AUGUSTA, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- As legislators review the specific cuts from Governor LePage's $35 million curtailment, about 900 Maine families are preparing to have adoption subsidies cut in half.
Facing a $100 budget shortfall, Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Mary Mayhew outlined curtailment cuts for the Appropriations Committee Wednesday afternoon, including a $1.4 million cut in adoption subsidies.
The cut would affect an estimated 900 Maine families. On average, a family receiving $22 per day per child would receive $11 from April to June.
The state provides the subsidy for families who have adopted children with a history of abuse, neglect, trauma, or other issues.
Though the subsidy cut is temporary, adoptive families told the committee it would still hurt.
"Though it may only be three months, the impact would be felt immediately," said adoptive parent Abby Davis, who has two daughters.
"It's a period long enough to make a sizable dent in many adoptive families like mine."
Davis said she is also concerned about the long-term affects of cutting subsidies agreed upon in a contract.
"We cannot risk painting the state's adoptive system as flawed or unreliable," said Davis. "We cannot put the well-being of a child in peril because of the state's fiscal mistake."
DHHS Commissioner Mayhew said she understands that concern, but had to address the reality of the curtailment.
"I am concerned about the impact, but we were looking in the context of what our options were," said Mayhew.
The Appropriations Committee begins its workshop on the supplemental budget next week.