Lawmaker sets bill to restore student health center funding
LEWISTON, Maine (AP) — Maine lawmakers will take up a new bill next session to possibly unwind a budget deal that slashed funding to over a dozen student health centers.
The proposal from Democratic state Rep. Jim Handy, of Lewiston, would restore 15 school-based student health centers that were defunded last July. The Portland Press Herald reports the center provided dental and medical care for thousands of Maine students.
The direct cuts to the centers were the result of a final state budget that redirected funding to maintain reimbursement rates for physicians under MaineCare, the state version of Medicaid. In Lewiston and Auburn, the four school-based health centers have dropped medical care services to salvage mental health counseling services.
Lawmakers will take up the bill in January as the new legislative session begins.