DHS Budget Woes

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Officials with the state Department of Human Services say the agency's budget shortfall has been reduced by about 4 million dollars, but layoffs could still be necessary.

A spokeswoman for DHS interim Executive Director Thelma Brittain says it has not determined how many of its 3,200 employees could be laid off if the deficit -- which is now at $15 million -- isn't addressed.

Officials say DHS reduced its deficit from $19.8 million by cutting travel, equipment and supply costs and filling vacancies according to available funding.

The agency also identified certified state spending to free up cash in the agency's general fund, officials said.

Senate Appropriations Chairman Jack Gordon says only 10 million dollars will go to DHS' budget deficit this fiscal year.

Brittain said this year DHS has exhausted all the resources available to reduce the budget deficit.