Mayor Brennan To Testify in Augusta Tomorrow; Opposed to Budget Cuts in Health & Human Services Dept.

Mayor Michael F. Brennan

By Carol McCracken (Post # 1,043)

Portland’s Mayor Michael F. Brennan is scheduled to testify tomorrow before the Joint Standing Committee on Appropriations and the Financial Affairs and Joint Standing Committee on Health and Human Services, according to the city’s spokeswoman Nicole Clegg.

“This proposal seeks to fundamentally tear apart the fabric of the state’s safety net,” said a preview of his testimony which is in opposition to the proposed changes to the State of Maine’s Department of Health & Human Services budget for fiscal years 2012 & 2013.

The Mayor’s remarks will be focused on four areas of the proposed cuts. Following are some excerpts from his three page testimony.

The first is the elimination of the MaineCare Childless Adult Waiver Specifically threatened by this are two federally qualified health centers; the Health Care for the Homeless Clinic and the Portland Community Health Center.

The second area of focus is the elmination of Targeted Case Management which would eliminate all management services in the city’s Social Services Division; specifically those services provided at the city’s Family Emergency shelter, Oxford Street Shelter and Refugee Services.

The third area of focus is the Fund for Healthy Maine. In Portland, it would eliminate the city-operated Healthy Maine Partnerships as well as other programs, and,

Four – the elimination of Private Non-Medical Institutions would displace more than 6,000 Mainers residing in community based residential facilities; Serenity House, Milestone, Opportunity Alliance and Shalom House.

“I do not envy the task before you…..I ask that you reject this proposal as submitted.