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Governor Releases Video to Mainers Explaining Why He Could Not Support State Budget

June 27, 2013

For Immediate Release: Thursday, June 27
Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary (207) 287-2531

AUGUSTA – Governor Paul R. LePage speaks out about why he could not support the Legislature’s budget, which included tax increases, in a new video released by the Office of the Governor. In the five-minute video, the Governor shares his thoughts about how higher taxes will affect Mainers and condemns decreased funding to programs like Jobs for Maine Graduates.

In the video, he notes that tax increases will have a devastating effect on the elderly and Mainers who live within their own budgets. Sales, meals and lodging taxes will be increased to fund the state budget.

“Retired mill workers living on fixed incomes; elderly widows collecting Social Security; and our veterans, who receive nothing more than their military pension—each of them care about this tax increase,” Governor LePage said. “We are already one of the highest taxed states in the nation. We have some of the lowest per capita income in the country. Now is not the time to ask Mainers to give more to fund government.”

The Appropriations Committee cut a total of $18.4 million proposed by the Department of Education and Governor LePage, including reducing funding over the next two years for Jobs for Maine’s Graduates and the Aspiration program, which raises students’ aspirations by allowing students to take college courses at a reduced rate. Governor LePage noted that money alone will not fix education, but slashing innovative and proven programs that help young Mainers get jobs is a huge mistake.

While the Governor recognizes some benefits within the budget, he is deeply concerned by what motivates politicians moving forward. “For some legislators, it was more important to count votes and reject my proposals than do what is right for our citizens. Maine people deserve a considered, reasoned debate, and they will hold legislators responsible for their decisions,” said Governor LePage.

“It is time to look past the next election and look forward to the next generation.”

The video is available here: http://www.youtube.com/govlepage

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