Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said the search has been narrowed down to “a couple of prospects” to replace Department of Social Services Commissioner Michael Starkowski, one of three department heads reappointed on an interim basis in December.

During a press conference to announce his appointment of Judge Lubbie Harper Jr. to the state Supreme Court, Malloy said he expects to spend more time filling positions now that his budget is out.

Malloy has yet to announce permanent replacements for the commissioners of developmental services and transportation, who were reappointed on an interim basis along with Starkowski. Other departments still awaiting commissioner selections include education and economic and community development.

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Arielle Levin Becker covered health care for The Connecticut Mirror. She previously worked for The Hartford Courant, most recently as its health reporter, and has also covered small towns, courts and education in Connecticut and New Jersey. She was a finalist in 2009 for the prestigious Livingston Award for Young Journalists, a recipient of a Knight Science Journalism Fellowship and the third-place winner in 2013 for an in-depth piece on caregivers from the National Association of Health Journalists. She is a 2004 graduate of Yale University.

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