State Budget Reviewed by Appropriations Committee Monday 

Wayne Harvey

A 570 million dollar gap in the state budget is trying to be bridged by the Appropriations Committee in the Capital.The session began at the State House in Augusta at nine o’clock Monday morning.Lawmakers heard strong objections to Governor Baldacci’s proposed budget.Nearly two dozen people testified about the cuts in the Department of Health and Human Services to cut state reimbursements to Private and Non Medical Insitutions ( PNMI ).Those testifying said the cuts will diminish the number of high risk and needy children they will be able serve.And those cuts will not only effect the families that they aim to serve but also will impact the state.” What will be lost if you standardize rates is our multi disciplinary approach to treatment.”” Many of these children will require some sort of severe intervention and if closures happen the state will find themselves with a need to rescue many of these other municipal organizations because they will not be able to handle them.”The Appropriations Committee had meetings planned all day and will cover cuts to Education, State and Local Government and the state’s Rainy Day Fund.Once the budget is reviewed and reworked it will go to the House and Senate for approval.