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The State House in Augusta. LD 967 would increase the wages of direct care workers who help people with disabilities. The bill has been passed by the Legislature, but its funding is pending.

After a decade of funding cuts, dozens of homes for Maine people with disabilities are shutting down

Over the past year, 24 homes for people with intellectual disabilities have closed, and 12 more are expected to shutter in the next six months, leaving the futures of more than 100 people uncertain.
The LePage administration says it’s overhauling the way the state treats in-home child care businesses because it wants to reverse a long-term decline in their numbers.
Maine Focus

DHHS is paying more for child care — after saying it wasn’t allowed to

In addition, it wants to eliminate a number of rights parents are currently guaranteed, such as the right to visit their children at any time during the day and the right to be informed of any licensing deficiencies.
Gov. Paul LePage addresses the chamber during the 2017 State of the State address at the State House in Augusta on Feb. 7, 2017.
Maine Focus

What LePage really plans to do with $100M meant for Maine families in poverty

The administration has orchestrated this major budget shift on its own, largely beyond public view and mostly without adding to the support available to help low-income Mainers escape poverty.
Members of the Maine Senate listen to Gov. Paul LePage speak during the first session of the 128th Legislature on Dec. 7, 2016, at the State House in Augusta.
Maine Focus

LePage signs bill to probe Maine infant deaths 

It follows reporting last summer by the BDN’s Maine Focus team that found Maine was the only state to see a long-term increase in its infant mortality rate over the past two decades.
Department of Corrections Commissioner Joseph Fitzpatrick testified at a work session of the Maine Legislature's Joint Standing Committee on Criminal Justice and Public Safety on Feb. 27, 2017. Fitzpatrick has since largely ceased communicating with the committee, according to Rep. Charlotte Warren, D-Hallowell, co-chairwoman of the committee.
Maine Focus

Behind the scenes of reporting on prisons under LePage

“I’ve got about 30 seconds for you,” Joseph Fitzpatrick, the commissioner of the Maine Department of Corrections, said into the phone.
Long Creek Youth Development Center in South Portland is pictured Nov. 17, 2016.
Maine Focus

Watchdogs revealed crisis in Maine’s youth prison. LePage let them go.

The move dealt a blow to an already faltering prison oversight system that’s meant to ensure accountability in a government-run world concealed behind high fences and locked doors.
Outgoing Maine Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Mary Mayhew (left) and Dr. Sheila Pinette, director of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention in a file photo.

How Mary Mayhew consolidated control over DHHS

The inner workings of Maine’s largest state agency have fundamentally changed during the past six years.
Gears on a children's toy in the waiting room at Bangor Public Health and Community Services, where WIC recipients have their appointments.

Bill to let infant death review group do its job gets initial approval

The legislation follows reporting last summer by the BDN’s Maine Focus team that found Maine was the only state to see a long-term increase in its infant mortality rate over the past two decades.