LePage says budget critics should stop complaining and bring solutions

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Paul LePage

AUGUSTA – Maine’s mayors and municipal officials have done a lot of complaining about Republican Gov. Paul R. LePage’s budget proposal and its cuts to revenue-sharing agreements with towns and cities. But one thing critics of the Governor’s budget proposal have not done is offer a better plan.

On Thursday, LePage called on municipal officials to offer solutions, rather than belly-aching and political rhetoric, during negotiations on the upcoming biennial budget proposal.

“The problem is there are only three large budget areas – education, welfare and revenue sharing,” LePage wrote in a letter to officials in Maine’s cities and towns.

“We cannot cut $200 million from debt service – the State must pay its bills. The Judicial Branch costs $100 million – courts are already behind, and I will not cut them further. Other core state functions – State Police, Corrections, our Natural Resource agencies – have been cut to the bone to feed continued growth in education and welfare spending, and they cannot be cut further without reducing public safety or our future economy,” the Governor wrote. “That leaves only the three large pots of money, and I chose revenue sharing.”

According to the Governor’s Office, LePage attached to the letter information on total general fund appropriations for Fiscal Year 2014-15, which shows the bulk of the budget – 44.8 percent – is allocated to education. The Department of Health and Human Services represents 35.2 percent, and the remainder of State government accounts for 20 percent of general fund spending.

“Most letters I receive say we made the wrong choice and that we should restore the $200 million subsidy to municipalities, but they do not suggest other cuts that should be made at the state level,” said LePage.

“It is easy to find fault and hard to find solutions,” he said. “I welcome any suggestions town officials have to cut elsewhere in the state budget, but it is time for everyone to set complaints aside and offer solutions.”

Governor LePage also extended an offer to assist town and city officials if they need flexibility from the State to reduce their own budgets.

“If there are proposals to reduce administration and overhead by sharing services between towns, we will support them,” he said.

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1 COMMENT

  1. Matt, you need to get a grasp on reality. The budget was already busted after 16 years of out of control spending under 16 years of King and Baldacci’s incompetence. LePage inherited an economic mess and his policies will start to solve these problems.
    As for your completely false statement concerning the myth of tax cuts for the ‘wealthy’ I’ll ask you this: does someone who makes $19,500 per year qualify for your definition of wealthy?
    You need to stop parroting the marxist Maine People’s Alliance talking points and find the facts.
    Maine Democrats never offer workable solutions, they just love to hear themselves whine and complain incessantly.

  2. 2013-04-23 / Front Page.

    Print
    Brunswick looking at 12% budget hike.
    Brown: Increase could be as much as 16.5%.
    BY JT LEONARD Times Record Staff.
    BRUNSWICK — To maintain current levels of service and education, residents are facing a fiscal year 2014 budget that’s up 12 percent from the current year. Town Manager Gary Brown offered his proposal Monday to the Town Council, which set a public hearing for 7 p.m., May 6, to discuss it in more detail.
    WE CAN ALL THANK THE GOV. FOR THE TAX CUT HE INSISTED ON! AND WE SHOULD GIVE HIM THE SAME MESSAGE WE GAVE THOSE WHO VOTED FOR IT LAST NOV.

  3. 2013-04-23 / Front Page

    Print
    Brunswick looking at 12% budget hike
    Brown: Increase could be as much as 16.5%
    BY JT LEONARD Times Record Staff
    BRUNSWICK — To maintain current levels of service and education, residents are facing a fiscal year 2014 budget that’s up 12 percent from the current year. Town Manager Gary Brown offered his proposal Monday to the Town Council, which set a public hearing for 7 p.m., May 6, to discuss it in more detail.
    WE CAN ALL THANK THE GOV. FOR THE TAX CUT HE INSISTED ON! AND WE SHOULD GIVE HIM THE SAME MESSAGE WE GAVE THOSE WHO VOTED FOR IT LAST NOV.!

  4. DID YOU NOTICE THE WHINE ABOUT MAINE SHOULD PAY THE BILLS-NOTHING ABOUT THE BLUNDER OF THE TAX CUT TO HELP OUT HIS BUDDIES WHO CONTRIBUTE TO “MAINE HERITAGE” HOME OF THE TABOR FOOLS,THE PRIVATIZATION OF MAINE TURNPIKE OR THE CHARTER SCHOOLS THAT TEACH OVER VIDEO ! HMMM IF IT SOUNDS TO GOOD IT PROBABLY IS A SCAM!

  5. please read this and leave your tunneled vision glasses at maine heritage! we earn $300-$340 a week per family of 4 less than new hamshire or massachusetts! the reason the rights negativity and protect the “old boy group” that tax cut in 2012 set the working middle class back! even anyone as out of it as you should realize if you don’t pay your workers you can’t have a lively economy! so get your head out of the sand and check this out : the right has shifted the tax burden from business and the top 10% of the wealthy 44% while holding wages down to the 1970 levels after cost of living adjustments!
    let me tell you maine economy is almost as bad as the 1950’s right now!
    and guess who was in charge then!I’LL FIGHT THAT WITH MY LAST BREATH!

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