Content and questions, an experiment

As an experiment I am enabling comments on this post in order to answer questions about what is or is not in the enacted budget. I will be the sole arbiter of what constitutes a question and what does not. This may not be a consistent judgement. If this goes south I will pull the plug.

A further note, I am doing this at my own motivation with my own or publicly available resources. Like the entire blog this is not a project of either the Office of the Speaker of the House or the Maine Legislature. It is not a government enterprise. I will answer what I can, when I can and to the extent that I can. Questions must pertain to content of the budget and do not include, “What were they thinking?, Are you crazy?”, etc…

With that out of the way, what would you like to know?


23 thoughts on “Content and questions, an experiment

  1. Keith F

    Are you crazy? LOL – I was wondering if there is a tally of layoffs and elimination of vacant positions by agency. Thanks

  2. Malory Shaughnessy

    Thanks Bill. Can you tell me what the exact impact was on the Fund for Healthy Maine? And any impact on school based health centers?
    Also, I cannot find any reference to opioid health homes or medication assisted treatment funding for uninsured. Did this just get completely eliminated?
    And any insight on positions cut from SAMHS?

      1. Malory Shaughnessy

        Thanks so much Bill. How about the Opioid Treatment dollars for uninsured?

  3. Jennifer Putnam (@jputnam24)

    The governor had, in his original budget, proposed doubling the Maine Care Section 29 cap. A.) was this change enacted? and B.) was it enacted using the current reimbursement rates or was the rate increase (LD967, 11.25m) taken into account when calculating the cost of doubling the cap?

  4. Jackson, Chace J.

    Thanks for this great resource, Bill!

    Chace J. Jackson
    Government Relations Liaison

  5. Anne Haskell

    I heard the teachers at Long Creek we’re no longer employed. Anything in the budget that supports this?

    1. williambrownlegislature Post author

      The current version of the Chaptered Law cites the elimination of the teachers and other staff at Long Creek. This is clearly an error and the staff have been called back in to work for Monday.
      The educators at Long Creek are back to work.

  6. Dan Morin

    Hey Bill. It seems the provision changing disability determinations from 45 days to 90 days was removed from the final budget. I can’t find it. Is that correct? Thanks for all your work Bill.

  7. sparkflashgap

    Bill, you probably know this already. But, here is an answer to the question from Brian Jones on facebook about the percentage of the state share contribution to schools:

    For FY18, we increased the state share to $1,039,558,537. This is $48.4 million more than the governor proposed and it brings the state share percentage from 48.14% in FY17 to 49.14% for FY18.

    For FY19, we increased the state share significantly more to $1,115,378,083. We won’t have an exact calculation of what the state share percentage is until the Department of Education does the EPS calculation for next year. But, by my preliminary estimation, that should bring the state share percentage for FY19 to something like 51.2%.

    Note that these are the real calculations, per the statute — which just divides the state share by the EPS calculation of the total cost of education, as opposed to the more recent parallel calculations that include the state’s contribution to the unfunded actuarial liability in both the numerator and denominator in order to more favorably represent the state’s share. That measure shows the state share for FY18 at 52.02% — and, presumably, something fairly near 55% for FY19.

    1. williambrownlegislature Post author

      There are two parts to consider, both fulfill the requests of the MCCS Board of Trustees to the Budget Office. First are funds to support the ongoing operations of the system keeping pace with the human costs of the organization, just as the rest of state government is obligated to do.

      Second is an additional $2.3M over the governor’s proposal. These funds expand workforce development efforts in the following ways:
      o $1.3 million to expand occupational programming in over a dozen different fields (among them: computer science, health care, and the traditional trades). Selected programs were chosen for a variety of strategic reasons that include their reasonable cost, current demand from both students and employers, their ability to serve projected growth areas of the Maine economy, and their ability to be delivered in innovative new ways that meet the real-time needs of students and employers.

      o $750,000 in new funds to institutionalize many of the most effective student support services that the state’s community colleges have tested and refined over the past several years. The need for these supports is great and will enable more Maine people to achieve a college credential as quickly and affordably as possible.

      o $250,000 to strengthen the workforce training currently offered by the MCCS to Maine business and industry through a statewide initiative that would coordinate existing services, develop innovative new programs and delivery methods, and significantly expand training opportunities.

  8. Benjamin Dudley

    Thanks Bill, this is really helpful.
    In looking at the ODF of CoC documents, do you know if the final General Fund Status – Fund Balance Summary of Proposals (6 pages from the bottom) reflects everything in the PL?

  9. Jenny

    In previous biennial budgets, the change in FMAP rate is clearly identified in a Medicaid budget initiative. What is the budgeted FMAP rate for SFY2018 and SFY2019?

    With the competition of the merger of BEH and HUM, the 2 legacy HHS departments, will new Medicaid IMD Disproportionate Share accounts associated with Riverview and Dorothea Dix be established to recognize this as Federal revenue/expense versus the current Other Special Revenue?

    1. williambrownlegislature Post author

      I believe the FMAP rate to be 64.34% with the bulk of the growth going to Nursing Facilities baseline funding growth.
      My assumption is that DSH dollars will continue to be handled as they are now.


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