Lawmakers react to Raimondo UHIP announcement - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

Lawmakers react to Raimondo UHIP announcement

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Lawmakers who have been frustrated with the months of problems caused by the state's new benefits system were pleased to hear the Governor has taken action.

Governor Raimondo announced Thursday that she's accepted the resignations of Department of Human Services Director Melba Depena Affigne and Chief Digital Officer Thom Guertin.         

"I think it is a step. I'm not sure whether it is the step or not,” said House Finance Chair Marvin Abney.

"I think we should have acted sooner. In fact I don't think this ever should have been launched when it was launched,” said House Minority Leader Patricia Morgan.

Rep. Morgan says she's not fully satisfied.

"I think some heads should roll but I'm not sure it should stop with these two,” said Rep. Morgan.

Some lawmakers we spoke with say action should have been taken sooner.

"I've been very public and frank that I thought that this should have been done several months ago. And, I've said publicly that we knew after the second hearing that things weren't getting better,” said House Oversight Chair Patricia Serpa.

The Executive Director of the Rhode Island Partnership for Home Care has been dealing with problems caused by the troubled system since September.

He tells ABC 6 he was "underwhelmed” with the Governor's remarks saying in part Governor Raimondo avoided addressing the human aspect of this human services crisis..."

Moving forward, there are some concerns about the system getting on track specifically if the newly named leaders can get up to speed fast enough.

"There will be a learning curve for them. And, because of the size of the project the learning curve could be considerable,” said Rep. Mike Chippendale.

As for those hearings that have been held by the Finance and Oversight committees, Rep. Serpa says she will hold off until the new DHS Director gets settled in.

(C) WLNE 2016

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