Archive for February 8th, 2012

UPDATED: LePage to GOP Lawmakers: “Support My Budget- Or Else!”

Posted on February 8, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , |

The bullying in the Statehouse by Governor LePage is no longer bipartisan, as we saw with his repeated pestering of the Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee, showboating press releases and other stunts.

Now it appears that the governor is taking aim- at members of his OWN PARTY in the Legislature, going up for re-election in November:

“Republicans, who control the legislature, are working with Democrats to come up with a compromise plan that doesn’t cut as deeply as what LePage has proposed. That’s unacceptable to LePage, who says he would prefer the GOP to use its majority power to pass his budget.

He says if the compromise plan is unacceptable to him, he may spend the rest of the year campaigning for Republican legislative candidates who will support him.”

More from the Lewiston Sun Journal:

Although Republicans control both chambers in the Legislature, it didn’t appear Tuesday that their caucus was completely united behind the governor’s proposal. LePage acknowledged as much, saying that if lawmakers didn’t adequately address the structural problems in Medicaid, he’d spend the rest of the year campaigning for GOP candidates who would.

“We’ll see what happens this week . . . but it may be a situation that I need to go out campaigning for the next year and ask the Maine people to send people (to Augusta) who are willing to work,” he said.

It remained to be seen whether the governor would have to carry out his veiled promise to “primary” Republicans who don’t back his budget.

UPDATE: Amy Fried’s latest piece in the BDN
shows some very solid analysis of LePage’s position. As a bonus, it includes MHPC’s Lance Dutson’s press release on the compromise agreement, shoring up support for the governor while firmly scolding the GOP Appropriation members for compromising one whit:


“The people of this state finally said ‘Enough!’ when they elected a new majority to run this state government. The expectation was that Republicans would march into Augusta and turn back the tide on the crushing regulation and tax burden that had amassed over the years. In many ways, the new leadership has done just that.”

“However, the budget process has fallen prey to a troubling dynamic. Instead of being driven by the principles of lower taxes and fiscal responsibility, legislative leaders seem focused on decorum and consensus with a group of individuals that have already proven themselves poor stewards of Maine’s economy. Republicans were not sent to Augusta to coddle the likes of John Martin or Peggy Rotundo. They were sent to Augusta by the people of this state to clean up after them.”

Not holding back, is he? Dutson concludes with threats of his own against any GOP legislators who won’t toe LePage’s line:

“Now it appears this dynamic of cordiality has so blinded members of the Appropriations Committee that they are considering the unthinkable – using a tax increase on working Mainers to avoid making common-sense changes to Maine’s welfare system. This is an outrageous dereliction of the GOP mandate, and one that will not be suffered lightly by the already-suffering taxpayers of this state.”

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(VISUAL) Governor LePage’s Budget Compromise Response

Posted on February 8, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , |

Per Lewiston Sun Journal’s Steve Mistler, the governor’s office distributed this response to the budget compromise. The image is of the letter that landed on the lawmakers’ desks this morning.

As Mistler points out, the Appropriations and Financial Affairs committee finalized the budget agreement at 1:30 am TODAY, February 8. It appears that this letter, dated February 7, was prepared in advance of any agreement by the committee, regardless of what the details indeed were.

As Governor LePage himself said to Mal Leary: “A majority budget doesn’t do it because it takes too much time and a two-thirds budget will not happen unless you sell your soul and I sold my soul to the devil long ago.”

Indeed.

LePage 2.8.12 response to DHHS budget dealhttp://www.scribd.com/embeds/80931879/content?start_page=1&view_mode=list&access_key=key-233tob6q8c772ubcux5p(function() { var scribd = document.createElement(“script”); scribd.type = “text/javascript”; scribd.async = true; scribd.src = “http://www.scribd.com/javascripts/embed_code/inject.js”; var s = document.getElementsByTagName(“script”)[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(scribd, s); })();

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UPDATED: Wednesday Tidbits

Posted on February 8, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , |

10 am UPDATE: PPH reporting that Mitt Romney is coming to Maine Friday (Portland; 6pm rally); Ron Paul as well.

Gerald is on the road this morning, heading for the Governor’s news conference in Skowhegan. As a reminder, it is being reported that he will introduce a bill that would remove the existing prohibition against the use public tuition dollars for religious schools.

So looking at the ticker in his absence… here’s what has caught my eye today.

The Appropriations and Financial Affairs committee finally agreed upon a supplemental budget very early this morning:

“We had to pass this budget to keep the lights on, make sure seniors get their medicine, and ensure nurses and health workers continue to get paid,” said Rep. Peggy Rotundo, D-Lewiston, the ranking House Democrat on the Appropriations Committee, said in a statement to the press. “We had few choices to resolve the immediate budget problem.”

Some of the details:

  • The agreement caps funding for non-categoricals at $40 million. It maintains the cap by freezing enrollment and through natural attrition of participants from the program.
  • Recipients of the public health insurance must earn at or below 100 percent of the federal poverty level, which is $10,890 a year for one person.
  • Changes to the parents of children on MaineCare will not occur until October 1, 2012 at which point the eligibility threshold is reduced to 133% of poverty level, aligning Maine with provisions of the Affordable Care Act.

    The remaining $80 million shortfall will be addressed separately and a vote on this morning’s agreement could come as early as next week. No word yet from the Governor’s office in reaction.

    This weekend’s NYT story of a Dixfield oil company’s struggles to help customers in need has generated over $100,000 in donations.

    2 national stories for consideration: Former PA Senator Rick Santorum swept Tuesday’s GOP caucuses in Missouri, Colorado and Minnesota. Turnout in all 3 states was reported to be quite low. ABC noted that exactly 4 years ago, Mitt Ronmey announced that he was dropping out of the 2008 GOP presidential primary.

    Sidenote: Newt Gingrich told Wolf Blitzer recently that, “Most people agree I won 15 out of 17 debates, tied one and lost one.” Yet he placed 3rd in Colorado and dead last in both Minnesota and Missouri.

    Yesterday’s Prop 8 decision is California may not be heading for the Supreme Court.

    Bonus: Name the movie from today’s featured image! An open thread.

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