Democrats block LePage's testimony on budget

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Sen. Dawn Hill, D-York, denied Gov. Paul LePage a chance to testify to budget writers during a Sunday meeting of the Appropriations Committee.

AUGUSTA – Sen. Dawn Hill (D-York), chair of the Joint Standing Committee on Appropriations and Financial Affairs, refused to allow Gov. Paul LePage to testify to budget writers on Sunday regarding the May 28 deadline the Department of Health and Human Services is facing.

Hill’s decision to censor the governor came during an unusual weekend meeting of the Appropriations Committee. Budget writers had gathered to discuss the implications of a letter from DHHS Commissioner Mary Mayhew to the governor warning of an impending budget deadline.

Following Mayhew’s testimony, LePage took to the microphone, but Hill politely denied him the opportunity to speak on the record.

“I think there are a lot of politics around this committee,” Hill said. “I think what happened here today was good and we ended on a very good note.”

“Are you saying that the governor of the state of Maine is not welcome to address the Appropriations Committee?” LePage asked.

“We hadn’t expected you, and what we had to accomplish was accomplished,” Hill said. “It’s best to end it on a high note, and I think that’s where we were.”

LePage bristled at Dawn’s refusal to let him speak.

“I want to get on the record, and this committee is not allowing it,” said LePage.

“The people of the state of Maine are being played for patsies.”

While Hill insists she refused to allow Maine’s top elected official to speak to the Appropriations Committee because she wanted to end on a “high note,” there can be little doubt that her overtly partisan move will only exacerbate tensions between the LePage and the Democrat-controlled legislature.

Watch a video of the exchange here:

(h/t Steve Mistler)

24 COMMENTS

  1. Good for Senator Hill. The Governor needs to remember the concept of equal branches of government; the Legislature is not there to do his bidding.

  2. When Baldacci was governor he would have been allowed to speak. Republicans have respect for the governor, regardless of party, the Democrats do not, obviously!

  3. Unfortunately, this is the GOVERNOR’s budget, not the one that the Dem’s promised to introduce, so he has the same standing as any legislator would to comment on the bill.

    Furthermore, Hill allowed him to speak and even turned on his microphone….time to cut him off was when he sat at the podium, not afterwards. Then there is the emergency nature of the hearing, which gives it a special status.

    Sawin and Mayhew work for him; and to not recognize the ‘boss’ undermines the power and authority of the governor. I can only imagine the foofus were it Angus King who was muzzled attempting to clarify his budget.

    I hope someone with an institutional memory of these interactions adds a historical note to this flare up.

  4. Maine Legislature is now a near replica of the US Congress, strictly partisan politics, instead of a delegation representing the People, and doing their job of protecting inherent rights. They now assume incorrectly that we work to give them a career in politics, instead of them working for us! God help us all – and our Republic!

  5. It’s obvious to me that the Democrat leadership in Augusta is not willing to accomplish anything during the LePage term in office. They could seek areas of agreement, but no. My question is this: who are they serving? We need to clean house in Augusta. Anyone who does not want to work in the public interest needs to be ousted at the ballot box.

  6. Dawn Hill is just another example of an arrogant Democrat elitist who not only disrespected our Governor, but the people of Maine as well. But she doesn’t care about that. This arrogant jackass needs to be reminded who she works for.

  7. As I watch this seen unfold right in front of me I became so enraged that it was a good thing I was NOT in the ROOM with all of those COMMUNIST BASTARDS. Since getting into the political seen 3 years ago I do not EVER remember when there was so much HOSTILITY coming from the demo-rats. Well it is now official, we all live in a banana republic, where the office of the Governor is maligned and impugned. WHO THE HELL DO THEY THINK THEY ARE, well I will tell you, They are all DRUNK WITH WHAT LITTLE POWER THAT THEY THINK THEY HAVE!

  8. Perhaps your use of derogatory words like “communists” and “demo-rats” that leads to the hostility you bemoan. Look in the mirror, sir.

  9. Rule 304 & 305 were violated…..”While aggressive and probing questions may sometimes be appropriate, members shall exhibit respect for the witnesses and for one another. Members shall refrain from interrogation that is argumentative, oppressive, repetitive or unnecessarily embarrassing to hearing participants.”

    same with an emergency session held on a Sunday without formal notice, etc.

  10. Hi Floyd, not good at facebook but will try. Donald packard is having the family reunion this year on July 4, 2013. at 40 Peabody Pond Road, Sebago Maine. it is off route 107.

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