Gideon: “We can find consensus without compromising our values.”
Gattine: “This will provide real solutions to the problems facing our state.”
AUGUSTA – After an abrupt end of session last month, the Maine Legislature’s Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee (AFA) reconvened and unanimously supported a $41 million dollar spending package, which addresses a number of outstanding issues critical to the health and well-being of thousands of Mainers. A full listing of the legislation now included in LD 925 “An Act Making Certain Appropriations and Allocations and Changing Certain Provisions of the Law Necessary to the Proper Operations of State Government” can be found below.
“This legislation will provide real solutions to the problems facing our state,” said Rep. Drew Gattine (D-Westbrook), House chair of the AFA committee. “By confronting some of our major issues, like the opioid epidemic and the dire lack of care available for our most vulnerable citizens, we have finally come together to do what’s right by Mainers. There is still a tremendous amount of important work remaining related to our infrastructure and higher education needs, but this bipartisan package renews my optimism that we can continue to sit at the table until the job is done.”
A diverse group of businesses and nonprofit organizations from across Maine have called on the Legislature to reconvene after the House Republican caucus refused to extend this year’s regular session, despite the considerable amount of important work left unfinished. Since adjournment, House Democrats have remained committed to finding consensus, finishing the work remaining and standing up for hardworking Mainers.
Today’s votes follow the committee’s most recent meeting, where a bill with a $26.4 million dollar general fund obligation was passed to avert a looming crisis in home care funding and to allocate critical funding to continue county jail operations.
“While the last six weeks have been challenging and unpredictable, this bipartisan package will provide needed relief to our seniors, our kids and so many struggling Maine families. Maybe more importantly, it demonstrates to the people of our state that we can find consensus without compromising our values,” said Speaker of the House Sara Gideon. “House Democrats have remained steadfast in our commitment to moving Maine forward and we are pleased that all of our colleagues have finally agreed to join us at the table. I look forward to the legislature reconvening and to finishing our work in a responsible manner.”
As part of the agreement, Democrats rejected Republicans’ repeated attempts to slow or roll-back Maine’s minimum wage law.
All parties also agreed that a bill to provide Medicaid expansion funding would be given a vote in both chambers.
“Medicaid expansion is the law of the land. And as the Maine Superior Court has made clear, the governor has a constitutional obligation to execute this law,” said Speaker Gideon. “This ruling also established the urgent need to get a Medicaid expansion funding bill to the governor’s desk as quickly as possible so he can move forward with implementation. I urge my colleagues to support this bill. Maine voters demanded increased access to healthcare for 70,000 of their fellow citizens; the time for delay and gamesmanship is over.”
LD 925 will be considered by the full House and Senate should the Legislature convene for a special session.
LD 925 “An Act Making Certain Appropriations and Allocations and Changing Certain Provisions of the Law” has packaged the following pieces of legislation:
|323||An Act to Fully Fund the Waiting List for the Home and Community Benefits for Members with Intellectual Disabilities or Autistic Disorder Waiver||$5,158,782|
|1429||An Act Regarding the Epidemic of Opiate Abuse||$11,000|
|1430||An Act to Develop a Statewide Resource and Referral Center and Develop Hub-and-spoke Models to Improve Access, Treatment and Recovery for Those with Substance Use Disorder||$6,663,000|
|1466||An Act to Address Severe and Ongoing Shortfalls in the Funding of Direct Care Workers in Long-term Care Settings and To Establish the Commission To Study Long-term Care Workforce Issues||$11,100,000|
|1517||Resolve, to Ensure Access to Behavioral Health Services||$6,053,198|
|1737||An Act to Preserve Medication Management for Persons with Mental Health Needs||$568,004|
|1783||An Act to Amend the Laws Regarding Aggravated Trafficking of Scheduled Drugs||Minimal general fund obligation|
|1820||Resolve, Regarding Increases in Reimbursement Rates for Certain Children’s Habilitative Services under MaineCare||$2,842,107|
|1868||Resolve, to Increase Funding for Evidence-based Therapies for Treating Emotional and Behavioral Problems in Children||$262,306|
|1870||An Act to Reorganize the Provision of Services for Children with Disabilities from Birth to 5 Years of Age||$3,700,000|
|1885||An Act to Implement the Recommendations of the Task Force to Address the Opioid Crisis in the State Regarding Increased Access to Drug Courts||$160,800|
|177||An Act to Remove the Age Penalty for State Retirees Working at State Correctional Institutions That Are Closing||To be determined|
|1542||An Act to Support Lead Abatement in Older Residential Properties||$4,000,000|
|1710||An Act to Restore Maine’s School Based Health Centers||$600,000|
|1742||Resolve, to Support Vulnerable Seniors by Funding Assisted Living Programs||$500,000|