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Critical Budget Votes Need Nonprofit Input

by Brenda Peluso

Dear Nonprofit & Community Leaders,

The critically important budget for the Department of Health & Human Services is being negotiated today by the Joint Standing Committee on Appropriations and Financial Affairs. The proposal that will be voted out of committee will go to the House and Senate next week for a vote. A large percentage of the Maine nonprofit sector, and those we serve, will be impacted by the decisions made this week and next in Augusta.  The decision makers need to hear from you.

As originally proposed, the Governor’s budget eliminates funding for Head Start, the Drugs for Maine’s Elderly Program, many Fund for a Healthy Maine programs, optional adult dental, vision, podiatry and other Medicaid services, and several other programs. It also reduces funding for residential services, crisis services and family reunification services, among others.  Republican leadership proposed an amended version which mitigates some of these cuts and restores some municipal General Assistance funds that were vetoed by the Governor in the previous budget.

Now, while the Appropriations Committee and the Legislature are making decisions, please let them know about the work you do and the importance of a strong partnership with the nonprofit sector in protecting Maine’s most vulnerable residents and promoting strong, vibrant local economies.

Nonprofits can and should add their voices to the policy debate. Download our “Raise Your Voice” toolkit to learn about your legal rights and responsibilities. You can also learn about the economic and social impacts of Maine’s nonprofits in our bi-annual report Partners in Prosperity and share this important data with your legislators.

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