Why Maine’s big well being division is worrying lawmakers once more

A model of this text was initially revealed in The Each day Transient, our Maine politics e-newsletter. Join right here for each day information and perception from politics editor Michael Shepherd.

Issues are by no means simple on the Maine Division of Well being and Human Companies. The monolithic company takes up roughly a 3rd of the state finances, brings in large quantities of federal cash and runs many essential applications.

Over the previous few weeks, lawmakers from each events have keyed in on the company for a mixture of outdated and new issues which have come to the forefront, led by lengthy cellphone waits for companies and the deaths of Mainers in state guardianship that drew consideration to a long-unfollowed legislation.

The context: All of this comes on high of different points going through the company. They embrace a long-struggling youngster welfare system that drew one other crucial report from a watchdog late final yr and fraught contract negotiations between the administration of Gov. Janet Mills and the Maine Service Workers Affiliation, which have been lots of of hundreds of thousands of {dollars} aside in talks.