Douglas announces major changes in cabinet posts

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Governor Jim Douglas has announced a major shake-up in his administration. He said that his closest aide, Administration Secretary Michael Smith, will become secretary of the Human Services Agency. In that position, Smith will be responsible for saving the Medicaid health insurance program and closing the Vermont State Hospital. Meanwhile, the current Human Services Secretary, Charles Smith, will become administration secretary. The two Smiths are not related.

The governor announced other changes. Finance Commissioner Robert Hofmann will become corrections commissioner. Steve Gold, the current corrections commissioner, will become the deputy secretary of the administration. Personnel Commissioner Cynthia LaWare will become the deputy secretary of human services. And James Reardon will take over as finance commissioner.

Douglas says he’s reorganizing his administration to, “use the talents of our state’s people in the most effective way.” The changes are the most significant since Douglas took office just over two years ago.

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