Statement by MSEA-SEIU Local 1989 President Ramona Welton on the Governor’s Biennial Budget Change Package

“Today the Governor released changes to her proposed two-year state budget, based on the latest revenue forecast.

“Public services for Maine’s most vulnerable citizens, including children in harm’s way and individuals with mental health issues, have been understaffed and underfunded for the past decade. We’re encouraged by the Governor’s proposal to hire new staff in the Maine DHHS Office of Child and Family Services and create new state positions to staff the in-patient mental health unit under construction at Dorothea Dix Psychiatric Center in Bangor.

“All of these positions are desperately needed. For years we expressed the need for more staff and reduced caseloads at Maine DHHS.

“The Governor also heard our message that the families and patients using Dorothea Dix Psychiatric Center in Bangor are best served when those services are provided by State of Maine workers directly accountable to the people of Maine. We’re encouraged by the new positions the Governor proposed elsewhere in Maine DHHS and in other departments, including the Departments of Education, Corrections and Environmental Protection.

“There is a lot more to do to strengthen the public services Maine people count on; the Governor’s Change Package takes some positive steps in that direction.”

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The Maine State Employees Association, Local 1989 of the Service Employees International Union, represents over 13,000 Maine workers and retirees.

Updated: May 14, 2019 — 4:47 pm