The suit was brought by 18 plaintiffs through their lawyer Gerald Petruccelli in an effort to secure housing and other specialized programming through MaineCare, the state’s equivalent to Medicaid. Prior to the filing, individuals with special needs were languishing on waiting lists for as much as 5 years due to governmental budgetary constraints. Consequently, many of the services that would have went to provide comprehensive care and support for those who filed the suit were deferred.
The ruling will result in approximately $7 million being allocated to that end with funding being derived from both the state and federal government. Petruccelli argues that the settlement is a positive step towards providing much-needed support by alleviating the strain that aging parents of children with disabilities often experience. Yet he insists that there are still “no promises” and the manner in which the monies would be obtained to fund the services remains unclear.
Rep. Richard Farnsworth D-Portland, the House chairman of the Legislature’s Health and Human Services Committee, counters his claim confirming that the settlement will go towards ensuring that individuals with autism will obtain the help that they desperately need.