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By: Caitlin Andrews, BDN Staff
AUGUSTA, Maine — Gov. Janet Mills dedicated parts of her $127 million spending plan toward programs in the Maine Department of Health and Human Services, but her administration is resisting bigger-money bids in the Legislature to fund expensive waitlists.
At the same time, the Mills administration has been resisting two legislative efforts to inject money into expensive programs with waitlists — one that serves adults with intellectual disabilities or autism and another for children with behavioral health disorders.
Malory Shaughnessy, executive director of the Maine Behavioral Health Foundation, said there “won’t be providers left” to provide specialized, intensive treatments for children with behavioral health disorders if the department doesn’t raise its rates. The state has 500 children now waiting for home- and community-based therapies.
“We’re going to be in a world of hurt if we don’t invest something now,” Shaughnessy said.