As vice president of the Maine Association for Community Service Providers, a statewide association of service providers supporting thousands of Maine citizens with intellectual disabilities and autism throughout the state, I frequently see and hear the challenges experienced by providers whose reimbursement rates for group home services have been cut over the last decade.

Gov. LePage has prioritized services for people with intellectual disabilities in previous budgets, and his current budget includes increased funding of services for people not served in group homes. This particular funding allows for families to continue caring for their loved one and have the ability earn a living. We are grateful for the governor’s proposal, and we support his administration’s efforts to help families.

This budget proposal will provide maximum positive change for individuals and their families if we, as a state, provide adequate funding for all of the services that people with intellectual disabilities need to live and work in our communities. This proposal does not address the need for adequate funding to ensure a stable workforce in other areas of the service system, particularly group home services.

Thousands of Mainers with disabilities rely on group home services every day.

We are grateful for the governor’s proposal and look forward to partnering with the Department of Health and Human Services in building on the governor’s recognition of the need for a system that works for all those with disabilities whose lives depend on it.

Jennifer Putnam

vice president, Maine Association for Community Service Providers

Norway