UPDATED w/UStream Coverage: Emergency Appropriations Committee Meeting TODAY on LePage, Mayhew “DHHS Broke in 3 Weeks” Claims
(Fingers crossed that this UStream works; first attempt at live event feed. ~AP)
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In light of the news late Friday that despite multiple supplemental budgets for FY ’12-13, DHHS doesn’t have enough money to pay its bills (again), an emergency meeting for the AFA committee has been called for today. Commissioner Mary Mayhew has been requested to appear to answer questions.
Democratic leaders questioned why LePage sent a letter to them on a Friday evening rather than request a meeting to discuss the urgent news. Alfond and Eves also requested Mayhew appear before the Legislature’s budget-writing Appropriations Committee on Sunday to answer questions. The committee is holding weekend sessions as the Legislature’s June 19 adjournment date approaches.
“The timing and intent of this letter is questionable,” Eves said in a prepared response. “It seems more geared toward fear mongering than problem solving. We have been pleased with the bipartisan work of the Appropriations Committee for the last five months. In order for their work to continue, we must get answers.”
Alfond said Mayhew needs to “address the administration’s potential mismanagement of this situation.”
The committee was previously scheduled to work on the FY 14-15 budget today, but is adding time to speak with Mayhew about the letters sent out late Friday by herself and Governor LePage (see below). Among the possibilities is separating the change package presented last week from the FY 14-15 budget, a move that the administration appears reluctant to support at this time.
Here is a list of the committee members:
Senator Dawn Hill (D-York), Chair
Senator Emily Ann Cain (D-Penobscot)
Senator Patrick S. A. Flood (R-Kennebec)
Representative Margaret R. Rotundo (D-Lewiston), Chair
Representative Michael E. Carey (D-Lewiston)
Representative Linda F. Sanborn (D-Gorham)
Representative Megan M. Rochelo (D-Biddeford)
Representative Aaron M. Frey (D-Bangor)
Representative Erik C. Jorgensen (D-Portland)
Representative Kathleen D. Chase (R-Wells) *
Representative Tom J. Winsor (R-Norway)
Representative Tyler Clark (R-Easton)
Representative Dennis L. Keschl (R-Belgrade)
*Ranking Minority Member