AUGUSTA – Maine Gov. Paul LePage released a video on Thursday explaining why he could not support the Legislature’s two-year budget.
“My fellow Mainers, I am not a politician,” he said. “I am blue collar governor and I represent the hard-working people of Maine.”
LePage said that Maine’s “elite” will never vote for him, but that’s fine in his book. “I’m not worried about the next election, I’m worried about the next generation,” he said.
The hard-talking governor, who has faced criticism from both Democrats and Republicans over a style of communicating that is, to say the least, politically incorrect, said lawmakers who voted to override his veto were more interested in playing politics than in doing what is right.
On education, LePage said the budget would harm students by eliminating funding for innovative education programs such as the Jobs for Maine Graduates, Career and Technical Education, and the Fund for the Efficient Delivery of Educational Services.
But money alone will not fix education in Maine, said LePage.
“We need to give our students options. We need to recognize that each student is an individual and each one learns differently,” he said. “Throwing more money at administration and overhead will simply continue the status quo.”
As for Maine’s limping economy, LePage emphasized the need to reduce energy costs, retain a talented workforce, and lower taxes in order to improve our competitiveness with other states.
“We’ve been 50th in the nation for too long,” he said. “This budget will keep us there.”
Maine Wire Reporter