Gov. Paul LePage has signed a supplemental budget bill that cuts $120 million from Department of Health and Human Services spending for this fiscal year, which ends June 30. LePage signed the bill the same day the Senate approved it.
After initially voting against the bill last week, the Senate voted 27-8 in favor of the cuts after reaching a compromise on how to help veterans who will be dropped from MaineCare, according to the Bangor Daily News. The supplemental budget includes changes to MaineCare eligibility and shifts funds from various accounts, and varies from LePage's proposed budget in that it retains MaineCare for 18,000 childless adults. It also includes an additional $25 million in savings across state agencies identified by a task force.
Legislators still need to address another $90 million DHHS shortfall in the 2013 budget. LePage is also expected to release another supplemental budget in March to address other budget holes, including an expected $14 million shortfall in revenues.