LePage proposes child welfare changes, saying two girls ‘should not have died’
AUGUSTA, Maine — Gov. Paul LePage said on Thursday he wants to steer Maine child welfare priorities away from family reunification and that he’s willing to call legislators back to address a broken system after a legislative watchdog’s report on two recent child deaths.
The Republican governor appeared at a public hearing held by the Legislature’s Government Oversight Committee on a report released last week the deaths of 10-year-old Marissa Kennedy in February and 4-year-old Kendall Chick in December, where advocates flagged what they said were deep-rooted problems in the department’s practices.
“They should not have died,” LePage said of Kennedy and Chick, “and we — I say ‘we’ collectively — the legislative branch, the executive branch, the judicial branch of this state government has to do better to make sure children are protected.”
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