Maine Legislative Wrap-Up: Budget Victories
This legislative session, we saved several programs from funding cuts and repeals, and launched Maine’s first Children’s Caucus
While Maine awaits one more legislative day to consider veto messages and bond bills in early August, the bulk of the first regular session of our state’s 128th Legislature is complete. Members of Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, Mission: Readiness, and ReadyNation worked tirelessly to ensure that programs for Maine’s children and youth received the necessary investments to get our kids on the right track, make our communities safer, and prepare for a strong, 21st Century workforce.
Highlights of outcomes that our members took part in include:
- A $1.15 million increase for Head Start, and prevention of the $1.3 million General Fund cut to the program proposed by Governor LePage. Read more about why our Maine members support Head Start.
- Pre-K will now be included in the school funding formula in the first year of programming, rather than after 1.5 years. This should better support new and expanded programs. Fight Crime: Invest in Kids members are the “Ones You Pay Later” without high-quality pre-K investments.
- Maine Learning Results, Maine’s Education Guiding Principles and Proficiency-Based Education Standards were protected from repeal attempts. Fewer than 4 in 10 employers say that young adults are prepared for success in the workforce.
- Members helped to create, launch and staff Maine’s first bi-partisan, bi-cameral Children’s Caucus, which met seven times between January and May. The Caucus’ second session featured a panel presentation by Penobscot County Sheriff Troy Morton of Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, Major General Bill Libby of Mission: Readiness, and Educate Maine Executive Director Ed Cervone of Ready Nation.
Pictured above: Members met with legislators in the State Capitol to talk about the importance of increasing access to Head Start and Pre-K for more of Maine’s youngest learners. From left to right: Sheriff Troy Morton, Senate President Michael Thibodeau, Assistant Senate Majority Leader Andre Cushing, Major General Bill Libby, and Ed Cervone.
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