Governor Meets with Legislative Leadership to Discuss Budget

January 20, 2012

For Immediate Release: Friday, January 20, 2012
Contact: Adrienne Bennett (207) 287-2531

AUGUSTA – Governor Paul LePage met today with Legislative leadership regarding the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) budget shortfall. President Kevin Raye, House Speaker Robert Nutting, Senate Minority Leader Barry Hobbins and House Minority Leader Emily Cain joined the Governor, DHHS Commissioner Mary Mayhew and Department of Administrative and Financial Services Commissioner Sawin Millett this morning in the Cabinet room where both parties discussed the need to address the problem quickly.

In recent weeks, the Governor has encouraged legislators to address the $220 million deficit as soon as possible and Governor LePage is now hopeful Democrats and Republicans will come to a resolve by February 1.

“I believe Democratic leadership understands the severity of the financial situation we’re in and I’m cautiously optimistic that they are committed to working towards a resolution by February 1,” said Governor LePage. “We had a positive conversation this morning about the dangers of delay and I think we’re moving in the right direction. However, in order to solve this budget crisis we cannot use gimmicks to fill the hole. There will be difficult decisions made, and if we are to bring our welfare system to a manageable level that Maine can afford we must make the necessary structural changes.”