Budget panel approves funding for school-based health clinics

Rep. Handy’s proposal would restore state dollars to 16 school-based health clinics

June 12, 2018

Rep. Jim Handy

AUGUSTA – Rep. Jim Handy’s proposal to restore state funding for Maine’s 16 school-based health clinics earned unanimous approval Monday from the Legislature’s budget-writing committee.

“These clinics provide a vital service to the kids in their communities,” said Handy, D-Lewiston. “I am glad that members of both parties on the committee voted to make sure we reverse this cut. Balancing a budget on the backs of our kids is not acceptable.”

Last year’s biennial budget included $10 million in cuts to the Fund for a Healthy Maine. As a result of those cuts, the Department of Health and Human Services notified school-based health clinics that they would lose Fund for a Healthy Maine funding.

The loss of state dollars also eliminated federal matching funds provided by the Maternal Child Health Services Block Grant. These state and federal funds provided the bulk of funding for the clinics.

Handy’s bill to restore funding to the clinics, LD 1710, is now part of the compromise spending package included in LD 925, which earned unanimous support from the Legislature’s Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee.

The bill will be considered by the full Legislature should it convene for a special session.

Handy is serving his sixth non-consecutive term in the Maine House and previously served Lewiston in the Maine Senate. He is a member of the Labor, Commerce, Research and Economic Development Committee.

Contact:

Amy Sylvester [Handy] 287-1430, c. 592-8685