Friday, May 24, 2019

Gov. Mills signs bill eliminating religious and philosophical vaccine exemptions

House Democrats say Governor Janet Mills has signed a bill to eliminate religious and philosophical exemptions for children receiving vaccines.

LD 798, sponsored by Rep. Ryan Tipping, gets rid of those exemptions for immunizations required by schools and daycares.

More >> Gov. Mills signs bill eliminating religious and philosophical vaccine exemptions

Governor Mills signs bill to review child welfare caseloads

I have a feeling that by the time Mills is done with this, half the states children will be in foster care.

Governor Janet Mills signed LD 821, a Resolve To Review Caseloads for Child Welfare Caseworkers, sponsored by Rep. Colleen Madigan, of Waterville, and passed unanimously by the Legislature, which requires the Department of Health and Human Services to review child welfare caseloads and develop standard caseload recommendations with input from caseworkers and the Public Consulting Group.

“Our dedicated caseworkers are a vital connection between state government and vulnerable families and children,” said Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Jeanne Lambrew, in a news release. “We are committed to easing their caseloads to support them in making and sustaining those connections effectively, and we look forward to working with the Legislature on this effort.”

More >> Governor Mills signs bill to review child welfare caseloads

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Maine mother sues DHHS in federal court seeking contact with daughter

An Eddington woman is asking a federal judge to force the Maine Department of Health and Human Services to allow her contact with her 7-year-old daughter, who is living with her father’s girlfriend in Ellsworth under an agency safety plan.

Toni Barronton, 33, claims that DHHS violated her right to due process after it reneged on a decision to let the girl live with her temporarily after her father, Patrick Lynn, 32, allegedly violated his probation by using drugs.

More >> Maine mother sues DHHS in federal court seeking contact with daughter

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Active shooter training helps first responders prepare for worst case scenario


Tragically, school shootings are happening too often in the United States.

So far in 2019, there have already been 12 school shootings in which someone was hurt or killed. That's according to Education Week, a independent news organization covering K-12 education.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

New Task Force Aims To Improve Maine's Juvenile Justice System

Maine's Chief Justice Leigh Saufley joined civil rights and children's advocates, lawmakers and members of Gov. Janet Mills' cabinet for the first meeting of a newly-created task force to examine Maine's juvenile justice system.

The 30-member task force will be looking at a alternatives to juvenile incarceration. Justice Saufley says a similar task force achieved success ten years ago by slashing the number of kids in detention in Maine but she says it never met a second goal to establish a community-based system of treatment and placement programs.

More >> New Task Force Aims To Improve Maine's Juvenile Justice System

Friday, May 17, 2019

Amid calls for faster child welfare system reforms, Mills plans a hiring surge

Democratic Gov. Janet Mills, in her proposed two-year budget, is heeding advice from an auditor of the state’s child protective system by proposing the state hire more caseworkers.

The budget amendments, announced on Tuesday, add $2.8 million to the $8 billion budget proposal, in money to hire 62 new staff in the Office of Child and Family Services — 43 caseworkers, six background check unit staff and 13 positions in intake, which handles calls and reports of suspected abuse or neglect.

More >> Amid calls for faster child welfare system reforms, Mills plans a hiring surge

Maine Senate OKs expanded testing for lead in school water

The Maine Senate is unanimously supporting a proposal to provide more comprehensive testing for lead in school drinking water.

The Senate approved the proposal by Democratic Sen. Rebecca Millett, of Cape Elizabeth, on Thursday. Millett's bill is designed to require all schools to test drinking and cooking water for lead contamination.

More >> Maine Senate OKs expanded testing for lead in school water