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DHHS announces the CUTS FOR KIDS campaign is off to a great start!

Not in so many words, but this letter says that the “Cuts for kids” campaign is off to a great start. They are just letting the foster parents know it is already a done deal. Ask your legislator if it is a done deal. Forward this post to your legislator and ask if they support the”Cuts for Kids” campaign. Stay tuned for the “More jobs for DHHS follow up”.

Dear Mr. Maher,

The Governor forwarded us your message so we could respond.

As you know, Maine is facing a revenue shortfall of $95 million over the next two years. Together with the state’s funding of education, DHHS makes up 80% of the entire state budget. In hard times, such as what we are in now, the Department is forced to make a lot of changes in how we pay for services so we can keep important and necessary services in place for children, families and older citizens throughout Maine.

Children who are in the state’s care and served by foster families or are provided permanency by adoptive families clearly must remain a priority. The Governor does not propose rate changes for these families lightly. He and the Department understand the love and giving that goes in to caring for Maine’s children.

One of the choices among all the many different choices to address these difficult economic times was to adjust rates. In some other services for people equally in need as foster and adoptive children we had to propose serving fewer people by making fewer people eligible. Also in other areas people will have to wait for services for longer time periods. The worse option was to cut a service where absolutely nothing else was available.

When we were faced with all these different choices, we believe the changes in rate reimbursements are a responsible position for the Department to have suggested to the Governor.

Now the legislature will debate whether the Governor’s proposals can become law. As you know, they will hear from the public about this particular budget proposal on Friday, February 1st, in the afternoon. They will take testimony, comments from letters and emails in to consideration as they make their decisions over the next 3 months.

We continue to welcome your comments as we work together to make the best decisions for our children, providers, and all Maine people who will need our help in the future.

I hope this helps you understand the context of the cuts. We know that our Office of Child and Family Services sent a letter on January 15th explaining how these reductions would be put in place. If you have not received that and wish a copy please let us know.

Thank you for your continued service to Maine’s children.

Sincerely,

Lucky Hollander

Director, Legislative Relations

On behalf of Brenda M. Harvey

Commissioner

January 26th, 2008 Posted by narsbars | Adoptive care, Foster Children, Mark Katz, cuts for kids, foster care | 2 comments

2 Comments

  1. A tax by any other name …

    The Director of Legislative Relations is to be commended for honesty in acknowledging on behalf of the commissioner that it was DHHS’s recommendation to the governor that a new, 30% tax be imposed upon treatment foster care providers.

    It is nice that the governor and “department” feel our pain. Commiseration and a couple of bucks can still buy me a cup of coffee.

    As the legislature begins debate, my question to the deciders is, “Are you feeling Lucky?”

    Comment by Anonymous | January 29, 2008

  2. As I review my list of Feeling Words, “Lucky” is not one that I would select right now. Here’s a comment concerning Friday’s Feb. 1 hearing:

    For scores from several years ago, my father bought a (Lincoln)Continental, a few rations received in Liberty, and navigated to hear the opposition battle, then stayed for the long awaited sequel.

    Now we are enraged …

    Sound familiar? Even the most compelling speech can be twisted and spun to sound like utter nonsense. Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address can be delivered in under three minutes and if we are to remain dedicated to the unfinished work for which we have fought, we must not only be succinct on Friday, we must also be prepared for the distortions and mis-reading of our words.

    Two ideas will count. First, it is not about us; it is all about children. Second, as responsible citizens we must offer realistic, preferably non-partisan, alternatives for solving problems.

    Let us come prepared that we may “take increased devotion to that cause” for which we assemble on Friday.

    Comment by Mark Katz | January 29, 2008

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