The union representing Maine state employees wants a meeting with Gov. Paul LePage to discuss what it says will be an "inevitable" government shutdown if he and the legislature fail to enact a budget by July 1.
The shutdown has loomed since LePage, a Republican, proposed a $6.3 billion budget in January, the Portland Press Herald
Democrats, who control the House and Senate, want to change LePage's budget proposal, which contains spending cuts including a $200 million suspension of aid to towns and cities, the Herald said.
A new budget must be in place by July 1 to avert a shutdown that will close most "non-essential" services.
"Over and over again, we've heard from our members that the state is planning a shutdown," Tim Belcher, an attorney representing the union, told the newspaper.
"We recently heard very credible reports from people who would know that state agencies had in fact been told to start planning for a shutdown."
LePage's spokesperson Adrienne Bennett, said the governor has "proposed a balanced budget, and we hope Democratic leadership will focus their attention on the budget process before the administration is faced with the dire situation of a state government shutdown.''
She said the proposed spending plan meets the constitutional requirement for a balanced budget.
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