Governor Identifies Savings of $60 Million in Budget

June 18, 2015

For Immediate Release: Thursday, June 18, 2015
Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531

Legislature must take action within 5 days

AUGUSTA —Governor Paul R. LePage today submitted to the 127th Legislature approximately $60 million in savings he identified in the two-year State budget.

Governor LePage highlighted 64 line-item vetoes within the 694-page budget document. By law, the Governor has authority to submit vetoes line by line within 24 hours of receiving the budget. The Legislature delivered the budget to the Governor at 8 a.m. Wednesday. He returned it with his line-items vetoes by 8 a.m. Thursday.

Top $5 Million Line-Item Vetoes:

$4,154,891 – Non-citizen funding for SNAP, TANF, and SSI
These reductions bring the budget back in line with the Governor’s proposed elimination of TANF, SNAP, and SSI welfare for legal non-citizens.

$1,000,000 – Payment to Federal Qualified Healthcare Centers (FQHC)
This is a $1 million allocation to FQHCs, which already receive an enhanced Medicaid match for services rendered, as well as federal funding. The municipality that would benefit the most is Portland.

$200,000 – Frances Perkins Homestead
This allocation would buy a private residence in Newcastle, Maine.

$500,000 – Maine Department of Transportation Study of Passenger Rail Service
MDOT completed a similar study in 2011. A new study will not provide any different information. The estimated cost to expand passenger rail from Portland to Lewiston could be between $107 million to $234 million.

$200,000 – Historic Preservation Commission
This allocation provides funds to the Wood Island Life Saving Station Association for the planning, design and restoration of the Wood Island Life Saving Station in Kittery.

Line-item vetoes of the Appropriation Committee’s “$4 Million Christmas Tree”

*It is important to note that while the Governor line-item vetoed the funding below, the programs and/or services may be worthy of receiving taxpayer money. However, the Governor maintains this funding should not have been snuck into the budget late at night without a public discussion about the merits of each initiative.

“An Act to Appropriate Funds to Help Restore the Historic Wood Island Saving Station in Kittery”
Sponsor: Sen. Dawn Hill $200,000

“An Act to Provide Funding to the Department of Transportation to Complete the Assessment of the Completion of the State-owned St. Lawrence and Atlantic Railroad Line”
Sponsor: Rep. Jared Golden

Meals on Wheels Medicaid Reimbursement
Sponsor: Rep. Linda Sanborn

“An Act to implement the Recommendations of the Task Force to End Student Hunger in Maine”
Sponsor: Sen. Justin Alfond

“An Act to Create Community Schools”
Sponsor: Sen. Rebecca Millett

Payment to Federal Qualified Healthcare Centers (FQHC)
Sponsor: Sen. Roger Katz

“An Act to Support School Nutrition”
Sponsor: Rep. Christopher Johnson

“An Act to Attract Young People to Maine by Expanding the job Creation Through Educational Opportunity Program”
Sponsor: Sen. Justin Alfond

“An Act to Expand Access to Workforce Development at Brunswick Landing”
Sponsor: Sen. Stan Gerzofsky

Put ME to Work
Sponsor: Rep. Mark Eves

Addition to Drug Court Appropriation
Sponsor: Rep. Aaron Frey

Increase funding for Peer Support Centers
Sponsor: Rep. Peter Stuckey

Computer Crimes
Sponsor: Sen. Bill Diamond

TOTAL $3,978,374

A complete list of all line-item vetoes is forthcoming.