Maine lawmakers add $21 million to child protective services system
AUGUSTA, Maine — The Maine Legislature voted Thursday to enhance the state’s embattled child welfare system with $21.2 million in funding, marking the first legislative response to the deaths of two girls who died allegedly at the hands of their caregivers.
It was the key item in reforms recommended by Gov. Paul LePage and whittled down by a legislative panel ahead of lawmakers’ return to the State House, where they are nearing a likely September end to a session that has stretched more than four months past its scheduled adjournment date.
Partisan fights have kept the Legislature that presided over a 2017 state shutdown in gridlock since April, but there was little left to fight about Thursday. Lawmakers settled miscellaneous business after they were gridlocked since July over a legal error that once locked away money in Maine’s taxpayer-funded campaign fund.
Republicans in the House of Representatives voted against fixing it, and Democrats retaliated by holding up votes on a compromise bill to conform Maine to the federal tax code. But decisions by a judge and the Maine Ethics Commission opened the Clean Election fund earlier this month.
To read the rest of “Maine lawmakers add $21 million to child protective services system,” an article by contributing Bangor Daily News staff writer Michael Shepherd, please follow this link to the BDN online.