AUGUSTA — Maine’s Senate has approved a measure to cancel Republican Gov. Paul LePage’s administration’s contract with a consultant examining its Medicaid program.

The Senate backed the bill with a 21-14 vote Wednesday. The bill eliminating the contract with the Alexander Group, led by the former welfare chief of Rhode Island and Pennsylvania, was endorsed in the House on Tuesday. It needs final votes in both chambers.

Democrats say the contract is a waste of taxpayer dollars and that hiring the group to study whether Maine should expand Medicaid was politically motivated.

But others say the group is well-qualified to help the state improve its Medicaid program and that it’s inappropriate for the Legislature to reject a contract approved by the executive branch.

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