The Office of the Governor announced Friday that the State's supplemental budget bill will go into effect without the Governor's signature.
Governor Paul R. LePage sent a letter to members of the 126th Legislature Friday explaining why he will not sign LD 250, "An Act To Make Supplemental Appropriations and Allocations for the Expenditures of State Government and To Change Certain Provisions of the Law Necessary to the Proper Operations of State Government for the Fiscal Year Ending June 30, 2013."
In the letter, the Governor expressed his concern over rejected funding for the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). In order to balance the budget for the remainder of the fiscal year, Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee members last week decided to delay Medicaid payment to providers, cut $600,000 to foster care assistance, and ignored structural changes to General Assistance.
"The committees that worked on those bills arbitrarily decided to not fully fund our requirements because they wanted to fund other programs. That is not a responsible way to budget, and I am concerned the Legislature may have forced us to return with another request before the year ends," wrote Governor LePage.
"Taking money from various other programs to pay for one we cannot afford is irresponsible. Instead of dialing for dollars or robbing Peter to pay Paul, it is time to summon the courage to make real, structural changes," the Governor wrote. "We can no longer promise everything to everyone -- hardworking Maine families cannot afford it."
Governor LePage concluded his letter by encouraging legislators to recognize the dire financial situation Maine faces and be willing to say "no' during the next round of budget debates.
"It may not be easy and it may not be popular, but it is time to stop hiding from tough choices. It is time we get spending under control," said the Governor.
It is unclear when Committee members will take up the biennial budget.