Archives for General Assistance

Maine Currents 2/22/17

Producer/Host: Amy Browne
Contributor: John Greenman

Segment 1: Public hearings are being held this week on Governor LePage’s proposed 2018-2019 state budget, which would make dramatic cuts to several programs and services that serve some of Maine’s most vulnerable populations. Hospitals, municipalities, social services programs and clergy say they are already stretched beyond their capacities to serve Mainers who fall through the holes that already exist in Maine’s safety nets, and do not have the resources to deal with the consequences of the major cuts being proposed.
The public hearings are drawing overflow crowds to the statehouse. We take you there.

Segment 2: John Greenman reports back from 2 protests in Bangor today, held in conjunction with protests in Lewiston and Portland, calling on Sen. Susan Collins to hold a town hall meeting with her constituents.

Segment 3: A brief update on the developing story at Standing Rock in North Dakota. Standing Rock water defenders were given a deadline of 2pm Mountain time today to leave one of their encampments but some have vowed to stay and continue to resist the Dakota Access Pipeline.

RadioActive 6/7/12

Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco
Issue: Environmental and Social Justice

Program Topic: The Maine legislature’s most recent cuts to the Department of Health and Human Services programs, including General Assistance and the Child Care Subsidy Program

Key Discussion Points (list at least 3):

a) The Maine legislature passes further budget cuts to the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). These include the elimination of 14,500 low income parents from MaineCare, who have income between 100-133% of the poverty level, and all 19 and 20 year olds under 150% of the poverty level. This effects an additional 7,000 Mainers. Both these measures and cuts to the Medicare Savings Program are currently in violation of the federal Affordable Care Act. The budget also includes cuts to the Drugs for the Elderly Program, and to the Fund for a Healthy Maine. Cuts to the latter include a $2 million reduction in state funding for Head Start, a $2 million cut to the Child Care Subsidy Program, $2.6 million to the Maine Families Home Visiting Program, and funding cuts for Family Planning and dental services.

b) Director of the City of Bangor Health and Community Services, Shawn Yardely discusses cuts to General Assistance. Yardley says 70-80% of recipients, who are not waiting for SSI application processing, are on the program for 3 months or less. The last round of cuts have reduced GA from $611 to $550. 80% of GA funds go towards housing. The cuts put a 9 month cap on GA housing aid.

c) Governor LePage’s press secretary says the administration plans to pursue further cuts.

A)Adrienne Bennett, press secretary for Governor Paul LePage
B) Shawn Yardely, Director of the City of Bangor Health and Community Services
C) “Maureen”, from South Portland. Budget cuts will effect her enrollment in the Child Care Subsidy, and possibly the MaineCare coverage she and her husband receive.

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