Natural Resources.

Utah State Capitol, Salt Lake City, Utah, June 20, 2020 | File photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News

Emails provided to FOX13Now.com on Friday outlined the plans to employees of all the agencies.

“The UDOH will likely look different in the future. Many of our programs, and the programs of other agencies, will likely be combined under the banner of one newly created Health and Human Services agency. Other programs will likely move to other agencies where similar services are already offered,” Utah Department of Health Executive Director Rich Saunders said in the email.

None of the agencies are proposing a reduction in force.

“The Governor is not proposing to reduce the number of state employees as part of these changes. If the mergers are approved by the legislature, and after studying combined agency functions, workforce reductions would be accomplished through retirements and regular turnover,” Utah Department of Human Services Executive Director Tracy Gruber wrote in an email to her employees.

Other services, like Medicaid, might move over to Utah’s Department of Workforce Services. Right now, UDOH and DWS share those services.

Late Friday, FOX 13 confirmed Utah’s Department of Natural Resources was also in discussions about merging with the state’s environmental and public lands agencies.

Read the full story here:  Fox13Now.com.

Written by BEN WINSLOW, Fox13Now.com.

Copyright 2019, KSTU. A Tribune broadcasting station

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