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April 26, 2004

Baxter victims' advocates hope for funding

From: WMTW - Auburn,ME,USA - Apr 26, 2004

PORTLAND (AP) -- Members of Maine's deaf community and their advocates hope state lawmakers will add another $6 million to a fund to compensate victims of abuse at the Gov. Baxter School for the Deaf.

Jonathan Connick is executive director of the Maine Center on Deafness. He remains hopeful legislation will pass, but he says he understands that questions remain about funding the proposal.

The Senate voted unanimously two weeks ago to include an amendment in its proposed budget package for the funding to the Baxter Compensation Authority.

The state established the fund three years ago to compensate students who were physically and sexually abused at the state school for the deaf in Falmouth.

Lawmakers allotted $6 million for the fund two years ago. The money has already been used with less than one-third of 270 people receiving compensation.

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