Governor Paul LePage released the following statement Tuesday regarding his thoughts on bond packages. Today, members of the Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee convened to begin work on bond package proposals.
"Before I can accept any bond proposal we must address the shortfall in the 2013 budget. Our welfare programs have become unaffordable and structural changes must be considered to reduce out of control spending. To achieve savings we must be willing to better align Maine with federal eligibility requirements.
I would very much like to do infrastructure work on our roads and bridges with capital improvement money, but we can't pay our current bills. It's true that temporary jobs can be created through the use of bonds, but careers can also be saved by paying our hospital bills.
Maine hospitals are currently owed $460 million. Last year's payment of nearly $250 million was a good start to paying off this debt, but we cannot continue to ignore these outstanding bills.
Once again, I encourage Legislators to summon the courage to make the necessary changes to restore Maine's fiscal health."