Not in Maine's best interest
To the Editor:
This morning, I took the time to read an article about Governor LePage's proposed defunding of the Fund For a Healthy Maine.
To say the least It makes me very angry that he is even thinking of touching this money.
The Fund For a Healthy Maine is tobacco settlement money set up in 1999 to manage Maine's share of the 206 billion dollars due to states from tobacco companies as part a settlement agreement. We are slated to receive $60 million in settlement funds next year.
Maine has been praised by national groups for many years for using the money for its intended purpose and not use it to fill budget gaps. We have gotten significant returns on the investment. On the average of $7.50 for every dollar invested, but the returns go much farther than the dollar value.
Smoking among Maine's high school kids has dropped 64 percent. The fund has used the money to support many other programs, smoking cessation and prevention, substance abuse and teen pregnancy prevention, and and programs to help
at risk parents improve their child rearing skills and be able to keep their children in their homes.
This program saves the state thousands of dollars a month per child.
The Governor's proposal would take the fund to close the budget gap or maybe use the money to help pay tax cut which will benefit Maine's highest earners.
The Governor's proposal is not in the best interest of Maine's people and I believe we should all contact our lawmakers and urge them to fight to keep the Fund For a Healthy Maine secure for the Programs is all ready serves and we so greatly need.
Maine State Lead Ambassador,