Maine Democratic Party calls on Republican gubernatorial candidates to pledge to reinstate the program if elected:

Westbrook, MAINE – Just days after a 10-year-old girl in Stockton Springs was murdered by her parents following months of horrific abuse, Republican Governor Paul LePage is moving to end a state program that works to prevent child abuse.

Maine Democratic Party Chairman Phil Bartlett issued the following statement in response:

“Paul LePage has done a lot of shameful things as governor but attacking a program that protects Maine children from abuse may be one of his worst yet. In the wake of 10-year-old Marissa Kennedy’s horrific death following months of abuse, the state should be considering more ways to combat child abuse – not taking steps to end programs that have helped curb the problem.

“Governor LePage has only a few months left in office. That’s why today I am calling on the Republican gubernatorial candidates to pledge to Maine people that, if elected, they will reinstate this program. We deserve to know whether or not they will reject the backward actions of the LePage Administration and, instead, work to protect Maine children.”

This shameful move by the governor is another sad chapter in his Administration’s all-out assault on the children of our state. The LePage Administration kicked thousands of Maine families with children off of the state-administered federal program that supports low-income families and it has stockpiled millions of dollars meant to assist those families and instead tried to divert them for other purposes. As a result, under the LePage Administration, the rate of children living in deep poverty in the state has increased in the past several years, according to the Maine Kids Count Book, and there is an extreme concern surrounding the growth of infant mortality rates.