AUGUSTA — In a bipartisan and unanimous decision, the Legislature’s budget-writing Appropriations Committee beat back a proposed $7.2 million raid on the state’s tobacco settlement funds, currently used for community smoking cessation and prevention programs.

The committee instead took about $2.4 million from the fund to use on other parts of the $28 million spending package, an agreement Republicans said was part of a compromise that led to agreement on the measure.

The original cut was part of Republican Gov. Paul LePage’s supplemental budget proposal intended to earmark some tobacco settlement funds to increase reimbursement rates for doctors who accept patients enrolled in MaineCare, the state’s Medicaid program.

LePage had argued that doctors would be more effective at preventing people from starting to smoke and at convincing smokers to quit.

But Republicans and Democrats on the Appropriations Committee largely disagreed Monday, preserving about $4.5 million in the Fund for Healthy Maine, which supports community-based health programs, including Lewiston-based Healthy Androscoggin.

Part of an overall funding package for the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Corrections, the bill is a combination of amended supplemental budget proposals advanced by LePage and his administrators.

The package includes 29 positions to address a crisis at the state’s secure mental health hospital, Riverview Psychiatric Center, and $2.5 million to close a gap in funding for county jails across the state.

“Funding to address the crisis at our jails and at Riverview were top priorities for our committees,” state Rep. Peggy Rotundo, D-Lewiston, House chairwoman of the Appropriations Committee, said in a prepared statement. “Patient safety, worker safety and public safety were key issues for lawmakers. We also worked hard to protect the Fund for Healthy Maine and the public health programs it supports.”

The bill, LD 236, also includes funding for indigent legal services, reclassification of state employees and funding for community college teacher retirement costs.

Rotundo’s Republican counterpart on the committee, Senate Co-Chairman James Hamper of Oxford, said the Fund for Healthy Maine had long been a legislative untouchable, but it was reduced by Republicans.

“It’s long past time we take a hard look at programs such as the Fund for Healthy Maine that have been regularly receiving and disbursing funding without questioning, simply due to political alliances,” Hamper said. “I hope this sets the tone going forward for the committee that we can work together to fund necessary programs and services.”

The legislation, which now faces additional votes in the House and Senate, could be the first financial litmus test for the 127th Legislature, which must approve later this year a new two-year state budget.

If the bill can garner a two-thirds majority in the House and Senate, it may be a sign that lawmakers on the Appropriations Committee have the formula to successfully negotiate an alternative to LePage’s budget proposal, one that would stand up to any veto by the governor.

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