STATEWIDE, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Governor LePage declared a civil emergency Friday evening -- this is the first government shutdown the state has had since 1991; here's the breakdown of what services will be suspended and which ones will remain available.
Health and Human Services:
• TANF, SNAP and MaineCare payments will be made.
• The Office of MaineCare Services will process claims as scheduled July 5.
• The Office of Child and Family Services will make scheduled payments July 5 for child care subsidy and child welfare payments.
• The Office for Family Independence will make July payments for the TANF and SNAP programs, will continue to accept and make eligibility determinations for MaineCare, TANF and SNAP.
• The Office of Child and Family Services will be staffed on a 24/7 basis to receive calls related to child abuse and neglect and respond to the needs of children in foster care and adults under public guardianship or conservationship. Adult and Children Emergency Services (ACES) will accept referrals for Adult Protective Services regarding abuse, neglect or exploitation. Caseworkers will continue working to respond to reports of child abuse and neglect and will provide safe care and shelter for children in the state’s legal protective custody.
• DHHS will continue to receive and process child support payments during any shutdown period.
• The Office of Aging and Disability Services will continue to operate the Crisis Prevention and Intervention Team. Referrals for Adult Protectives Services will be received by Adult and Children Emergency Services (ACES). This process is standard procedure as followed after-hours and weekends during non-shutdown periods.
• The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention will continue to operate the Health and Environmental Testing Lab (HETL), and the CDC will function on a continuity of operations plan that will deploy necessary resources should emergency situations arise, such as those related to public health, infectious disease or foodborne illness.
- The WIC program will continue to function.
• The Office of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services will staff four emergency staff members to include one rapid responder for mental health and substance abuse crisis statewide; a data analyst to oversee the Prescription Monitoring Program; a crisis services manager for youth and adult services; and a substance abuse program specialist to handle placement of individuals in the case of an emergency.
• Dorothea Dix Psychiatric Center and Riverview Psychiatric Center will remain fully staffed and operational.
Labor and Unemployment:
- Limited unemployment benefit services will be provided -- the Department of Labor will issue additional guidance if such a shutdown lasts longer than a week. The guidance below is for claims filed the week of July 2–8, 2017.
- The Unemployment Customer Service Claims Centers will be closed, and customer service representatives will not be available during the shutdown.
- All initial claims for benefits, meaning that a person has never filed for unemployment benefits in Maine or has not filed for unemployment in the previous 12 months, must be filed via the website at http://www.maine.gov/labor/unemployment/benefits.html .
- Claimants needing to reopen a benefit year, must also file online at http://www.maine.gov/labor/unemployment/benefits.html .
- Claimants currently filing for weekly unemployment benefits can either use the automated telephone service at 1-800-593-7660 or the website to file a continued claim.
- All claimants must still register on the Maine JobLink at https://joblink.maine.gov/ada/r/ . However, if claimants cannot access their older account, they will need to wait until the CareerCenters reopen to have the JobLink account reactivated. This will not affect the processing of the unemployment claim during the shutdown, although the claim could be delayed for other reasons.
- All claims filed prior to 5 p.m. on Thursday, June 29, are anticipated to be processed as usual. All pending claims filed after 5 p.m. on June 29 will not be processed until July 6 in the case the State still lacks a budget on July 5.
- In the event a budget is in place by July 2, all pending claims through 5 p.m. on July 3 will be processed on July 5, due to the July 4 holiday. Processing of claims will then proceed as usual.
- Maine State Police, Capitol Police, Maine Drug Enforcement Agency and Fire Marshal's office. Maine Warden Service, Marine Patrol and biotoxin staff involved in monitoring for red tide, and forest rangers. Maine National Guard facilities will remain staffed.
Department of Transportation:
• Maine State Ferry Service will continue to run. Emergency bridge operators and disaster response teams will be available. Construction-related personnel will continue on a limited basis.
State Parks and Recreation:
- All state parks will be open and staffed.
Inland Fisheries and Wildlife:
- You will still be able to apply for licenses online.
Department of Environmental Protection:
• The Department will continue responses to environmental cleanup and emergencies. Oil and Hazardous Materials Responders will be on-call, 24/7 to respond to reports of potentially imminent environmental threats.
• High ozone alerts will be issued, if necessary.
- Staffing is limited, only designated emergency employees will be available. If you need immediate assistance contact the Togus office; 207-632-8411 ext. 5228.
- The Veteran's Cemetery System will continue to schedule burial services.
- The lottery's office will be closed and will not reopen until the shutdown is over and employees return to work. The following multi-state games will not be available for purchase until the shutdown is over: Powerball, Mega Millions, Hot Lotto and Lucky for Life. Instant tickets, Megabucks, Pick 3, Pick 4, Gimme5 and World Poker Tour will remain on sale.
- Maine Department of Marine Resources offices in Augusta, Lamoine, Boothbay Harbor, Bangor and Jonesboro will be closed until further notice. The Maine State Aquarium will be closed.
*Some information provided by Maine.gov