AFA, HHS Joint Committee Meet w/ DHHS Officials to Discuss CTS, Riverview Psychiatric Center Woes

Posted on August 20, 2014. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

HHS Committee member Rep. Henry Bear (Maliseet) speaks with HHS Senate Chair and new AFA committee member Margaret Craven (D-Androscoggin) before meeting begins. Also pictured is AFA Senate Chair Dawn Hill (D-York)

HHS Committee member Rep. Henry Bear (Maliseet) speaks with HHS Senate Chair and new AFA committee member Margaret Craven (D-Androscoggin) before meeting begins. Also pictured is AFA Senate Chair Dawn Hill (D-York)

Joint meeting by the Appropriations & Financial Affairs, Health & Human Services standing legislative committees held to discuss a number of topics with officials from DHHS and Riverview Psychiatric Center including CTS (transportation), safety concerns, training issues, re-certification efforts and more.

The committees submitted two pages of detailed questions to Commissioner Mayhew, who responded with a 27 page document and sent Stephanie Nadeau, Ricker Hamilton and Riverview superintendent Jay Harper in her stead.

Maine Legislative AFA, HHS Joint Cmte Meeting 8 19 14 (Pt 1)
http://youtu.be/EJLhEDmND0M

Maine Legislative AFA, HHS Joint Cmte Meeting 8 19 14 (Pt 2)
http://youtu.be/jLbETF0ueVg

Maine Legislative AFA, HHS Joint Cmte Meeting 8 19 14 (Pt 3)
http://youtu.be/EZr0wWC6Xko

Maine Legislative AFA, HHS Joint Cmte Meeting 8 19 14 (Pt 4)
http://youtu.be/uvSq6_H08UU

Maine Legislative AFA, HHS Joint Cmte Meeting 8 19 14 (Pt 5)
http://youtu.be/VKeiXLa_R1k

Maine Legislative AFA, HHS Joint Cmte Meeting 8 19 14 (Pt 6)
http://youtu.be/AOP8eDHN09I

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

Attorney General Janet Mills Addresses 2014 ME Dem Convention (Video, Transcript)

Posted on June 2, 2014. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , |

Attorney General Janet Mills Addresses 2014 Maine Democratic Convention (speech as prepared)

      Attorney General Janet T. Mills
      Remarks to the Maine Democratic Convention
      Saturday, May 31, 2014, Bangor Maine

        ,/p>
        Thank you, Mr. Chair. Thank you members of the Maine Democratic Party.

        Thank you, Matt Dunlap, the hardest working, most productive Secretary of State we have ever had!

        Thank you, Ben Grant and Mary Erin Casale for your leadership and difficult work during good times and bad. And for bringing back a well-deserved majority in the Maine State Legislature!

        Folks, it’s May 31st. The ice is finally out, in most of the state. The lakes and ponds are stocked, the sidewalks smelling of lilacs at last. In western Maine the mowing has begun. We have shaken off the snows of January, the hardships of a frigid February, as we enjoy a long delayed spring and commence the annual recycling of goods at neighborhood yard sales.

        Our long wintry nightmare is over. And this year our recycling starts right at the Blaine House!

        No one deserves this fresh, fruitful season more than we do, you and I.

        It has taken courage to weather the storm.

        During cold and difficult times over the past three and a half years, I have seen many acts of courage.

        I have watched as the brave co-chairs of Appropriations, Democrats Sen. Hill and Rep. Rotundo (the first time both chairs have been women), worked all night, many nights, writing budgets from scratch, preserving funding for our schools, saving local fire and police services and life-saving social programs, while the Governor, refusing to write a budget at all, eschewed governing and headed for Jamaica to play golf….and then accuse the entire legislature of “not working hard enough!”

        I saw people like Rep. Joan Welsh hold the line against mining rules and slack environmental enforcement that would destroy our natural resources, even sell them off to the highest bidder.

        I saw freshmen Reps. Ann Dorney and Sara Gideon bravely, patiently, persistently push to reintroduce and enact legislature that will save the lives of people who overdose, despite a veto and a failure it to override last year.

        I saw Rep. Drew Gattine and Senators Colleen Lachowitz and Margaret Craven question the Commissioner of Health and Human Services repeatedly about why her budget was no longer about health or human services but about electioneering, auctioning off social services and about sweetheart business deals funded by programs to feed children.

        I saw women and men—Democrats—stand up for women’s rights on the floor of the House and the Senate, against a governor who vetoed every reasonable measure to protect the health of Maine families.

        I saw them fight valiantly against this Governor’s veto of Rep. Jane Pringle’s bipartisan bill (LD 1247) to ensure that thousands of low-income women have preventive health services, cancer screenings, annual physicals, birth control, pap tests and health information, saying, after he had vetoed the bills that would cover them with insurance, “they can go buy insurance!?” “Let them eat cake!” the man says.

        I heard Paul LePage say he is dead set against abortion because he was one of 18 children. Seriously. So he believes women should be forced to bear children against their will, regardless of hardship, regardless of sexual assault, regardless of circumstances?

        I saw our Democratic party work to raise the minimum wage, in a state where 60 percent of minimum wage workers are women, while this Governor tried to actually lower the working wage for young people.

        I listened to Gov. LePage give lip service to domestic violence while pulling the rug out from those same women and children seeking emergency help from General Assistance.

        I watched as our Democratic leadership cried foul when this Governor prevented the DEP from protecting Maine children from toxic household chemicals, claiming that BPA is not harmful, saying: “…[I]t gives off a chemical similar to estrogen. So the worst case is some women may have little beards.”

        Maybe he still thinks, like some of the Republican leadership, that “Women are from Venus, men are still from Mars!”

        This is worse than junk science, junk politics. It is junk governance.

        Governing is not a game of Candy Crush or Farmville.
        It is not played in a sand box, throwing dirt in people’s faces.
        It is not done from a golf course in Jamaica.

        Governing is about leading—by words, by deeds and by example.
        It is about helping, not hurting. It is about working hard.

        It is about taking us through difficult winter storms and not giving up on the courage, the heart and the soul of Maine people.

        That is why, come next winter, I will be proud to stand with our new Governor, Mike Michaud, who will lead with integrity, experience and example.

        Let us work as hard as we can, through the summer and the fall, to reelect our courageous Democrats to the Maine Legislature, repair the reputation of our state, restore the voice of the people, renew faith in our government and elect a governor who will not leave Maine people out in the cold ever again.

        Thank you.

      DSC_0092

      Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

Maine Senate Takes Up EBT- TANF- GA Bills LDs 1829, 1822, 1820, 1842, 1815 and 1844 (VIDEOS)

Posted on April 8, 2014. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

(NOTE: All of these will be separated and written up over the rest of the week. In the meanwhile, for the sake of sharing quickly, here are all 44 video clips taken during the Monday afternoon/ evening second session in order of debate.)

1. LD 1829, “An Act To Require the Department of Health and Human Services To Report Annually on Investigations and Prosecutions of False Claims Made under the MaineCare, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and Food Supplement Programs”.
ROLL CALL: 21 Yeas – 14 Nays

HHS Chair Sen. Margaret Craven Introduces LD 1829 to Senate

Sen. James Hamper (R-Oxford) Opposing LD 1829

Sen. Colleen Lachowicz (D-Kennebec) Supporting LD 1829

Asst Minority Leader Sen. Roger Katz Opposing LD 1829

Sen. Geoff Gratwick (D-Penobscot) Supporting LD 1829

2. LD 1822, “An Act To Increase Integrity in the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Program through Restriction of Expenditures”.
ROLL CALL: 18 Yeas – 17 Nays

HHS Chair Sen. Margaret Craven Introduces LD 1822 (OTP as amended by H-787) to Senate

Sen. James Hamper (R-Oxford) Opposing LD 1822 as amended by H-787

Sen. Colleen Lachowicz (D-Kennebec) Supporting H-787 amended LD 1822

Asst Minority Leader Roger Katz (R-Kennebec) Opposing LD 1822 as amended by H-787

Sen. John Patrick (D-Oxford) Offers SAS 505 to amend LD 1822

Sen. James Hamper (R-Oxford) opposing LD 1822 SAS-505

HHS Chair Sen. Margaret Craven (D-Androscoggin) Supporting LD 1822 as amended by SAS-505

Sen. Chris Johnson (D-Lincoln) Supporting LD 1822 as amended by SAS-505 (PT 1)

Asst Minority Leader Roger Katz (R-Kennebec) Opposing LD 1822 CAH 787, SAS 505

Sen. Andre Cushing (R-Penobscot) Opposing LD 1822 as amended by SAS-505

Sen. John Patrick (D-Oxford) Supporting LD 1822 as amended by SAS-505

Senate Minority Leader Mike Thibodeau (R-Waldo) opposing LD 1822 as amended by SAS-505

Sen. Colleen Lachowicz (D-Kennebec) Supporting LD 1822 as amended by SAS-505

Sen. David Burns (R-Washington) opposing LD 1822 as amended by SAS-505

Senate Majority Leader Troy Jackson (D-Aroostook) Supporting LD 1822 as amended by SAS-505 (PT 1)

Senate Majority Leader Troy Jackson (D-Aroostook) concludes supporting remarks on LD 1822, SAS-505

Sen. Chris Johnson (D-Lincoln) Supporting LD 1822 as amended by SAS-505 (PT 2)

3. LD 1820, “An Act To Reduce Abuse of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Program through Restriction of Electronic Benefits Transfers”.
ROLL CALL: Yeas 20 – Nays 15

HHS Chair Sen. Margaret Craven Introduces LD 1820 as amended to Senate

Sen. James Hamper (R-Oxford) opposing LD 1820

Sen. Chris Johnson (D-Lincoln) supporting LD 1820

4. LD 1842, “An Act To Amend the Laws Governing the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Program”.
ROLL CALL: Yeas 20 – Nays 15

HHS Chair Sen. Margaret Craven Introduces LD 1842 to Senate w/ ONTP committee recommendation

Sen. James Hamper (R-Oxford) Opposing ONTP on LD 1842

Sen. Eloise Vitelli (D-Sagadahoc) Supporting “ONTP” on LD 1842

Asst Minority Leader Roger Katz (R-Kennebec) Opposing “ONTP” on LD 1842

Sen. Colleen Lachowicz (D-Kennebec) Supporting “ONTP” on LD 1842

Sen. Rebecca Millett (D-Cumberland) supporting ONTP on LD 1842

Sen. Margaret Craven (D-Androscoggin) supporting “ONTP” on LD 1842

Sen. Chris Johnson (D-Lincoln) Supporting “ONTP” on LD 1842

5. LD 1815, “An Act To Require a Work Search for Job-ready Applicants for Benefits under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Program”.
ROLL CALL: 20 Yeas – 15 Nays

HHS Chair Sen. Margaret Craven Introduces LD 1815 (“ONTP”) to Senate

Sen. James Hamper (R-Oxford) Opposing ONTP on LD 1815

Sen. Ron Collins (R-York) Opposing ONTP on LD 1815

Asst Minority Leader Roger Katz (R-Kennebec) opposing ONTP on LD 1815

Asst Majority Leader Anne Haskell (D-Cumberland) supporting ONTP on LD 1815

Sen. Margaret Craven (D-Androscoggin) supporting ONTP on LD 1815

6. LD 1844, “An Act To Increase Local Responsibility for General Assistance”.
ROLL CALL: 22 Yeas – 12 Nays

HHS Chair Sen. Margaret Craven Introduces LD 1844 (ONTP) to Senate

Sen. Geoff Gratwick (D-Penobscot) supporting LD 1844 ONTP recommendation

Sen. John Cleveland (D-Androscoggin) supporting LD 1844 ONTP recommendation

Sen. Doug Thomas (R-Somerset) opposing LD 1844 ONTP recommendation

Sen. Chris Johnson (D-Lincoln) supporting LD 1844 ONTP recommendation

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

“Put Up or Shut Up” Time! Maine Legislature Takes Up LD 1829, Directing DHHS to Report EBT/ TANF Fraud

Posted on April 7, 2014. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Gov. Paul LePage discusses his EBT/ TANF reform bills LDs 1815, 1820, 1822 and 1842 at a press conference.

Gov. Paul LePage discusses his EBT/ TANF reform bills LDs 1815, 1820, 1822 and 1842 at a press conference.

When Governor LePage and others in March held a press conference in the governor’s cabinet room and rolled out a slew of EBT/ TANF welfare reform bills, they were widely seen as election year politicized moves and characterized as a “bait and switch”tactic by LePage:

    “The governor maintains that “millions” of dollars in Temporary Assistance for Needy Families EBT card transactions must be fraudulent because, well, they were spent out of state. Yet even though it’s perfectly legal to spend TANF funds beyond Maine, the governor is determined to eliminate the transactions entirely.

    And he isn’t letting the facts get in the way of a good election year issue.

    The actual total of so-called “questionable” out-of-state TANF transactions in 2013 was about $1 million, or about .0002 percent of Maine’s biennial budget – or almost exactly what the governor spent on his no-bid, politically rigged and economically flawed Alexander Group “welfare report.”

    But if that’s not enough, the governor can’t actually prove that any of these transactions were fraudulent because the government doesn’t track the purchases. Instead, all he can do it spout anecdotes, allegations and breathless hyperbole.”

After the bills’ public hearing, the HHS Committee chairs minced no words in their criticism of the governor’s tactics:

DSC_0040

    Sen. Margaret Craven of Lewiston: “Governor LePage’s proposals will not help people get a job and get back on their feet. They will simply make it harder for struggling families to survive. The right route to reform is through education and training. We certainly should not be passing the buck to our towns and shirking on our responsibility.”

    Rep. Dick Farnsworth of Portland: “If there is fraud, no matter how small, it should be investigated and prosecuted, not politicized. We are directing the Governor to investigate that fraud and prosecute it, if it is real. He should stop using it to pull the rug out from struggling families, especially at a time when Maine has one of the worst job growth records in the nation. Governor LePage has built his election campaigns on cynically stereotyping poor Mainers under the guise of welfare reform. The reality is that his policies have only led to a rise in homelessness and an increase in child hunger.”

Upon hearing about the bills initially and their intent, Maine Attorney General Janet Mills sent a letter last month to Democratic leaders, urging them to “put this matter into perspective”, “go after big fish as well as small” and “not elevate one over another”. Her 3 page missive is below.

To that end, HHS Committee member Rep. Drew Gattine (D-Westbrook) put forth a bill, LD 1829 “An Act To Require the Department of Health and Human Services To Report Annually on Investigations and Prosecutions of False Claims Made under the MaineCare, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and Food Supplement Programs”, to combat the claims of the Governor’s office of fraud and do exactly what the attorney general urged.

Here are his prepared remarks as delivered before the legislature’s standing HHS committee at the bill’s public hearing, held immediately after those for LDs 1815, 1822, 1820, and 1842:

More from a Maine House Democrats press release:

HHS Committee members Rep. Drew Gattine (D-Westbrook) and Rep. Deb Sanderson (R-Chelsea) listen to testimony during the public hearings for LDs 1815, 1820, 1822 and 1842.

HHS Committee members Rep. Drew Gattine (D-Westbrook) and Rep. Deb Sanderson (R-Chelsea) listen to testimony during the public hearings for LDs 1815, 1820, 1822 and 1842.

    According to a report in the Portland Press Herald, despite the effort, the number of successful prosecutions has increased from eight in 2010, to 10 in 2011, to 15 in 2012. The amount of restitution that courts have ordered increased from $92,339 in 2010 to $104,341 in 2012. In 2012, only 13 people were convicted of welfare fraud .

    “What we see from the Governor and the administration is more smoke and mirrors. The Governor has the tools and resources to fight fraud. But he’s not doing the job,” said Rep. Drew Gattine, D-Westbrook, who serves on the Legislature’s Health and Human Services committee. “Not only are his proposals unconstitutional and unenforceable, but they deflect attention from the real waste and mismanagement on his watch.”

    Under Governor Paul LePage, the Department of Health and Human Services has been plagued by chronic mismanagement and budget shortfalls that have cost taxpayers millions of dollars.

    The Department has squandered taxpayer dollars on a failed MaineCare rides contract and the controversial Alexander report, it has overpaid long-term care providers, and lost the state’s certification and federal funding for the Riverview Psychiatric Center. The Department is also under scrutiny for document shredding at the CDC and tampering with the public bidding process for smoking cessation dollars.

    Gattine has a proposed a measure, LD 1829, which would increase accountability and prevent fraud in the state’s anti-poverty and Medicaid programs. The bill would require an annual program integrity report on all fraud waste and abuse activities including provider and consumer prosecutions and on-going DHHS management issues.

    “We need to shed light on what’s happening at the Department,” said Gattine.

The bill as amended passed the House last week, but only by a 92-52 margin. It next goes before the Senate this afternoon, as do LDs 1815, 1820, 1822 and 1842.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

Live Tweets from Maine Government Oversight Committee CDC Shredding Hearing (Pt 1)

Posted on March 14, 2014. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Live tweets from within the Maine Government Oversight Committee’s probe into alleged document shredding by ME Center for Disease Control officials. (part 1)

=========

 

The GOC live feed has started. Questioning CDC officials is on the agenda http://bit.ly/1kQSbJm  #mepolitics

 

Want to know about CDC questioning? @cwilliams55 will be tweeting from the GOC meeting.

 

Government Oversight Committee starting. Subpoenaed CDC employees are here flanked by lawyers. #mepolitics

 

Bill Nemitz: #Maine CDC officials’ request for secrecy mocks good #government http://www.pressherald.com/news/newscolumnists/billnemitz/Bill_Nemiz__Will_CDC_scandal_end_up_behind_closed_doors_.html … via @pressherald #mepolitics

 

Government Oversight Committee awaiting testimony on CDC doc shredding case. #mepolitics pic.twitter.com/WSG6hSOmAG

 

Committee deciding whether to take testimony in executive session. If so all testimony would be confidential. #mepolitics

 

GOC talking about going behind closed doors . . . to talk about CDC document shred? #irony #mepolitics

 

Gov. Oversight meeting debating whether to go into executive session to hear testimony from CDC officials. #mepolitics

 

Sen Craven: This problem arose out of a lack of transparency which is why she opposes going into executive session. #mepolitics

Debating about whether to take testimony on CDC shredding probe in a private executive session. #mepolitics

Beth Ashcroft outlines process and statutes around exec. session at GOC. #mepolitics

 

Sen. Burns says committee should be trusted to take testimony behind closed doors; don’t want to be used as forum for civil litigation…

 

Burns arguing for going into executive session cuz were all elected officials that should be trusted by public or disband #GOC #mepolitics

Sen Burns favors going into executive session: “To suggest this process is not transparent is absurd.” #mepolitics

Burns arguing for executive session now. “I don’t want to be used as a forum to settle someone’s litigation.” #mepolitics

 

Sen. Katz: It would be “beyond ironic” if we were to do our work in secret. #mepolitics

 

Katz says open session goes core of why the committee exists. Ironic if committee responsible for sunshine goes into the dark. #mepolitics

 

Craven and Katz prefer open session; Burns opposed. #mepolitics

 

Katz says he has confidence they will get truthful answers. #mepolitics

 

If the Democrats stick together with Katz they have the votes to keep it open. #mepolitics

@SenRogerKatz “I think it would be wrong for committee responsible for sunshine in government should do so in the dark” #mepolitics

 

I wonder if the media present will get to weigh in on the executive session debate? #mepolitics

 

Johnson speaks for open session. Davis sees as deposition, should be private. #mepolitics

 

Davis says testimony is like a deposition and it should be handled in private #mepolitics

 

Cotta brings up the issue of timing with ongoing litigation. #mepolitics

 

Cotta: either exec. session or wait until after lawsuit complete. #mepolitics

 

Cain says this is a “new space” for Government Oversight. and at a “precedent-setting moment.” #mepolitics

 

Accountability is at the heart of Cain’s personal opinion that the work be done in open session. #mepolitics

Sen. Cain in Gov. Oversight Cmt: Making the case for transparency, oversight and accountability in CDC hearing now #mepolitics

 

Cain: keep discussion in public. Kruger agrees with Cain. Makes motion to keep open session. #mepolitics

Tie vote means GOC testimony from CDC officials will be in exec session. Looking now like votes are there for public session #mepolitics

Motion is to take the testimony in public session by Kruger. #mepolitics

It is possible to go in on a case-by-case basis — but they will need a clear motion on why and must take that vote in public. #mepolitics

 

“Depositions are almost always handled in private.” Davis says. #mepolitics

@thisdog Aren’t depositions turned over to attorneys on the other side?

 

Rep. Kruger calls for sunlight in oversight cmt despite LePage admin request to block public review of CDC doc shredding case #mepolitics

 

“We have a lot of attorneys in the room today.” No kidding. #mepolitics

Attorney for DHHS trying to address committee before vote on executive session; Cain, co-chair, wants the vote first #mepolitics

 

Cain says she doesn’t want a “free-for-all” from the audience. #mepolitics

 

Government Oversight Committee votes to conduct CDC document shredding probe in public. #mepolitics

Government Oversight Committee votes 7-3 not to go behind closed doors for testimony in document shredding case@WCSH6

 

GOC votes to take testimony in public 7-3 the vote #mepolitics

GOC votes 7-3 to keep testimony in public #mepolitics

 

Vote: 7-3 to remain in public session. #mepolitics

 

Bipartisan oversight cmt votes 7-3 in favor of public session to discuss LePage’s CDC document shredding scandal #mepolitics

 

Question now: How many of CDC witnesses take 5th, to avoid self-incrimination. That’s what Paul Violette did in 2011 #mepolitics

 

If you’re allergic to lawyers the GOC meeting this morning is a hazardous environment to be in. #mepolitics

 

@Robb1239 any space at all up there?

@thisdog There’s room behind us if you get tired of standing

 

BREAKING: The Maine Legislature’s Government Oversight Committee just denied a request by Gov. LePage’s managers… http://fb.me/6unxKDcM5 

 

Cain: order of testimony – Wigand, Finch, Leahy-Lind, Sockabasin, Pinette, Zukas. #mepolitics

 

Watching Government Oversight on my phone at Logan Airport, just because. #timetogetalife

@aedurkin *waves*

 

Cain: no questioning of witnesses by other witnesses or their attorneys will be allowed.#mepolitics

 

Legislative panel mulls allowing secret testimony in shredding scandal http://on.wmtw.com/1dZgnES 

 

All those testifying today can have their lawyer with them. Most will likely take the 5th. #mepolitics

 

Lawyer objecting to broadcasting or televising these proceedings. #mepolitics

 

Attorney asks that public hearing not be broadcast. #mepolitics

 

Deb Wigand, first up. Her Attorney requests to turn off live cameras, MPBN. Dep. AG says that won’t comply with FOAA #mepolitics

 

Attorney for the state says they will allow the broadcast to continue. #mepolitics

 

Weigand attorney trying to prevent us from recording testimony. AG’s office slams the door on that. Win #2 for the media. #mepolitics

 

TV cameras can stay. #mepolitics #thankyou

 

LePage’s CDC lawyers continue to try to block public testimony with legal maneuvers; Oversight cmt says no #mepolitics

 

They are swearing in witnesses now. #mepolitics

 

I apologize for the rogue “e” it’s Wigand

 

Sen. Cain upholds transparency in CDC hearing #mepolitics

 

Katz starts questions. First on decision to use RFP. #mepolitics

 

Wigand with attorney. Direction division of population health. Katz asks her about use of RFPs for lead agency. #mepolitics

 

Wigand is answering first question, so this won’t be a complete stonewalling. #mepolitics

 

@PaulMerrillWMTW: First up: CDC Director of Division of Population Health Deb Wigand. She’s joined by her lawyer. #mepolitics

 

Sen. Katz opens the questioning of Wigand who’s been at the CDC since 1999 #mepolitics pic.twitter.com/LXFWjMYrCn

 

Wigand, dir. of public health, not a defendant in civil suit, BTW. Three of the 5 CDC people here are. #mepolitics

 

Wigand: Finch told her he was asked to destroy grant docs. He wasn’t comfortable w/it. She defends reason not 2 make it an issue #mepolitics

 

Wigand said she told Finch to do what he felt comfortable doing.#mepolitics

 

Retweeted by Sun Journal

@cwilliams55 Will Katz ask if she was intimidated by Craven’s demands for explanations why her organization wasn’t lead agency? #mepolitics

 

Background on CDC shred, grant manipulation here: http://ow.ly/uAxIK 

Maine legislators vote to keep testimony public today in CDC probe. http://tinyurl.com/qfw38v9 

 

Wigand: funding cut for healthy Maine partnerships.#mepolitics

 

The view from the cheap seats. #mepolitics pic.twitter.com/t9MHlAY6Om

 

Katz line of questions why not even cut instead of reduction in HMPs. #mepolitics

 

Katz asks about scoring criteria for Healthy Maine partnership. Which ones will be designated leads. #mepolitics

 

Question now on the scoring criteria that was created to judge HMPs. Notes first round were not weighted? #mepolitics

 

Katz ?s aimed @ reason for funding change amid cuts to health program. Key issue b/c report found evidence of grant manipulation #mepolitics

 

GOC hears details on CDC document shred case. #mepolitics pic.twitter.com/5tapQh2fwj

 

Wigand: recalls no discussion about criteria, including weighting. #mepolitics

 

GOC meeting on CDC doc shred case #mepolitics pic.twitter.com/2HES36cxl9

 

Wigand denies destroying or asking anyone to destroy documents #mepolitics

 

Wigand testifies that CDC workers were asked to destroy documents. #mepolitics

Wigand says she was not asked to shred documents but did hear that somebody was asked to destroy documents. #mepolitics

 

Wigand: “I have not been asked to destroy any documents.” Also denies asking anyone else to destroy documents. #mepolitics

 

Wigand says she talked to Finch, who said he was asked to destroy documents and wasn’t comfortable about that. #mepolitics

 

CDC worker testifies she was aware people in the agency were asked to destroy documents@WCSH6

 

Maine CDC worker didn’t think destroying document request was for concealment but to cut down on multiple versions of documents@WCSH6

 

Wigand said she told Finch to do what he felt comfortable doing.#mepolitics

 

Katz: did you become aware thT Bangor had been second place, then became in first place.#mepolitics

Wigand didn’t recall #mepolitics

 

Sharon Leahy-Lind with attorney Cynthia Dill pic.twitter.com/O03lBie9fG

Wigand stays on the record and candidly answers. #mepolitics

 

Wigand: Finch told her he was asked to destroy grant docs. He wasn’t comfortable w/it. She defends reason not 2 make it an issue #mepolitics

 

Wigand: I was involved in reviewing ideas around criteria, but not ratings.#mepolitics

 

Cain picks up where Katz left off on why criteria changed. #mepolitics pic.twitter.com/49Vu98c4nK

 

Wigand: “I saw that as a version control issue.” Attempt at concealment “never occurred to me.” #mepolitics

 

Wigand on hearing her subordinate saying he was asked to destroy documents: didn’t think this was an effort at concealment. #mepolitics

 

Wigand says “shred” was a media term but doc destruction was more an issue of “version control” #mepolitics

 

In #mepolitics today, a win for transparency in the Maine CDC document-shredding case. http://bit.ly/1m3CiiY  via @stevemistler

 

Why was Finch uncomfortable destroying documents? If it was simply “version control”? #mepolitics

 

Wigand: defunding was a new thing. #mepolitics

 

Wigand: I was not involved in scoring HMPs. #mepolitics

 

Wigand: I don’t remember a discussion about destroying things or keeping things.#mepolitics

 

Wigand indicating there’s confusion about when to keep working documents. #mepolitics

 

Wigand says it’s still not clear to her who’s in charge of records retention at the CDC. Wow. #mepolitics

 

Cain goes back to why Finch was uncomfortable with destruction order. #mepolitics

 

Wigand: Christine Zukas, defendant in whistleblower suit, asked my subordinate to destroy grant docs #mepolitics

 

Wigand says it was Zukas who gave the order to destroy documents. #mepolitics

 

Wigand: “I know it was Christine Zukas” who asked Finch to destroy the documents.#mepolitics

 

Wigand steps down#mepolitics

 

Wigand done for now. She answered every question. She is not part of the civil suit. #mepolitics

Finch takes seat before GOC

 

Finch, senior program manager for community based programs#mepolitics

Finch now up before GOC on CDC doc shred case. #mepolitics

 

Up next: CDC Senior Program Manager for Community-based Programming Andrew Finch. #mepolitics

 

Andrew Finch of CDC who reported being asked to shred documents now testifying #mepolitics pic.twitter.com/HZpTJi661e

 

Finch: told Wigand he’d been told to purge files of all development criteria for HMPs.#mepolitics

 

Finch: Christine Zukas told him to purge documents. #mepolitics

Finch: Christine Zukas asked him to purge files. #mepolitics

 

Finch says CDC Deputy Director Christine Zukas asked him to destroy documents. Told superior he wasn’t comfortable with that. #mepolitics

 

Maine CDC worker says Christine Zukas told another employee to destroy documents @WCSH6

Maine CDC worker Andy Finch says Christine Zukas asked him to purge his files @wcsh6

Finch: was member of working group that created criteria for HMPs. #mepolitics

 

Maine CDC worker Andy Finch says Chistine Zukas told him to purge his files @WCSH6

Finch: development of criteria was a process, criteria were considered and discarded along the way.#mepolitics

 

Cain: consider how HMPs would fare under new criteria? Finch: Absolutely not. #mepolitics

 

Rob Poindexter ‏@Robb1239  was more of an instruction or a request?” Finch: “Bit of both.” #mepolitics

Finch, not a defendant in civil suit, up now. Was part of scoring criteria drafting, also says he was asked to destroy docs #mepolitics

 

BREAKING: CDC official testifies he was ordered to destroy documents http://bit.ly/1fXvssQ  #mepolitics

 

Finch: Sharon, Deb and myself came up with initial criteria for scoring 27 HMPs. #mepolitics

 

CDC worker Andy Finch says instruction to destroy documents was so that previous versions wouldn’t be confused with final documents

 

Finch: “I have no such sheet in my possession” that had Bangor in second place. #mepolitics

 

Finch: discussion that it would be ironic if Bangor was not a lead HMPS.#mepolitics

 

Finch: weighting was changed to scoring. #mepolitics

 

Finch: CDC group changed weighting of criteria for outcome of funding decisions to show clearer leaders. #mepolitics

Finch: group made decision to change weightings in criteria to achieve greater difference in scores, but not outcome.#mepolitics

 

@stevemistler is livetweeting from the CDC document shredding GOC meeting. Follow him to get regular updates. #mepolitics

 

Maine lawmakers vote to keep testimony public in CDC probe: The Government Oversight Committee is taking… http://dlvr.it/587TDY 

 

Just how the scoring for HMPs was manipulated to reach results becomes more clear. #mepolitics

 

Finch: don’t know why scoring info. not released at time winners announced. #mepolitics

 

Finch: Zukas told him to destroy documents after she had met with CDC Director Pinnette. #mepolitics

Finch says he had never been asked to destroy, purge, shred etc documents in his 18 years as a state employee #mepolitics

 

Finch says in 18 years in state gov’t he had never before ordered to destroy documents. #mepolitics

Finch: Never in 18 years asked to destroy docs until 2012. Says Zukas requested it after meeting CDC dir. Pinette #mepolitics

 

Finch: “I have never been instructed to do that (destroy documents) in my 18 years as an employee”#mepolitics

 

Employees testify CDC docs were ordered to be destroyed. Has anyone asked @lepage2014 about his knowledge of scandal? #mepress #mepolitics

 

Finch: “I burned (documents asked to be destroyed)to a disc and removed from my computer.” Gave to OPEGA.#mepolitics

 

Finch didn’t destroy docs. He burned them to a disc and later turned them over to watchdog agency #mepolitics

 

Bigger picture here is that it sounds like CDC folks don’t know what public information to keep, who is in charge of it, etc. #mepolitics

 

Finch says he’s had no training on public document retention. Did not know whon#foaa point was at CDC.#mepolitics

 

Rep Harvell said he wanted to embrace his “inner-Jack McCoy” here. Looking forward 2 it. He’s legendarily feared in House floor debates.

@Robb1239 Yet he dressed like he was going to a holiday party?

 

http://SunJournal.com  has livestream: CDC officials testify there were orders to “purge” documents. #mepolitics

 

Maine lawmakers vote to keep testimony public in CDC probe: The Government Oversight Committee is taking… http://dlvr.it/587ntS 

 

The way the CDC scored this “competition” seems eerily similar to the figure skating judges in Sochi

 

Maine lawmakers vote to keep testimony public in CDC probe . http://bit.ly/1npEaUL 

 

Finch: In central district three of coalitions tied. Was suggested we use kit data that was … used ti break tie.#mepolitics

 

Let’s remember that we’re talking about steering $4.7 million in taxpayer dollars. #mepolitics

 

From @sunjournal : Maine CDC officials say they were told to destroy documents http://bdn.to/maqc  #mepolitics

 

@SenRogerKatz: How is this different from changing what field goals are worth after a game? Finch: I don’t know that it is. #mepolitics

 

Finch: “it appears that way.” In answer to Katz ? about Bangor moving into 1st after scores were weighted.#mepolitics

 

Katz compares grant scoring change to making football field goals 4 points after game is settled. Finch doesn’t disagree #mepolitics

Change to making football field goals 4 points after game is settled. Finch doesn’t disagree

Katz: How is what you did different from changing the rules in football after the game? Finch: It isn’t. #mepolitics

 

Finch: re: destruction request”I had been given this directive and I had not followed through with it.” #mepolitics

 

Finch: re: destruction request”I had been given this directive and I had not followed through with it.” #mepolitics

 

Finch: “the director was not involved in the (criteria)development group.” #mepolitics

 

GREAT football analogy by Katz compares CDC scoring 2 changing rules after a game is over awarding 4 points for FG changing the outcome

 

Finch: “I presented the different weighting scenarios to Christine Zukas.” #mepolitics

 

GOC breaks #mepolitics

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

(UPDATED) Maine GOP- Yes, REPUBLICANS!- To Attempt Compromised/ Combined Medicaid Expansion Bill

Posted on February 25, 2014. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

(11:45 AM UPDATE) The plan has now been released and as anticipated, it involves combining proposals from Senator Roger Katz and Speaker of the House Mark Eves:

      A key Republican senator on Tuesday will release his proposal to expand the state’s Medicaid program to more than 60,000 low-income Mainers, a move that could reshape a fiercely partisan debate that has raged at the State House for over a year.

      The proposal, sponsored by Sen. Roger Katz, R-Augusta, the assistant minority leader, is the result of a six-month effort to build support to expand a publicly funded health insurance program that has traditionally provoked fierce ideological and philosophical opposition among Republicans for its results and costs.

      Lawmakers will take up Katz’s bill before they tackle a separate expansion proposal sponsored by House Speaker Mark Eves, D-North Berwick.

Katz’s proposal includes a three year “sunset provision”, which he floated out to lawmakers as an amendment during last year’s LD 1066 floor debate. That motion passed the Senate by a 23-12 vote.

Democrats released more information on the proposal and statements from leadership:

    Democratic Leaders Issue Statement on Republican Health Care Expansion Proposal

    AUGUSTA — Top Democratic leaders in the Maine House and Senate issued the following statements in response to a proposal from Senate Republican Leader Senator Roger Katz of Kennebec to accept federal funds to provide healthcare coverage to 70,000 Mainers, including nearly 3,000 veterans.

    In addition to accepting the federal funds, Sen. Katz’s proposal would:

    • Put in place a plan to reduce the wait list for individuals with intellectual disabilities seeking MaineCare services like home care;
    • Call for managed care to reduce healthcare costs;
    • Fund two new Medicaid fraud investigators in the Attorney General’s office;
    • Conduct a feasibility study to review Arkansas’ and Iowa’s plans to use the federal dollars to purchase private insurance;
    • Include a sunset provision after three years when federal reimbursement reduces to 95 percent and an opt-out provision if the match rate goes below 100 percent during the first three years. 

    Speaker of the House Mark Eves of North Berwick and Senate Majority Leader Troy Jackson of Allagash sponsored two separate measures to accept federal funds, and issued the following statements.

    DEMOCRATIC STATEMENT ON REPUBLICAN PROPOSAL

    Speaker of the House Mark Eves and Senate Majority Leader Troy Jackson wait before presenting their bills before HHS Committee.

    Speaker of the House Mark Eves and Senate Majority Leader Troy Jackson wait before presenting their bills before HHS Committee.

    “We view the proposal as a step forward after months of debate over how to ensure more families can have access to a family doctor,”  said Speaker of the House Mark Eves of North Berwick. “Our priority has always been securing life-saving health care for 70,000 Maine people. While we have been skeptical of managed care programs in the past, we look forward to hearing the details of the Republican proposal. We will want to make sure that the emphasis is on quality treatment; not simply denying care.”

    “The people of Maine are counting on us to do right by them. They’ve put their faith and their trust in us and asked us to represent them to the best of our abilities,” said Senate Majority Leader Troy Jackson of Allagash. “Health care is a right, and lawmakers who get health care from the state should think twice before denying it to their constituents.”

    Senator Katz is expected to present the Republican proposal to the Health and Human Services Committee on Wednesday at 3 p.m.

    ###

——————————————————

Rumor overnight via Maine Wire about state GOP lawmakers making a move to expand Medicaid seems to be accurate:

Senate Minority Leader Roger Katz (R-Kennebec)

Senate Minority Leader Roger Katz (R-Kennebec)

A pair of Republican state senators are set to roll out a bill that would expand the state’s Medicaid program, MaineCare — a proposal that so far has been largely opposed by Republican Gov. Paul LePage and rank-and-file members of the party. On Tuesday, state Sen.’s Tom Saviello, R-Wilton and Roger Katz, R-Augusta, will unveil their plan to members of their party during a caucus meeting and then take their pitch to the editorial boards of two of the state’s daily newspapers.

Democrats have also been uncharacteristically quiet about the measure, which would allow the state to accept federal funding to expand the state’s low-income health care system under the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

But state Sen. Margaret Craven, the Senate chair of the Legislature’s Health and Human Services Committee, said she was setting aside time Wednesday for her committee to hold a public hearing on the measure.

The bill, LD 1487, “An Act To Implement Managed Care in the MaineCare Program” was carried over last July and as such, needs a simple majority to pass both chambers. However, it would need 2/3s vote as an emergency bill and to override a veto from Governor LePage, who is vehemently opposed to expansion.

Current thought is that LD 1578, “An Act To Increase Health Security by Expanding Federally Funded Health Care for Maine People”, would be tacked on as an amendment to the bill.

The Joint Standing Committee on Health and Human Services is scheduled for 3 pm work sessions tomorrow on LDs 1636 and 1663 after the conclusion of the legislative session (audio link here).
The news has garnered some positive and negative reactions among Republicans. Former LePage communications director Dan Demeritt posted on Twitter:

House GOP Communications Director David Sorensen fired off a press release before the senate caucus to media. Here is a portion:

      “Medicaid Mythbusters Round 1”

    Many of those eligible for Medicaid under an expansion would already be eligible for a federal health care subsidy, were they to buy their own health insurance on the private market.

    – The U.S. Congress, “can’t be trusted to sustain its Medicaid funding promises,” suggesting the state would be stuck footing the bill for any health care expansion.

    – An expansion of Medicaid would cause further defunding of existing state government programs including those that help pay for nursing home care.

Sorensen later took to Twitter himself, to share the following slap-down:

So what does all of this mean?

It would finally mean expansion of Medicaid to 70,000 Mainers, which Democrats have tried to do but been unsuccessful both as LD 1546, “An Act To Strengthen Maine’s Hospitals, Increase Access to Health Care and Provide for a New Spirits Contract” , the combination hospital debt payoff- Medicaid expansion- liquor contract bill and as the stand alone bill LD 1066, “An Act To Increase Access to Health Coverage and Qualify Maine for Federal Funding”.

This story is still unfolding and will be updated.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

Rep. Nate Libby Announces Candidacy for Senate District 21

Posted on February 17, 2014. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , |

From his press release:

NATE Libby

    Rep. Nate Libby Announces Candidacy for State Senate

      Will be a forceful advocate for Lewiston

LEWISTON – Rep. Nate Libby (D-Lewiston) will launch his campaign for State Senate District 21, which comprises the city of Lewiston, at Museum LA, 35 Canal Street, Lewiston, on Saturday, February 22nd at 10:00 AM.

“I’m excited for the challenge and opportunity of serving the people of Lewiston in the Senate,”
said Rep. Libby. “We need strong leadership in Augusta and I’ll be a forceful advocate for our city and its people.”

The senate seat is currently held by Democratic Senator Margaret Craven of Lewiston, who announced she is retiring after 12 years of service in the Legislature in order to care for her ailing husband. Senator Craven is endorsing Rep. Libby as her replacement.

“I am pleased to support Nate Libby for this seat,” said Senator Craven. “He will bring a great deal of energy to the Senate, and I know he will always put Lewiston first.”

Rep. Libby is completing his first term in the Maine House of Representatives and has been serving on the Lewiston City Council since 2012.

In the Legislature, Rep. Libby serves on the Taxation Committee where he co-sponsored legislation for comprehensive tax reform. He has also worked to restore revenue sharing, expand access to Pre-K education, and make health insurance more affordable.

He serves on the board of Androscoggin Head Start, the Lewiston-Auburn Economic Growth Council, Lewiston’s Community Development Committee, and the working group for Lewiston’s first universally accessible playground.

Rep. Libby is a graduate of Bates College and works as a consultant and landlord in Lewiston-Auburn. He is married to Andrea and has a four year old son, Jude.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 3 so far )

Liked it here?
Why not try sites on the blogroll...

%d bloggers like this: