Weekly Address of Gov. Paul LePage: “Students First” Agenda Under Attack

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

Listen here.

It is truly amazing to me as I see in situation after situation that when it comes to education, we are debating the needs of adults and administrators over the needs of students.

Hello, this is Governor Paul LePage.

The new school year is just beginning across Maine and we continue to work here in Augusta to advance an education agenda that puts students first.

Our students-first agenda, though, is under attack.

Just this past weekend, two newspaper articles addressed two different, but related, education issues – both about our efforts to give families and students the best possible options in education. The first issue was superintendent transfers, in which two superintendents can agree on letting a student from one school district go to school in another. The other was about the state’s digital learning efforts – a plan for making sure that our students have access to online and virtual learning opportunities to support their education.

In both cases, our education policy was taken to task because of a perception that what we are doing somehow hurts school boards, superintendents or taxpayers. And yet nobody was talking about our core goal: what is best for the students.

I would like to talk about one of those articles and the real facts.

Digital learning is one form of choice that can benefit students. For some reason, Education Commissioner Stephen Bowen has been taken to task for seeking the advice of national experts in this area. The newspaper charged that we let that group write our state policy. There’s only one problem: we don’t have a state policy on digital learning yet.

In fact, a stakeholder group was assigned by the Legislature to take up this task, and the group held its first meeting last week. We are a long way from having a digital learning plan for this state. And we badly need one. We are a rural state, and a lot of times smaller school districts can’t offer certain courses, so they turn to online options for their students.

School districts around the state have been asking for guidance on this issue because they have hundreds of students who take online courses now. We have worked with a national advocacy group on some key guidelines, things that just make common sense. Such as: All students should have access to online learning options. Online learning providers should be of high quality, and their courses should be aligned to Maine’s learning standards.

We have to work out details, such as whether we’ll require every teacher, no matter where they teach from, to have Maine certification, or if we’ll arrange for reciprocity with other states, and on what terms. These are far from determined, and are just the kind of thing that the group will be discussing. When they are done, either they or our Department of Education, or the Education Committee itself, will propose legislation that will be discussed in public. Instead of worrying about who wrote the language for not-yet-existent proposals, critics should be worrying about whether those ideas are good for our students. That should be the only litmus test.

Furthermore, the newspaper lied saying that my campaign was paid by an out of state company to push virtual learning. This is a bold face lie.

Despite the misinformation being circulated, we are hard at work building a system of education that is focused on what is best for the student, which is why I am extremely disappointed that a newspaper would use its space to fabricate an issue where none exists; and, more importantly, to stand up in support of the needs and wants of administrators over the best interests of students. It’s time we put more focus on students’ needs first, and less on the wine and cheese elitists who are okay with SOME students having access to expanded educational opportunities like digital learning, but not ALL students. I believe ALL students and ALL families should have access to great learning opportunities, not simply the rich.

I wish our students and teachers a great school year and urge all Mainers to drive carefully now that school is back in session.

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Edukashun Problims in Amerukuh

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

Who knew that a silly 1980s video would inspire a generation?

One of the more outrageous education stories of the summer has come from Louisiana, where it was recently revealed that female students at Delhi Charter School who are suspected of being pregnant are told that they must take a pregnancy test. Under school policy, those who are pregnant or refuse to take the test are kicked out and forced to undergo home schooling.

But of course, there is no War on Women and certainly not one of a woman’s rights to contraception

Here in Maine, we have so many problems facing our educational system that it is difficult to nail them all down. First and foremost would be the difficulties with RSU systems that many communities are now trying to disband (RSUs 2 and 12, among others), are having troubles with huge budget shortfalls (RSU 19) or simply can’t get a budget agreed upon by voters (RSU 18).

Out of frustration with the status quo, some were able to successfully introduce the false argument in the past legislative session that charter schools could come in and save the day- but even those are now facing challenges of their own, as it was announced overnight that 2 virtual charter schools are having to pull their applications and start over next year.

As for school vouchers, we need look no further than again to Louisiana to see why this is a potentially dreadful idea:

1. Dinosaurs and humans probably hung out.

2. Dragons were totally real.

3. God used the Trail of Tears to bring many Indians to Christ.

4. Africa needs religion.

5. Slave masters were nice guys.

6. The KKK was A-OK.

7. The Great Depression wasn’t as bad as the liberals made it sound.
8. SCOTUS enslaved fetuses.

9. The Red Scare isn’t over yet.

10. Mark Twain and Emily Dickinson were a couple of hacks.

11. Abstract algebra is too dang complicated.

12. Gay people “have no more claims to special rights than child molesters or rapists.”

13. Global environmentalists have said and written enough to leave no doubt that their goal is to destroy the prosperous economies of the world’s richest nations.

14. Globalization is a precursor to rapture.

Remember, Governor LePage in his recent presser with Commissioner Bowen said:

“We’re looking at several models like Jeb Bush did in Florida and what other states are doing. I just recently had a discussion with Governor Jindal of Louisiana and some of the things that are working down there. And so we’re gathering the information so we can put together a program so we can assist school districts.”

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

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Nemitz Declares Today ‘Adrienne Bennett Appreciation Day’

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

(We at Dirigo Blue, who are in constant communications with the Governor’s office, could not agree more. Ms. Bennett, like her predecessor Dan Demeritt, is a hard working professional and maintains a polite, pleasant demeanor in all communiques. I admire her ability to do well with what must be a challenging job on good days- and a damned near impossible one on others. ~Andi)

In this morning’s PPH, Bill Nemitz looked at the latest outrageous lies tall tales made-up bullsh*t anecdotes from Governor LePage and the difficult tasks such statements present for his staff, specifically his current communications director, Adrienne Bennett:

Bennett’s latest travails stem from LePage’s claim on July 25 that Maine students are “looked down upon” by colleges and universities throughout the United States. And that the College of William & Mary in Virginia will not look at an application from Maine without first requiring “a placement exam to see if you qualify.”

(Photo: Gov. LePage describes the large stack of additional placement exams facing Maine students before admittance into William & Mary.)

Lest we digress, our focus today is not on the Big Guy. It’s on the poor woman we pay to stand between us and LePage and, like a loyal soldier in a losing battle, stand her ground even while the general beats a hasty retreat.

In an email Tuesday, Bennett politely declined comment on just how tough a summer this has been. She didn’t need to — her attempts to contain the damage from LePage’s latest gaffes demonstrate the futility of speaking for a guy who sees facts as a luxury that his administration simply can’t afford.

Late last week, after officials at William & Mary stated not once but twice that they treat Maine students just like everyone else, Bennett bravely stepped up and told Kennebec Journal reporter Susan McMillan that “someone at the school” told LePage about the nonexistent exam way back in 2005 … or maybe it was 2006.

Then, on Monday, Bennett told the Bangor Daily News that the “looked down upon” quote came not from any single experience or empirical evidence after all. Rather, it sprang from Guv’s own “life experience.”

“He’s a businessman. It’s from his life experience of talking to people,” Bennett told the newspaper. “While it’s anecdotal, he believes it.”

(Photo: Gov. LePage describes the fish he almost caught at Grand Lake Stream this past weekend.)

Note that Bennett no longer claimed it was true — because it isn’t. All she could do was draw a line between reality and LePage Land and infer, with the poker face that’s now familiar to all of Maine, that her boss prefers the latter.

I cannot imagine a more challenging job in the entire state than hers.

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Gov. LePage at ME Educational System Presser: State Taking Over Non-Improving Schools “Discussed”; School Districts Should Pay for Remedial College Courses

Posted on July 25, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , |

Press release from the Governor’s office

Governor Paul LePage and Education Commissioner Stephen Bowen held a joint media conference today to discuss the results of a recent study released by Harvard University’s Program on Education Policy and Governance and unveiled a new initiative to revitalize Maine’s educational system: the ABC plan.

The study, an analysis of 49 countries worldwide and 41 states in the U.S., measured improvements in academic test scores of 4th and 8th grade students from 1992 to 2011. In comparison to other states, Maine educational growth ranked 40th out of the 41 participating states. United States placed 25th in the world rankings.

“Commissioner Bowen and I have been trying to address this for two years now. We know Maine’s educational system is lacking and we are here to share these results with you so that we can move in the right direction,” said Governor LePage. “This is a call to action.”

In response to the study’s findings, Governor LePage and Commissioner Bowen introduced their ABC plan. ABC stands for Accountability, Best practices, and Choice. Commissioner Bowen discussed the three-point plan in detail, explaining accountability means creating a system that measures school performance and providing assistance to those that are struggling; best practices means looking at other state’s and countries’ educational systems that have yielded proven results; and choice means giving students more learning options, such as open-enrollment for schools.

“These efforts will be our core focus as we head into the fall and winter,” said Commissioner Bowen. “We will be working with national experts from high-performing states on these initiatives, and we will be bringing a number of proposals to the legislature next session which we believe will get Maine’s schools headed in the right direction.”

Governor LePage reiterated that the status quo in Maine has been too heavily focused on administrative interests and procedures. This plan, he said, will return the central focus of Maine’s education policy back on students. The Governor also supported teachers as a vital piece to his reform plan, stating that the current rigid certification requirements and curriculum structures are stifling teachers and potential teachers from sharing their wealth of knowledge.

“Educators should be able to teach and mentor based on what they know. If a person is a professional in the subject they want to teach, they should be able to do so regardless of whether or not they hold a teaching certificate,” said LePage.

As the Kennebec Journal reports, LePage plans to propose a bill to require school districts to pay for the remedial classes their graduates require in college.

Moments ago, the Governor’s office released two audio sound bites from that press conference: School Choice, Providing More Resources to Schools. Additionally, they sent out text of a reporter’s question and LePage’s answer:

Response to a reporter’s question asking how the State will deal with underperforming schools.

Governor LePage: “Some of the measures we’ve talked about is the state taking over the schools. That’s the extreme if they just don’t improve. But we’re going to put resources into those schools to help them improve. And the resource is not always money. We’re looking at several models like Jeb Bush did in Florida and what other states are doing. I just recently had a discussion with Governor Jindal of Louisiana and some of the things that are working down there. And so we’re gathering the information so we can put together a program so we can assist school districts. It seems as I look at what’s happening is that we do a reasonable job K-6, middle schools we start to slip, and we get to high school and wow, we fall off the face. There’s got to be something causing it and we have to do some research and find out where the disconnect is.”

Commissioner Bowen’s prepared remarks can be found here.

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Friday Night Music: School’s Out!

Posted on January 20, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , |

With Governor LePage threatening to close all Maine schools on May 1 if his latest demands aren’t met, this by Alice Cooper was an obvious choice.

An open thread.

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Tweets from Governor LePage’s Androscoggin County “Capitol for a Day”

Posted on January 19, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , |

Androscoggin County 'Capitol for a Day' (photo by Nicola Wells)

Gerald Weinand/ Dirigo Blue

A lot of media awaits the arrival of #LePage & commissioners at Lewiston Town Hall – do they know something? #mepolitics

Commissioners at #LePage Town Hall Bowen (Ed) Bernhard (DOT) Poliwuin of course #mepolitics

Venue is the Vo Tech restaurant with w/about 20 ten-top tables Flat surfaces will be noisy #mepolitics

Other Commish Winglass (Labor) Mayhew (DHHS) Whitmore (Ag) Millet (Budget) #mepolitics

Sens. Snowe-Mellow, Mason Reps Wood, Timberlake, Crafts, MacMillan – no Dems made it here? #mepolitics

Rep Mike Carey (D) is here and I’m told he was inadvertantly overlooked #mepolitics

Channel 13 reporter taping loudly enough to turn heads while Poliquin making his intro Sorry Bruce! #mepolitics

Lots of TV here to get footage for their 3-minute story at 11

Over 20 minutes spent on introductions That’s one way to avoid questions #mepolitics

TV is way out of control running from questioner to questioner with camera in their face Much nicer in rural areas #mepolitics

Media asked to stay to the side so those that came to see #LePage et al can actually see them #mepolitics

Good question on use of tobacco settlement money Why not being used to build public health system like other states have #mepolitics

Q Expand ZOOM bus to L/A? #LePage all about funding Bernhard says new passenger rail plan out soon (!?!) #mepolitics

Poliquin follows with “The State is broke” passes on opportunity to bash MaineHousing #mepolitics

#LePage says Green Energy coalition going around #megov & #meleg for referendum Is he bashing referendum process?

#LePage said Japanese Counsel came here but said energy costs too high to build car plant here #mepolitics

#LePage said he asked Efficiency Maine if they wanted to join in “They said ‘No thanks’ ” #mepolitics

#LePage confuses actual earnings with adjusted income on tax returns #mepolitics

#LePage said that man he met last Friday told him he moved here last year, bought a house, then State gave him new boiler & oil

Millet says the tax cut is NOT slanted to wealthy #mepolitics Except they don’t http://www.dirigoblue.com/2011/06/who-actually-benefits-from-the-proposed-tax-cut-plans-from-maine-republicans/

Man tees up MaineHousing question for Poliquin #mepolitics

Poliquin mentions Sen Courtney’s bill to allow #LePage to fire #MSHA head McCormick #LD1778 #mepolitics

Will #LePage admit that he and Mayhew made a mistake in their budget projection last spring for DHHS? No, he’ll start in 2002

#LePage says that the reason budget is mess is because @mainegop had been out of power so long & didn’t know how to govern #mepolitics

#LePage favors #meschool vouchers Unlikely to submit bill this year #mepolitics

Will your Medicaid cuts that will send more to emergency room also prevent hospitals to shift cost to insured people? #mepolitics

#LePage increase of those on MaineCare are people who realize they can drop their private insurance for “free” #mepolitics

#LePage first time visit to emergency room w/o paying covered Next visits they pay bill #mepolitics #squeezingbloodfromturnip

#LePage says qualification for Medicaid does not look at assets Suck it up little old lady in that house you’ve owned for years

It’s another Maintenance of Effort requiring a waiver which just ain’t gonna happen #mepolitics

Lady asks about #LD882 which prohibits an insurer from offering more coverage than what the ACA mandates #mepolitics

CEO of St Mary’s Hospital says #DHHS cuts will cost that hospital $6M while their bottom line is just $2M #mepolitics

#LePage threatens to not pay hospitals so as to not close nursing homes #mepolitics

#LePage my proposal last year to cut non-cats was ignored #mepolitics admits that his admin had no Plan B in hand if #meleg didn’t go along

#LePage threatens to close schools May 1 (applause) #mepolitics Last month he made same threat for 1 April #foundapotofgold

Ed Commish Bowen has yet to respond to a question Odd since he usually likes to talk #mepolitics

#LePage Dem legislators are either misleading the Maine people or can’t count #mepolitics

#LePage “There’s more to education than public schools”

Chris Korzen/ Maine’s Majority

At LePage’s town hall meeting in Lewiston. The room is packed. Stay tuned! #mepolitics

The commissioners are introducing themselves and describing their departments. #mepolitics

Adrienne Bennett introduced Mary Mayhew of DHHS as the head of a department that could be contentious tonight… #mepolitics

Poliquin describing overhaul of state pension and describing the cuts as a success.Forgot to mention gov pension stayed intact.

20 minutes on intros. That should cut down on the numbers of actual questions they have to answer. #mepolitics

LePage asked if corporations are people. States they are a legal entity. Nice dodge #mepolitics

TV has handhelds in the audience. Have never seen this before.

LePage says he wants to get rid of all quasi-governmental agencies when asked about MTA toll hikes. No surprise there.

LePage: “We ran out of money.” We ran out of money because we gave tax cuts to those who didn’t need them. #mepolitics

Question from Maine League of Young Voters chief Nicola Wells (a Lewiston resident) on sustainable transportation. #mepolitics

Why is Poliquin answering a transportation question? #mepolitics

Poliquin telling audience that we need to realize the state is broke. Why did we lower the tax rate for the wealthy? #mepolitics

Poliquin: “the state is broke.” This is the administration’s answer for just about everything, and it’s rubbish. #mepolitics

@thisdog I hope #mepress is going to push back on this. We’re broke only insofar as we decided to be that way.

LePage blaming electricity prices as the reason businesses do not come to Maine. Our rates are cheaper than rest of New England #mepolitics

Proof that Maine pays less for energy than rest of New England from US Energy info #mepolitics http://www.eia.gov/state/state-energy-profiles.cfm?sid=ME

@thisdog Cute. He’s redefined “wealthy.”

Did #LePage just say that “wealthy” in Maine means anyone making more than 19,000? #mepolitics

RT @nicolalyv: Heidi brooks just read my mind- she asked lepage why he is cutting taxes on the wealthy- his response? #mepolitics

LePage blaming out-of-staters for draining our healthcare system. Stop blaming outsiders we are all Americans. #mepolitics

Question about “bringing to light abuses” at MSHA. What abuses??? #mepolitics

Poliquin is on his housing warpath. #mepolitics

Poliquin is continuing his attack on Maine State Housing. He doesn’t understand the cost of new public construction. #mepolitics

Blatant attack on Democrats from the floor. Let’s see how LePage handles this. Partisanship or olive branch? #mepolitics

LePage repeating this fabrication about “welfare” in Maine: http://ow.ly/8zOBT #mepolitics

Vouchers for private schools just came up. Curious to see how this goes. #mepolitics

@thisdog Pretty sure he includes things like unemployment as “welfare.”

LePage says he favors vouchers for students. Supports semi-private schools but not quasi-government departments #mepolitics

In case you’re wondering, corporate tax breaks are not “welfare” under LePage tax plan. #mepolitics

@andiparkinson2 Oh very good. Thanks! We’ll be ready to pull tape tonight if you need it.

RT @jaravak: Did lePage just say that hospitals are going to turn people away the emergency rooms? #mepolitics

Hmmm #LePage says he is in favor of vouchers for schools. Sounds like an ALEC model bill. #mepolitics http://alecexposed.org/w/images/b/b1/2D11-THE_GREAT_SCHOOLS_TAX_CREDIT_PROGRAM_ACT_Exposed.pdf

LePage: we are developing low-cost insurance products for younger people and families. #mepolitics

LePage: “welfare” does not look at assets. Really? #mepolitics

@stevemistler @smcover How quickly do you think Treasurer Poliquin is going to try to run out the door, lest he get stuck talking to you?

LePage says he is trying to improve Medicaid services for the mentally ill. Oh really? Than why cut out 65,000 mainers

@lizzy_reinholt The insurance commission. Is this news to you?

Question from Lee Myles, CEO of St. Mary’s Health System: health care “is a moral issue.” #mepolitics

Myles: “do we know what impact of health care cuts will be on local economy?” #mepolitics

Myles: “you didn’t create DHHS crisis, nor did Democrats or Republicans.” Well done. #mepolitics

Myles’ question gets at the heart of the economic choices facing Maine and our country. #mepolitics

RT @dirigoblue: CEO of St Mary’s Hospital says #DHHS cuts will cost that hospital $6M while their bottom line is just $2M

If #LePage is trying to improve services for mentally ill than why is he cutting funding for PNMI? #mepolitics http://bangordailynews.com/2012/01/19/health/dhhs-cuts-painful-but-necessary-commissioner-mayhew-tells-husson-crowd/

LePage just took a swipe at Democrats in response to a very non-partisan question. #mepolitics

#LePage is threatening to close schools if he can’t fix the budge shortfall #mepolitics

RT @nicolalyv: Lepage- I am not cutting budget.

RT @dirigoblue: #LePage threatens to close schools May 1 (applause) #mepolitics Last month he made same threat for 1 April #foundapotofgold

RT @mtkstevens: Funny that Poloquin is quoting the Maine Constitution. #mepolitics

Last question from a LePage classmate: how do we pay for 5-year high school? Are you going to take away $ from public schools? #mepolitics

.@bangordailynews ALEC hopes so! #mepolitics

Bowen says that #LePage is his favorite boss. #mepolitics

LePage just said that local superintendents are preventing kids from going to ME School of Sci & Math – can he show us one?

Poliquin just ran when we (and an @MPBNnews reporter) asked about him violating the Maine Constitution. Way to run away.

Town hall is over. Dear #LePage can’t you say anything nice about our state? #mepolitics

The League of Young Voters’ Nicola Wells

@MainesMajority nice to be with you at lepage’s townhall in lewiston

asked a question about lepage’s stance on sustainable transportation – bringing buses to connect Portland, l/a and Augusta- the response?

1) lewiston/auburn doesnt have enough people (oh really) 2) the state is broke (oh yeah? Then why is lepage cutting taxes for the rich)?

Heidi brooks just read my mind- she asked lepage why he is cutting taxes on the wealthy- his response?

Babbling numbers- cant make sense of it. #ohwell

Lepage- people on welfare because they are wrong. Us- people on welfare because #therentistoodamnhigh and #wedonthaveanyjobs

Newsflash- lepage attacking immigrants and making up “facts” about assistance refugees receive.

Things that make me sad 1) lies abt our state budget 2) ppl applauding lies 3) ppl applauding lies abt vulnerable neighbors in our community

@DirigoBlue oh good, I thought I was the only one hearing this nonsense

Wow-crazy feeling sitting w/my neighbors seeing them cheer people getting kickd off mainecare, losing their housing, + losing jobs #chilling

When conservatives don’t like someone (like the housing authority director in Maine) they want oversight, but when it comes to banks

That pay for lepage’s campaign- then let them go wild! Come on guys!

Lepage wants us to believe there is no money- no money? In the richest country in the world? In a state with some of the most beautiful….

…. Mansions in the world! There is money- it’s our money and it’s being taken from us.

Oh shoot-wanted to ask question about student loan bonding that lepage has blocked- #thatsourmoney (see bill by sen. Raye aimed at fixing it

Watch out- lepage is trying 2 explain Medicaid- the ? was a simple one- are u Goin to keep hurting mariners by cutting consumer protections?

The answer? Yup- you are screwed. I love letting insurance companies #stealyourmoney

Lepage’s cabinet: 6 men+Mary “cut and slash” Mahew-where’s our strong female leadership that get importance of community, Ed and #goodjobs?

Wonderful woman fr new Gloucste speaking out on behalf of those in need of mental health coverage-will lepage secure mental health services?

Yeah- no big applause. Come on guys! Compassion!!!!!!!

What I have learned – You can tell your story til u are blue in the face, and if your neighbors lack compassion they will not be moved.

St Mary’s CEO: the budget cuts aren’t just a financial issue. It’s a Moral issue – period.

Lepage- I am not cutting budget.

Oh really? People clapping 4 lepage’s proposal to close schools may 1. Cheering the end of education? Looking lepage’s supporters in the eye

Ronnie paradis- you and I graduated from public school together and we are good. Are you going to undercut the system we benefitted from?

Lepage- we have bad schools. So let’s cut their budget

Head of Ed dept- cutting money for public schools is good for kids

@raylab I just discovered twit pic- uh oh

Lepage- “the bullseye is our kids”

Lewiston Sun Journal regional editor Scott Thistle

LePage event in Lewiston tonight. Also Cover-it-Live conversation with editors and reporters #mepolitics http://www.sunjournal.com

what no Peggy Rotundo? #mepolitics #lepage

“We may be in an urban setting tonight but not too far away are some of the most productive farms . . . ” Ag Commish Whitcomb.

Poliquin speaking now. #mepolitics http://www.sunjournal.com “State government spends more money than it takes in.”

Good question to LePage do you believe corporations are people? #mepolitics. LePage: “I believe they are a legal entity.”

LePage did say he did not believe corps were people. #mepolitics

Kind of dodged the Turnpike question too. #mepolitics @stevemistler

“The fact of the matter is — the money that was given to us, I am stretching it as far as I can.” LePage. #mepolitics

Poliquin: “State government has no new money – we’re broke.” #mepolitics

Poliquin is using the cut taxes until everybody moves here with there jobs philosophy. Does that work? #mepolitics

Noticed my electric bill has gone steadily down over the last few months. Still using same amount of kws. So how’s that figure? #mepolitics

@MainesMajority there’s your push back on tax cuts for wealthy. #mepolitics

LePage, “majority of tax cuts don’t take effect until next year and the year after.” #mepolitics

Now for the question? “Do you have the authority or is there any legislative process to remove Dale McCormick?” #mepolitics MSHA

LePage “Get this thing done. I don’t like to make cuts. We ran out of money. Nobody wants to cut effective programs.”

Has welfare really grown by 78 percent? That sounds like off the cocktail napkin?

A rhyme. “What has happened in Maine is we’re a run away train.” #mepolitics LePage

@thisdog Pretty sure he includes things like unemployment as “welfare.”

Good question on ER use by those without insurance, if MaineCare singles get cut. #mepolitics

LePage answering now about Medicaid reimbursement rates . . . #mepolitics Emotional arguments about welfare are inappropriate?

LePage folks intentionally dropped health insurance to get on MaineCare, because it’s free, after eligibility caps were raised.

LePage pitches new plan to require some payment like on second visits so folks will be more responsible with MaineCare use.

Gov. LePage also pitches private insurance products that are more affordable, crafted for young singles and young families.

Bates student asking question now? #mepolitics Would law allow Anthem to raise rates by up to 10 percent?

LePage, said no, they would have to go to insurance super to get increase. #mepolitics

@Kriskxx not sure I follow?

“It’s going to be a tough couple of years for the shrimp industry.” LePage on latest catch limits for Gulf of Maine Shrimp. #mepolitics

Lee Myles, CEO St. Mary’s Health System: urges “thoughtful incremental approach” to budget cuts for health care other issues.

Myles also notes, not fault of one party or the other. “We have an economy issue.” #mepolitics

@MainesMajority there’s an olive branch. I agree. #mepolitics #myles

LePage says it’s not him. Ask Legislature to do something. “If you do nothing, on April 1, I’m out of money.” #mepolitics

“It’s a matter of not having money, it’s not a matter of policy.” LePage. #mepolitics cont.

It’s a matter of when you have $100 in your checkbook and you spend $200 you’re in trouble . . . #mepolitics

LePage now pointing out Federal government has exacerbated the state’s budget woes by cutting Medicaid reimbursement rates.

OK Sen. Rotundo, D-Lewiston, did show for the governor’s visit to her city. #mepolitics just recognized

“There’s more to education than simply public schools.” LePage #mepolitics @MainesMajority @bangordailynews is that choice?

Bowen says they r increasing funds for public ed. Admits he’s a “policy wonk” — this is simple “What’s in the best interest of the kids?”

LePage says school supers won’t send bright students to magnet school because they worry about losing money — #mepolitics

Interesting night, good questions. #mepolitics

@ASFried good point. @andiparkinson2 I thought the same thing, that was quite a loaded statement. #mepolitics

(My tweet to Scott: @thisdog #LePage implying that school supers holding bright kids back? Wow- any proof of this or usual “make it up as he goes”?)

@andiparkinson2 I’m sure we will have some follow ups and @stevemistler will be writing a report too. #mepolitics

And, that’s a wrap. (We all really owe it to ourselves to fact check these statements by the Governor and his administration officials…)

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