December 29, 2012

Maine advocates for mental health, elderly brace for cuts

Groups also anticipate reductions in adoption and foster care services as well as substance-abuse programs.

By Steve Mistler smistler@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

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Curtailment Breakdown

On December 27, 2012 Gov. Paul LePage ordered spending cuts in the Maine state budget, responding to the forecast of a revenue shortfall.

Roll over chart to expand

Source: Maine Governor Paul LePage’s Office

Other departments are relying on savings from staffing vacancies to cover the spending reduction, including the Department of Administrative and Financial Services, Maine Revenue Services and the Department of Corrections.

Jody Breton, associate commissioner of corrections, said the jobs include guards, administrators and other staffers at the Maine State Prison in Warren.

Breton said the prison has had difficulty finding applicants for the prison jobs. She said the vacancies were carefully considered.

"We have monthly meetings with all of our facilities administrators because we're watching safety, too," she said. "Assaults on other inmates, assaults on staff ... We have not seen an increase. We are very safety-conscious. (Commissioner Joseph Ponte) is very much about the data, and he let the data drive the decisions."

Another $515,428 in cuts will come from the state's two juvenile corrections facilities. Breton said the facilities are under capacity and the juvenile population is either flat or declining.

The curtailment order also cuts $2.5 million from the University of Maine System. More than half of the system's budget is dedicated to the Orono campus.

Ryan Low, director of governmental affairs for the University of Maine, said administrators anticipated the curtailment order and began identifying savings weeks ago. Low said he doesn't anticipate adverse effects from the cuts.

The reductions will also be in a supplemental budget that LePage will propose Jan. 11. That will challenge the Democratic majority in the Legislature, which will have to propose different cuts if it doesn't accept LePage's.

Staff Writer Steve Mistler can be contacted at 791-6345 or at:


Twitter: stevemistler


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