Governor Paul LePage released the following statement Monday regarding the latest budget plan which is being considered today by members of the Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee.
"I was presented a plan last Thursday. I told the Appropriations Chairs that I would not sign nor veto that proposal. However, their plan has drastically changed since then. The latest proposal eliminates nearly all of the structural changes that are necessary to make our welfare system affordable and sustainable.
The latest plan is full of gimmicks and built on false savings. It continues to cannibalize state government to support an out-of-control welfare program. If the approach taken by the Committee is allowed to move forward, we will be back here in a few months dealing with another large shortfall in the Department of Health and Human Services.
The Committee is no longer considering eliminating all coverage for childless adults. They are taking a half-measure that doesn't fix the real problem. The ironic part of their proposal is that they are booking savings that are dependent on federal approval. My plan has been criticized for the exact same thing.
Quite frankly, I believe this represents an abdication of their responsibility to the Maine people. This is the exact same approach the Legislature has taken for the past 40 years and it hasn't worked yet. They are kicking the can down the road and Maine people deserve better."