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Gov. LePage addresses the House Republican caucus shortly before announcing his hospital debt repayment plan.
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For Immediate Release

Date: 02/21/13

After Stalling Governor's Hospital Debt Plan for 9 Days, Democrats Propose More of Same

Franklin hospital lays off 40 workers as Democrats scramble to keep their spending money

AUGUSTA - The Legislature referenced Governor LePage's proposal to pay Maine's debt to its hospitals and create jobs to the Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee on February 12. Democrats on the committee have still not scheduled the first step—a public hearing—in consideration of the bill, LD 239.

In the meantime, Franklin Memorial Hospital announced that it would lay off 40 employees. The state owes the Farmington hospital $15.4 million.

Senate Democratic Leader Seth Goodall (D-Sagadahoc) has introduced a bill that separates the renewal of the state's liquor contract from repayment of the nearly $500 million in MaineCare bills the state owes hospitals. Gov. John Baldacci sold the state's liquor business in 2004 for a fire-sale price to cover overspending at DHHS and, as Senate Democratic Whip Troy Jackson (D-Aroostook) admitted in a recent press conference, Mainers have been losing out ever since. That contract is up for renewal next year.

"Fortunately, we have a chance to get it right this time," said House Republican Leader Ken Fredette (R-Newport). "History has shown that the Legislature under Democrats can't help itself from using every last drop of revenue to fund government expansion. We must do something responsible with this state asset and use it to pay our debts and put Mainers to work."

Fredette added that Democrats have been stalling on the Governor's proposal for too long.

"Republicans have been patiently waiting for the Democrats to start working on the Governor's proposal, but they have been sitting on it for almost three weeks while Maine hospitals bleed money and lay off workers," added Fredette. "At a time when our economy could use an infusion of about $600 million to some of the state's biggest providers of high-paying jobs, Democrats are choosing to play politics rather than take action.


David Sorensen, Communications Director
Maine House Republicans
Tel: (207) 205-7793