Today the Appropriations committee took initial votes on the Governor’s proposed budget as informed by the report backs of the HHS and Education committees. They also received a report back from the ACF committee.
The Appropriations Committee reviewed the budgets of the Department of Education and the Department of Health and Human Services.
Budget items were tabled for the following reasons:
New or increased program spending,
- Need for more information,
- Reorganizations of personnel and position transfers requiring clarification,
- Proposed funding of new positions, and
- Split policy committee votes on budget proposals,
Note: AFA votes are indicated in the following fashion:
Health and Human Services (HHS)
The Department of Health and Human Services. The Committee voted 99 items into the General Fund Budget. The Committee deferred/tabled decisions until a later date with respect to:
- Consent Decree funding
- State-funded Foster Care/adoption,
- Mental Health Services
- Medical Care Payments to Providers,
- Developmental Disabilities Programs and Services,
- Brain injury programs,
- Administrative costs – Office of Management & budget, Audit, etc.,
- Crisis Outreach
- Child Care Services, Licensing & Regulatory Services,
- Bureau of Medical Services
- Food Supplement Administration,
- State Supplement to Federal Supplementary income,
- Licensing and Regulatory Services,
- General Assistance,
- Transfer of tobacco enforcement from the Attorney General to the Department of Health & Human Services,
- Crossover payments.
- Cost of Care,
- Low Cost Drugs for the Elderly
- The Maine Savings Program,
- Ineligible Spouse Disregard,
- Hospital funding cuts,
- Reductions in therapeutic and hospital bed-hold days,
Department of Education Budget. The Appropriations Committee voted 51 budget items into the General Fund Budget. The Committee deferred/tabled decisions until a later date with respect to:
- Adult Education,
- Charter Schools and the State Charter Commission,
- Digital Literacy Fund,
- General Purpose Aid to Education,
- The Teacher Incentive Fund Program,
- Maine State Library,
- Maine State Museum,
- Maine Public Broadcasting,
- The Deputy chief of Staff Proposal,
- The truancy Education Consultant proposal,
- Authorization for the Department of Education to purchase portable computer systems for students and educators,
ACF Report Back
The ACF committee presented a partial report back on their budget initiatives. The committee is seeking more time to consider the Natural Resource agencies merger.
On Monday, April 29 AFA will meet at 10:00 AM to caucus and possibly take votes on initiatives in the following subject areas:
- Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry
- Energy Utilities and Technology
- Marine Resources
- Labor, Commerce, Research, Business and Economic Development. No discussion or voting will be taken on issues related to the Division for the Blind and Visually Impaired or the initiative related to the Maine Center on Deafness at this work session.
At 11:00 AM Appropriations will be joined by the Michael Allen, representing the Maine Revenue Forecasting Commission (RFC) to receive their May forecast based on the meeting held this morning.
At 1:00 PM the committee may take further votes or may continue to caucus.
The full schedule may be found here:
Audio and more
Please feel free to join the committee as they do their work. You may also listen online using the following link: http://www.maine.gov/legis/ofpr/appropriations_committee/audio/index.htm
You also may watch broadcasts of these and other committee hearings on the Maine Capitol Connection pilot channel through Maine Public Broadcasting. You may watch over the air or through your cable provider as well as online here: http://www.mpbn.net/News/MaineCapitolConnection.aspx
Thank you and please let me know if you have questions.