At least 11 people will be laid off from the University of Southern Maine's Muskie School of Public Service because of budget cuts. Executive Director Mark Lapping told the Bangor Daily News the cuts affect the research and training work the school has done for the state for 20 years.
Cuts to the Department of Health and Human Services will affect the school and its Cutler Institute for Health and Social Policy. DHHS is shrinking some projects and moving work in-house, resulting in fewer cooperative agreements between the state and the University of Maine System, the paper reported. Another nine Muskie School employees could see their work reduced or eliminated as some of those agreements wrap up. Lapping said some of those who will lose their jobs will have to leave the state.
The Muskie School has 41 contracts with DHHS; the value of 29 of those was at least $16.9 million, while the amount of the other 12 wasn't available. Ten of those projects will be eliminated, two will be done by DHHS employees and seven are being reviewed. A new rule that requires state contracts to go out to competitive bid also means 13 contracts held by Muskie will go up for bidding.
The contract work includes training for child welfare workers, disease research and public health management analysis, according to the paper.