Governor Paul R. LePage today took no action on six bills which were sent to his office on March 7. On Tuesday, Governor LePage let six bills go into law without his signature and called on legislative leadership to set a date to pass a measure to pay the long-standing debt to Maine's hospitals.
"Maine people know that the biggest issue facing our state is the almost $500 million we owe to the hospitals," Governor LePage said. "The Legislature has had my bill for two months. The time to pay our bills is now."
In a letter sent Wednesday to Democratic leadership, the Governor urged the Senate President and Speaker to provide a date by the Legislature will enact this hospital bill.
"Also, until the bill to pay the hospitals is on my desk, I am asking the Legislature to record votes on the items before them. Maine people deserve to know where their representatives stand, whether it is to override my vetoes or when they pass the laws," continued the Governor.
Governor LePage noted that the inaction is not based on the legislations' substance, but rather a matter of principle. "As I have said publicly, there are many important things we can get done during this Legislative session, including reforming our education system and lowering energy prices for Maine ratepayers. However, at the very top of that list is paying Maine's hospitals the near $500 million we owe them. Every day we wait to pay our hospitals directly affects the lives of Maine people," the Governor stated.
The six bills are:
LD 2, Resolve, Regarding Legislative Review of Portions of Chapter 252: Rules Governing Certification of Seed Potatoes in the State of Maine, A Major Substantive Rule of the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry;
LD 26, An Act to Authorize the Commissioner of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife to Change a Fishing Season Opening Date Statewide;
LD 32, An Act to Expand the Types of Vaccines That May Be Administered by Pharmacists;
LD 103, An Act to Correct an Inconsistency in Maine's Apprenticeship Laws;
LD 112, An Act to Make Changes to the Educators for Maine Program; and
LD 113, An Act to Make Changes to the Maine College Savings Program.