AUGUSTA – Maine’s Republican Senators sent letters Wednesday to many mayors, city managers, selectman, school board members, and other municipal officials detailing the state’s current budget problems and how they came about.
“The letters detail how Maine’s expansion of Medicaid, coupled with continued slow economic growth, have led to the current budget shortfall of more than $800 million,” according to a press release from the Senate Republican Office.
Senate Minority Leader Michael Thibodeau (R-Waldo) said the letters were intended to rebut messages from special interest groups regarding the proposal for a temporary suspension of revenue sharing for towns and cities.
“Members of the Republican Caucus felt that it was important to reach out to those elected officials directly to tell them about the factors that led to our current fiscal problems,” said Thibodeau.
“It didn’t happen overnight, and there’s no easy solution to get us out of this,” he said.
“We want our local leaders to know that we are aware of the challenges that they face in balancing their own budgets. At the same time, we want them to know what we’re up against here in Augusta in trying to balance the state’s books,” Thibodeau said.
“The temporary suspension of revenue sharing, like the rest of the budget, would need the support of two-thirds of the Legislature,” he said.
“Much work remains to be done.”