Mississippi agencies approved for layoffs after budget cuts
Jun. 18, 2017
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Two state agencies have been approved to move ahead with layoffs as the Mississippi government sheds employees following budget cuts.
The Mississippi State Personnel Board on Thursday approved plans for the Department of Mental Health to lay off 125 workers at four facilities, part of an overall plan by the agency to trim employment by 650.
The Personnel Board also approved plans for the Public Service Commission to lay off three employees.
In both instances, the agencies cited lack of funds as the reason for layoffs.
Mental Health will lay off 69 workers at East Mississippi State Hospital in Meridian as it close a unit that houses mentally ill children and teenagers, consolidating it with another such unit at the Mississippi State Hospital at Whitfield. The agency will also lay off 53 workers at Central Mississippi Residential Center in Newton. There, the department will transfer the last crisis stabilization unit that it runs directly to Meridian-based Weems Community Mental Health Center. The department says it will pay Weems out of its service budget.
The department will also lay off three employees at the North Mississippi Regional Center in Oxford, as it eliminates evaluations and therapeutic services to children younger than 3. The program is a function of the Mississippi Department of Health's early intervention program.
The department has also stopped admitting new patients to five regional centers for intellectual and developmental disabilities, as well as nursing homes at Meridian and Whitfield. Moore said the agency plans to cut jobs at each location, and said fewer employees means fewer patients can be cared for. He said admissions are likely to resume once staff and patient numbers are cut to lower levels.
The Personnel Board last month approved plans by the Forestry Commission to reorganize and lay off 75 workers.