BREAKING: LePage Vetoes LD 1858, $32M Supplemental Budget Bill
Late Friday news dump/ breaking news from Augusta, as Governor LePage vetoed LD 1858,“An Act To Achieve the Savings Required under Part F of the Biennial Budget and To Change Certain Provisions of the Law for Fiscal Years Ending June 30, 2014 and June 30, 2015” moments ago.
The chairs of the Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee, Senator Dawn Hill (D-York) and Rep. Peggy Rotundo (D-Lewiston) were quick to denounce the Governor’s decision in an issued joint statement:
- “For the past two years, Governor LePage has made himself irrelevant to the budget process and this veto letter only proves it. He demonstrates a lack of understanding for what this budget does and how government works. In fact, the very thing he calls a “gimmick” is actually a smart solution and it was proposed by members of his own party,” said Senator Dawn Hill of York, the Senate Chair of the Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee. “I am confident this veto will be overridden. Nearly every lawmaker supported this budget and they will stand by their vote and stand up to another one of Governor LePage’s tantrums. It’s time for the people of Maine to have a real leader to work with.”
- Close a $17 million shortfall in the MaineCare program for fiscal year 2015
- Provide $5 million to reduce and eliminate the Department of Health and Human Services’ wait lists for people with disabilities to get home care services
- Increase reimbursement rates for nursing homes by $5 million and provides $2 million for the state’s court ordered mental health consent decree
- Increase funds for safety and security at Riverview Psychiatric Center and Dorothea Dix Psychiatric Center
- Invest in key education and workforce training programs, including $650,000 for the Bridge Year program, $300,000 in funding for Jobs for Maine’s Graduates, and $750,000 for Head Start.
The measure was passed unanimously in the Senate with a vote of 35 to 0 and by a vote of 133 to 8 in the House.
“Democrats and Republicans worked collaboratively to craft a responsible and life-changing budget for our most vulnerable people with disabilities and for our seniors,” said Rep. Peggy Rotundo of Lewiston the House Chair of the Appropriations Committee. “It’s no surprise to see the Governor veto the bipartisan measure. He has refused to participate in solving the state’s budget problems from day one. If he had items he wanted funded or didn’t like our approach, he should have worked with lawmakers.”
Governor Paul LePage refused to propose a budget despite shortfalls at his Departments, refused to allow his commissioners to provide information to the budget committee in public, and provided inaccurate information on the budget shortfall in the Department of Health and Human Services. LePage also never provided a funding source for his drug enforcement plan, which he claims was a top priority.
The $32 million budget would:
Veto letter here:
The bill will now be added with a ever-growing list of others and dealt with by the Legislature on May 1, aka “Veto Day”.