Lawmakers To Consider Re-establishing Office That Advocates For Disabled Mainers

Dec 18, 2017

In 2012, lawmakers abolished the independent office of advocacy that oversaw services for the developmentally disabled. But legislative leaders have just OK’d a bill that could re-establish that office.

Last summer, the inspector general of the federal Department of Health and Human Services found the state was doing a terrible job in overseeing services to the developmentally disabled.

“The state of Maine ‘Failed to demonstrate it has a system to insure the health welfare and safety of people with developmental disabilities who qualify for Medicaid services,’” said Rep. Dale Denno, a Democrat from Cumberland, reading from the federal report.

Denno is sponsoring legislation to re-establish the office. The report faulted the state for not investigating all deaths of the disabled in the care of various providers. The report also faulted the state for only investigating 5 percent of the complaints of abuse that it received.

Maine DHHS did not respond to a request for comment on the legislation.