The state Senate narrowly approved a bill merging the departments of Health and Human Services into one.
The more than 260-page bill updates references to the name of the departments, as well as adds that the state health officer be a physician — a requirement that passed in a separate bill Wednesday.
Opponents of the bill argued that making one big department would make its operations less transparent. Supporters said the merger will create more efficiency and make it easier for people seeking services to find what they need.
The bill passed by a vote of 24 to 23, and will next head to the House for approval.