Governor Meets with Democrat Leaders to Discuss Budget Options

June 6, 2013

For Immediate Release: Thursday, June 6
Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary (207) 287-2531

AUGUSTA – Governor Paul R. LePage met Wednesday with Legislative leaders from both sides of the aisle to inform them of the Administration’s serious concerns about the State’s obligation to pay its bills for the remainder of the fiscal year, which ends July 1. The Governor met with Democratic leaders Senate President Justin Alfond and House Speaker Mark Eves and Republican leaders Michael Thibodeau and Alex Willette.

Governor LePage advised Senator Alfond and Representative Eves that the Administration has proposed a bill to address fiscal year 2013 budget separate from the upcoming two-year budget. All three years currently are tied together and awaiting action from the Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee.

“If the budget is not approved, the MaineCare program will run out of money on June 19. DHHS will not be able to pay for services for our most vulnerable Mainers,” said Governor LePage. “Democratic leaders have been solely focused on expanding welfare to cover people with no disabilities, they have forgotten that the bills need to be paid for Mainers who are already on Medicaid. This budget rests in the hands of Democratic leadership.”

In May, Governor LePage presented a change package for the 2013 budget that included $40 million in additional revenues from the revised revenue forecast. The proposal includes payment of $35 million to pay the State’s Medicaid bills through July 1; $3 million to help Maine dairy farmers; and $1 million for legal services for the poor.

“Democratic leadership has the ability to move forward on a budget that will allow the State to pay its bills through the fiscal year, but swift action is needed. I have requested that the budgets be separated so the State can pay its bills as soon as possible without delay,” Governor LePage added.