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Governor LePage Answers Shutdown-related Questions as Democrats Fail to Agree on Budget

June 28, 2017

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, June 28, 2017
Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531

AUGUSTA – As Democrats continue objecting to a fiscally responsible budget and keep threatening a government shutdown, Governor Paul R. LePage has provided answers to the most common questions asked by State of Maine employees. (See attached document below.)

“Our Administration does not want a shutdown, and we are not fueling the hysteria whipped up by the media, labor unions and Democrats to scare state employees,” said Governor LePage. “However, we are taking every precaution to prepare for a government shutdown in case the Legislature fails to do its job.”

Without a budget in place by midnight June 30, 2017, all non-emergency state services will end temporarily. The LePage Administration is prepared to designate emergency personnel in the case of a Declaration of a Civil Emergency.

“House Republicans are willing to negotiate and invest additional education funding, but the Democrats are still dug in,” the Governor added. “Instead of voting on a budget to benefit the Maine people, Democrats are bowing to the demands of labor unions, radical activists at the Maine People’s Alliance and extremist environmental organizations. Democrats should have the courage to compromise in the best interest of the Maine taxpayers and residents who will foot the bill for the budget. If state employees are concerned about a potential shutdown, I urge them to call the Speaker of the House and tell her to pass a fiscally responsible budget today.”

The Governor sent this message to all Maine state employees:

Dear Maine State Employees:

As you know, there has been a flurry of media attention lately regarding the status of ongoing budget negotiations. At this moment, the State of Maine does not have an approved budget in place for the biennium that begins on July 1, 2017.

With each passing hour, it seems as though the preparations our administration has made over the last two weeks are less an exercise in caution and more likely plans that may need to be implemented. While I have no desire to see state government shut down, good governance requires our administration be prepared for the possibility that July 1 may arrive without a budget.

Attached to this email is a memo to all employees about the possibility of a state government shutdown. It is intended to provide guidance on the process of a shutdown and answers to questions that have been fielded by departments and agencies across state government.

As you know, since becoming governor of Maine, I eliminated furlough days, insisted on bringing parity to the wages paid to state employees, and restored merit and longevity raises. I appreciate all you do for the people of Maine and regret the burden that may be placed upon you and your families in the event of a shutdown.

I encourage each of you to reach out to your legislators and ask them to pass a budget that can be signed into law immediately.

Sincerely,

Paul R. LePage
Governor

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