CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Although his department is the largest in state government, with nearly 6,000 employees and an annual budget of $4.28 billion, the acting secretary of the Department of Health and Human Resources said he opposes breaking it up into smaller divisions.
Rocco Fucillo told members of the Senate Finance Committee the Caperton administration had the right idea when it combined various public welfare and health agencies into the DHHR.
"I think the purpose was right, and is still right," he said. "The programs are so intertwined."
While the DHHR is so large it can be unwieldy in providing services, Fucillo said he believes it would be worse to break it into two or more divisions.
"The thing I need is a fully staffed DHHR," he said. "A fully staffed DHHR could do the job."
Fucillo said state government in general, and his department in particular, has problems with high staff turnover, with jobs that offer low pay and little chance for advancement.
"Unless you go to another department or agency, there is no career path to get a raise," he told the committee. "We have to come up with ways to motivate folks, to give them incentive."
Fucillo said he would like to be able to offer merit raises or performance-based pay.