AUGUSTA, Maine — Maine lawmakers facing big budget items this year like voter-approved Medicaid expansion must also figure out the future of funding for a minimum security prison and care for individuals with intellectual disabilities.
Lawmakers passed a two-year, $7.1 billion budget last summer that funded some programs for just one fiscal year. They’re now considering whether to shell out another year’s worth of funding for such programs as they face Medicaid expansion to the poor that could ultimately cost $54 million.
The state may also have to return $51 million in federal funding already spent on a state psychiatric hospital.
Republican Representative William Tuell is sponsoring a bill that would provide about $5.5 million to fund the minimum security Downeast Correctional Facility in Washington County beyond June. The small prison has long been on the chopping block, but Tuell argues closing it will strain the state’s criminal justice system.
The two-year budget also included $13.5 million for a year of funding for rate increases for home-based and community-based care for those with intellectual disabilities or autism. Lawmakers are set to consider Democratic Representative Erin Herbig’s bill calling for two full years of funding.
Republican Governor Paul LePage recently said that he does not intend to submit a supplemental budget calling for additional funding.
‘‘As I have said on many occasions in the past, I believe in the biennial budget process; state government should live within its means for the enacted biennial budget period,’’ he wrote in a Nov. 13 letter to his administration.
His office didn’t respond to a request for additional comment Tuesday.
The Mega Millions jackpot for Friday’s drawing increased to a record-high $970 million Thursday.Continue reading »
When Harvard University admitted several applicants tied to influential donors to its Kennedy School, the school’s dean sent an e-mail calling the head of admissions “my hero.”Continue reading »
Governor Baker stumbled over several questions about Geoff Diehl, a supporter of President Trump who’s running for US Senate, during a Wednesday gubernatorial debate.Continue reading »
The texts show just how much Hernandez was spinning out of control.Continue reading »
Democrat Jay Gonzalez pressed Republican governor Charlie Baker in a televised debate to decide between party loyalty and backing a candidate who opposes abortion rights and supports President Trump.Continue reading »
A warmer-than-normal winter could be in store for New England. But the jury is out on whether it will be wetter than normal.Continue reading »
Bradford Casler, a Newton man with multiple sclerosis, is charged with driving his SUV into the Sweet Tomatoes pizza shop in Newton, killing two patrons and injuring seven others.Continue reading »
Boston police Officer Kurt Stokinger, who was shot and injured by a handgun purchased through Armslist.com, is suing the company.Continue reading »
A poignant obituary outlining the opioid addiction that ultimately led to the death of a 30-year-old Vermont mother is gaining attention.Continue reading »