Maine Education Committee cuts medical Baldacci administration scholarships in party-line vote

By Ramona du Houx - February 1st, 2011 · 

A legislative panel will advise the Appropriations Committee to cut $125,000 from a scholarship fund for Maine medical students.

The Doctors for Maine’s Future scholarship fund was started two years ago, under the Baldacci Administation, to address the need in Maine for more doctors in rural communities. In order to become a doctor some students from Maine were piling up mountains of debt, which stopped them from returning to Maine to practice medicine- even though they wanted to. They simply couldn’t afford to pay back the loans if they practiced in rural Maine

The cut was proposed in LePage’s supplemental budget. The scholarship fund covers half of medical school tuition for eligible Maine students.

In a session last week, committee members agreed to find a comparable cut elsewhere in the budget. But on Monday, the committee’s eight Republicans voted in support of the cut while the panel’s five Democrats opposed it.