LePage vetoes 23 bills, including Medicaid expansion, funds for care workers

LePage vetoes 23 bills, including Medicaid expansion, funds for care workers

AUGUSTA — Gov. Paul LePage vetoed nearly two dozen bills Monday, including one that was spurred by Maine’s failure to investigate the deaths of more than 130 developmentally disabled Medicaid patients. LePage is continuing his historic use of the veto pen as he attempts to block legislation dealing with everything from Medicaid expansion to needle exchange programs and the way moose hunting permits are allocated. The 23 vetoes delivered to the Legislature on Monday will add to the record number of bills – well over 500 – LePage has attempted to nix during his tenure and likely won’t be his last because more are awaiting his attention. While the veto of funding for Medicaid expansion drew the most attention, other bill will likely generate significant debate when lawmakers return July 9 to vote on whether to uphold or overturn the governor’s actions. For instance, LePage vetoed a budget measure that would increase reimbursement rates for “direct care” employees who work with Mainers with intellectual disabilities and the elderly – reimbursements that care providers say was needed to avoid layoffs and potential facility closures . One of the bills LePage vetoed, L.D. 1676, was a response to a federal audit last year that raised concerns about oversight of deaths and abuse among vulnerable citizens. The Office of the Inspector General found that the Maine Department of Health and Human Services neglected to investigate 133 deaths and properly report critical incidents – including sexual assaults, suicidal acts and serious injuries – […]

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