Maine Legislature's Government Oversight Committee tries to break down silos between committees on child protection system

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AUGUSTA, Maine (WABI) The legislature's Government Oversight Committee met in Augusta Tuesday to discuss the state's child protection system.

The committee brought in top members of both the Health and Human Services Committee and the Judiciary Committee.

They discussed how they can better work together so they aren't negatively affecting any part of the system.

Committee members say tearing down the silos will help them ensure they are positively impacting children.

"We want to make sure that every committee has the tools they need to tackle this issue, and making sure that they actually know what other committees are working on is step one," said Sen. Justin Chenette, D-Saco, Chair of the Government Oversight Committee. "Making sure that departments are talking to each other is step two. Government Oversight is going to facilitate those conversations moving forward. We're going to have checkpoints and updates every step of the way."

"One thing that doesn't make any difference which party you're from or where you're from, when it comes to children, everybody is very concerned about this issue," said Assistant Senate Minority Leader Jeff Timberlake, R-Lincoln. "This is a nonpartisan issue. The most important thing is to find a solution to it but a solution that works."

Government Oversight hopes that meeting now will allow communication to grow between the committees before the start of the second session in January.