Legislators Unsure If Governor’s Refusal To Sign Budget Deal A Sign Of Displeasure, Or He’s Forgotten How To Spell His Name

Angry LePage is angry

Angry LePage is angryAUGUSTA, Maine — Gov. Paul LePage will let the $153 million supplemental budget approved overwhelmingly by lawmakers Thursday become law without his signature, he said Friday. In a letter to legislators, LePage said he had “deep concerns” with the budget bill that landed on his desk and signaled that his administration might have to return to the Legislature with another budget-balancing package before the end of the current budget year on June 30. “Specifically, the funding requests brought forward by the Department of Health and Human Services were ignored by millions of dollars without any justification,” he wrote, referring to new spending the department said it needed to upgrade the state’s Medicaid billing system to comply with federal requirements. “The committees that worked on this bill arbitrarily decided to not fully fund our requirements because they wanted to restore funding in other programs. That is not a responsible way to budget and I am concerned the Legislature may have forced us to return with another request before the year ends.” The House on Thursday voted 129-14 and the Senate voted unanimously, 35-0, to approve the $153 million plan to plug a budget hole in the state’s Medicaid program and account for flagging state revenues. Approval by the state Legislature followed a unanimous vote last week in the budget-writing Appropriations Committee. (read more at Bangor Daily News)