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AG Hood discusses mental health cuts, lawsuits

The Department of Mental Health has recently announced that 650 jobs will have to be cut in order to adjust to their budget allocation for 2018.

RELATED: Department of Health announces impact of budget cuts

Many of the job cuts will be absorbed through not filling open positions, retirements, limited services, and some layoffs.

Attorney General Jim Hood said that the cuts could impact the state’s standing in the lawsuit over mental health services in Mississippi, which was handed down by the Department of Justice.

“This is a huge case,” said Attorney General Jim Hood. “And for them (legislators) to stick their head in the sand, for them to hope someone else will pay for it and still say ‘well, I didn’t raise your taxes, they’re just kicking the can down the road.”

Hood said the delay of action was ridiculous, and only adding to pre-existing conditions with mental health treatment in Mississippi.

“They’re the least among us,” said Hood. “They don’t have their mental faculties. It is our duty to help.”

The Department of Justice lawsuit, while still in the works, could bring penalties down at any point.

“It is a tough case, and I’m having to defend the state,” said Hood. “But we’ll put our best foot forward. And we’re doing that, and I have to give credit to the Department of Mental Health for what they’ve done with what they have.”

 

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