- Associated Press - Friday, May 1, 2015

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - The Nebraska Legislature will debate Gov. Pete Ricketts’ choices to revamp the leadership in the struggling Department of Health and Human Services.

The Health and Human Services Committee advanced four appointments for consideration on Friday. Members voted 7-0 on the new appointments of Courtney Phillips as CEO and Calder Lynch as Nebraska’s Medicaid director.

The committee also unanimously recommended John Hilgert as director of Nebraska’s Department of Veterans’ Affairs and voted 5-0 on Joseph Acierno as the state’s chief medical officer.

Sens. Sue Crawford of Bellevue and Sara Howard of Omaha did not vote on Acierno’s appointment, saying Nebraska has fallen short on measures to improve residents’ health.

Other committee members say they expect Phillips and Ricketts will improve the department.

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