Yesterday, House Republican Leader Ken Fredette met with Governor LePage, House Speaker Mark Eves, Senate President Mike Thibodeau and Senate Minority Leader Justin Alfond to address LePage’s concerns regarding the funding sources for four bills that were passed by the Maine Legislature during the last legislative session.
The bills in question are as follows:
- LD 1465: “Resolve, To Require the Department of Health and Human Services To Conduct a Study of Ambulance Services”
- LD 1552: “An Act To Reduce Morbidity and Mortality Related to Injected Drugs”
- LD 1614: “Resolve, To Provide Funding for the County Jail Operations Fund”
- LD 1645: “An Act To Address Employee Recruitment and Retention Issues at State Mental Health Institutions”
In a press release last Friday, LePage stated that “In the last session, the Legislature passed several bills that were improperly funded, apparently in an effort to claim that it didn’t increase government spending. The fact is, the Legislature did increase spending because it mandated that the Executive Branch use money already appropriated for other programs to pay for the bills (the Legislature) passed.”
While, according to Representative Fredette, “Democratic legislative leaders are not expected to call the legislature back into session to work with the governor to fix these four bills,” LePage is now expected to take matters “into his own hands.”
In a letter leadership last week, LePage stated that “You may think these issues do not constitute enough of an emergency to merit a special session, but I disagree. The Maine people deserve to know where their tax dollars are spent and that they are spent in a fiscally prudent way. By burying new spending with obfuscation and gimmicks, we are doing the taxpayer an injustice.”
LePage would like to see a special session called for July 1 to address these issues.