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Despite Having TWO Options To Fund Support For Mainers With Intellectual Disabilities, Maine’s Health & Human Services Democrats Are About To Leave Them Out In The Cold

Democrats on track to push Mainers with disabilities to back of the line, behind unfilled government positions, or welfare for non-citizens

AUGUSTA – The Maine GOP is calling on Democrats serving on the Legislature’s Health and Human Services Committee to prioritize the needs of Mainers with intellectual disabilities ahead of funding for welfare for non-citizens or unfilled positions in the DHHS budget under Governor LePage’s budget proposal.

“It has come to our attention that Democrats on the Health and Human Services Committee are about to leave Mainers with intellectual disabilities in the cold by refusing to provide about $7M in services in favor of other priorities,” said Maine GOP Chair Dr. Demi Kouzounas.

“How there is even a debate about whether unfilled positions in the DHHS budget or welfare for non-citizens should come before funding for some of Maine’s most vulnerable citizens is beyond me,” continued Dr. Kouzounas.

“I understand that Democrats owe a huge debt to Maine’s public employees union for funding their election to these seats in the Legislature, and that many of their big money special interest supporters want our tax dollars to fund welfare for non-citizens, but this approach goes against everything hard-working Mainers believe,” said Dr. Kouzounas.

“Our most vulnerable citizens should come first, not last, and they definitely should come before protecting unfilled jobs for a union, or attracting non-citizens with welfare benefits, as we now know Democrats believe we should do,” said Dr. Kouzounas.

“These members of the Health and Human Services Committee should fix their priorities and change course now, or pay the price in their next election,” concluded Dr. Kouzounas.

BACKGROUND:

Governor LePage’s budget proposal would provide $7M under Section 29, which funds services for Mainers with intellectual disabilities. Also in Governor LePage’s proposal are two ways which savings of a like amount can be achieved, either through the elimination of about 160 unfilled positions in the DHHS budget, or through the elimination of welfare for non-citizens.

​Recent statements by members of the Health & Human Services Committee indicate that Democrats intend to ignore the Governor’s proposals in these areas and continue to fund unfilled positions and non-citizen welfare ahead of the truly vulnerable.

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