What if Governor Pat McCrory and Secretary Aldona Wos (Dept. of Health and Human Services) really don’t understand the complex formulas and regulations that intertwine federal and state dollars at the state’s largest department, DHHS?
What if Wos and McCrory used federal contingency funds for those big contracts and those big pay raises?
What if Wos eliminated DHHS positions or changed DHHS positions intended for specific programs funded with federal dollars?
What if significant numbers of DHHS employees will be furloughed because there are no contingency funds?
What if the DHHS contingency funds (designed to kick in during emergencies such as the current federal shutdown) for key programs that support people have been used for other purposes?
These are questions that need to be answered. Sure, DHHS is a complex operation but NC legislators, federal program audit teams at the federal General Accounting Office, US Department of Agriculture and US Health and Human Services will want these questions answered. North Carolina county social services departments need these questions answered. And, all North Carolinians have a vested interest in the operation of the vital services provided by our DHHS.
What if Secretary Wos installed a new bathroom in the Adams Building on the Dix campus just for her use. Was it privately funded or were state funds used?
The intersection of federal sequestration and shutdown affect the trouble-plagued DHHS IT systems, emergency food programs and food banks. Does DHHS have a financial and management plan for large scale food scarcity? If the contingency funds have been used, will the State Rainy Day fund be used to bail out DHHS and assist County Social Services?
What if the only conversations about these critical issues were held behind closed doors, in off-the-record meetings with selected press and media?
Let’s hope the Tues., October 8 Oversight meeting at the General Assembly yields answers to these questions and more.
Jeanne Milliken Bonds is a PR Consultant, Host of Plain Talk Politics, Political Analyst and NC Spin panelist. She provides commentary on WPTF radio each Wed. morning at 10:15 am.