Tags: maine | governor | budget | plan

Maine's GOP Governor Vetoes Bipartisan Budget Plan

Tuesday, 25 Jun 2013 12:54 PM

By Bill Hoffmann

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Maine Gov. Paul LePage has vetoed a two-year, $6.3 billion budget hammered out in a compromise between Republican and Democratic lawmakers, saying it hurts seniors and students.

But the Democrat-controlled House and Senate are expected to override the veto on Wednesday if Republicans who agreed to the measure stay the course.

Both chambers passed the budget with at least two-thirds majorities before sending it to LePage, a Republican, earlier this month, the Bangor Daily News reports.

If the override votes fail on Wednesday, the state would be without a budget as of July 1, with all but essential services of state government shutting down.

LePage said his veto was not "done lightly. … I knew there would be areas of concern for many legislators. That is why we had nearly six months to work together and find a solution. … Unfortunately, it was an opportunity missed."

He added: "Our overly generous welfare programs can be reformed, cutting waste, fraud, and abuse."

Last week
, LePage proposed a temporary budget good for 60 days while negotiations continued. But Maine Attorney General Janet Mills, a Democrat, said it would violate the state Constitution.

In his veto, LePage extended an olive branch to Democrats to renew talks.


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