Radio Address: Putting Money into Mainer's Pockets

February 5, 2011

(MP3 Audio)

Good Morning. This is Maine Governor Paul LePage.

Three weeks ago I submitted a Supplemental Budget to the Legislature that will adjust Maine?s finances through June 30, 2011 ? the end of our current biennial budget year.

As I have shared with you before, my supplemental budget pays Maine?s hospitals $250 million in unreimbursed MaineCare expenses going back to 2006.

My budget also addresses pending insolvency in the Fiscal Year 2011 MaineCare program. The Department of Health and Human Services makes payments to nearly 4,000 providers who offer services to 300,000 MaineCare recipients. A few weeks from now, the program runs out of money and those payments will stop unless we fill the hole. My budget does that.

As we move headlong into tax season, I want to take just a moment to tell you about the important tax relief included in my budget.

My budget allocates $4.5 million to align our tax laws to changes Congress made to the federal code in December. Nearly 100,000 Mainers will save as they file their 2010 state taxes on items such as out-of-pocket teacher expenses, itemized deductions, child care and the earned income tax credit.

If we don?t act, Maine Revenue Service will have to issue new instructions and forms so that Maine taxpayers can file their returns. Paying taxes is hard enough. We must avoid the upheaval of issuing new instructions and forms as we move into tax season.

My budget is a straight forward attempt to pay our long overdue bills, to keep our vital programs in operation and to simply lower taxes for 100,000 Maine people.

I am pleased with the good faith effort and hard work Republicans and Democrats are doing to finish the supplemental budget quickly. They are doing the people?s work without concern for politics and I believe they will soon have a bill on my desk to sign.

Thank you for listening and enjoy your weekend.