State Lawmakers Pass a Budget

Working through last night into the early morning hours today, the Maine legislature passed a budget that funnels hundreds of millions into schools, nursing homes, affordable housing, and storm-battered communities.
After significant back and forth between the Senate and the House with numerous amendments, the supplemental budget passed just after 5:00 AM.
The Supplemental Budget (LD 2214) includes important investments in Maine's nursing homes. The bill provides $26 million of general fund appropriation with $45 million in federal match for nursing home rate reform efforts that would total approximately $72 million. This is in addition to the $10 million (all funds) that was already proposed for increased funding for rate reform.
The bill creates a Nursing Facility Rate Transition Fund to assist with rate reform efforts scheduled to be implemented in January 2025. As soon as practicable, $15 million from this fund coupled with $15 million from the previously approved $29 million in the Biennial Budget will be distributed to nursing facilities as a one-time payment. This combined $30 million is a bridge payment until new rates take effect in 2025.
Angela Westhoff, President & CEO comments, “MHCA is grateful to the many legislators who advocated for long term care funding and we will continue to work collaboratively with lawmakers to address the ongoing needs of long term care providers and the older adults we serve. Rate reform for residential care facilities is next on our advocacy agenda.” 
The budget also includes $76 million in affordable/ emergency housing, $50 million for storm damage, $20 million for mental health services, and nearly $12 million for one-time funds to support childcare providers, among other initiatives. Governor Mills has signaled that she will sign the bill into law.
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