Maine lawmakers await Gov. LePage budget proposal

AUGUSTA — Maine lawmakers and lobbyists were bracing Friday morning as they awaited Republican Gov. Paul LePage's next two-year budget proposal.

LePage is also expected to make recommendations for a supplemental budget that will be aimed at balancing the state's current budget, which is approximately $35 million in the red. The state's constitution requires lawmakers balance the budget.

LePage, a staunch fiscal conservative, has pushed for both tax and spending cuts in his previous budget proposals, achieving some of both with a previously Republican majority Legislature.

But with the Legislature again securely in the hands of Democrats – many who have argued LePage's tax cuts have compounded the state's budget woes – the governor will likely face daunting opposition.

Early Friday LePage's office said the budget proposal would be released and discussed with the media at about 3 p.m.

“We need to examine our spending practices, evaluate our delivery of services and gain control of our welfare system,”  LePage said in a prepared statement. “Maine’s fiscal security and future is at stake, and we must make hard choices.”

Prior to the media briefing, Legislature leadership and members of the Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee will be provided details on both budgets by administration officials.

Democratic leaders said they would carefully examine the governor's proposal but have said repeatedly they want to hear from Maine's people as well.

Thursday Maine Senate President Justin Alfond, D-Portland, told the Sun Journal editorial board during a meeting in Lewiston that Democrats intended to have a balanced budget but their approach wouldn't be guided simply by party ideology.

He said they intended to take a broad look at the state's budget situation and not bow to LePage's sometimes fiery rhetoric on taxes and spending.

They also didn't intend to let LePage dominate the conversation, Alfond said.

"Are we going to have a balanced budget?" Alfond asked. "Of course we are, we are required to by the constitution but we don't need to be playing "whack-a-mole" the entire two years either."

sthistle@sunjournal.com

What do you think of this story?

Login to post comments

In order to make comments, you must create a subscription.

In order to comment on SunJournal.com, you must hold a valid subscription allowing access to this website. You must use your real name and include the town in which you live in your SunJournal.com profile. To subscribe or link your existing subscription click here.

Login or create an account here.

Our policy prohibits comments that are:

  • Defamatory, abusive, obscene, racist, or otherwise hateful
  • Excessively foul and/or vulgar
  • Inappropriately sexual
  • Baseless personal attacks or otherwise threatening
  • Contain illegal material, or material that infringes on the rights of others
  • Commercial postings attempting to sell a product/item
If you violate this policy, your comment will be removed and your account may be banned from posting comments.

Advertisement

Comments

Steve  Dosh's picture

Maine lawmakers await Gov. LePage budget proposal

Scoot Friday 14:30 hst ?
Dumb question . Q: How long is your legislative session the Great State of Maine ?
A: _______________________? /s Steve

Advertisement

Stay informed — Get the news delivered for free in your inbox.

I'm interested in ...