Bill would help schools pay for health care for special ed students
April 3, 2012
AUGUSTA – The Maine House voted today to override a veto of a bill that would help schools pay for certain critical medical services for special education students. The vote is the Legislature’s first override of the governor’s 17 vetoes since he took office.
The veto was overturned by a vote of 124 to 16.
“Lawmakers overwhelmingly joined together to stand up for Maine children and our schools,” said Rep. Richard Wagner, D-Lewiston, who serves on the Education and Cultural Affairs Committee, which unanimously passed the measure earlier this year. “This is a simple bill that ensures our school districts have access to funds to take care of students with special needs.”
The bill, which was sponsored by Rep. Peter Edgecomb, R-Caribou, proposes to allow schools to access federal Medicaid funding for medically necessary services for special education students. The medical services include physical therapy, speech therapy, and occupational therapy.
Wagner said the veto was especially surprising considering it was unanimously supported in the Maine House and Senate.
During the floor speech Wagner said the bill was necessary because the state had lost federal dollars that had been dedicated to funding this part of special education services.
The veto now faces consideration in the Senate.
Jodi Quintero [Wagner], 287-1488, c. 841-6279