Lawmakers: LePage gag order means we can’t tell if DHHS is doing its job
Lawmakers on the Legislature’s Health and Human Services Committee say they can’t complete a review of the department they oversee because no one from the department would come talk to them about it.
Last Thursday’s House calendar included a letter, signed by co-chairs Sen. Eric Brakey, R-Auburn, and Rep. Patricia Hymanson, D-York, stating that their committee “was unable to engage in direct dialogue with any members of the department,” despite all other committees having the opportunity to do so.
“After seeking permission from Gov. [Paul] LePage to allow DHHS Commissioner [Ricker] Hamilton’s attendance at the committee’s meeting … the committee was informed that no one from the department would be in attendance,” the letter reads.
The committee sent written questions to Hamilton in early February and received written responses a month later but wasn’t satisfied.
“All of the answers prompted further questions that could not be explored,” the letter reads.
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