This week, the state Senate is expected to pass a bill demanding a $30 million refund from the Department of Health.
In 2017, the state legislature granted an emergency appropriation of $30 million to the Department of Health. But it turned out, the Department of Health was squirreling the money away from the legislature.
Now, the state wants the cash back.
The Department of Health hid the money from the legislature in a slush fund and wound up laying off 198 people in a manufactured crisis.
The state bailed out the agency to the tune of $30 million, but a grand jury later determined that bailout was not necessary.
“It was an eye opener for a lot of people that we were kind of flying blind and giving them the money last time,” said Senator Greg Treat (R) President Pro Tempore. “We’ve been tracking it over the interim to make sure they didn’t spend it and they’ve been very open about where it was. It wasn’t just sitting in one account. But they fully anticipated us calling that back.”