State dollars restored to school-based health clinics
October 18, 2018
AUGUSTA - As a result of restored state funding, the four school-based health clinics serving Lewiston/Auburn are hiring new nurses to meet the health care needs of children in the community.
"These clinics provide a vital service to the kids in our communities," said Rep. Jim Handy, D-Lewiston, who sponsored the bill to restore funding. "I am glad that the state is following through with this essential funding. Balancing a budget on the backs of our kids is not acceptable."
The state's 2018-2019 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, was part of the compromise spending package included in LD 925, which became law July 9, 2018.
DHHS notified schools in August that they would award grants to the same organizations that had administered school-based health clinics in the past. This one-time funding will be effective through the end of the current fiscal year. Ongoing funding for school-based health clinics will be considered as part of the state's next biennial budget.
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.
Amy Sylvester [Handy] 287-1430, c. 592-8685