Governor Paul R. LePage today reminded Mainers that the hospitals still haven't been paid.
"It's been 150 days and counting," said Governor LePage. "How much longer must the hospitals wait? It is time to end the political games and get our hospitals paid. Democratic leadership has not allowed an up-or-down vote on my plan. Let's get that vote, let's get the hospitals paid, and let's get our fiscal house in order so I can release job-creating bonds before the entire construction season ends this summer."
Governor LePage's plan to pay Maine's hospitals and create a new contract for the state's liquor business is languishing on the table at the Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee.
The bill, "An Act to Strengthen Maine's Hospitals and to Provide for a New Spirits Contract," is essentially the same as the Governor's proposal that was submitted 150 days ago. The new bill was submitted on May 23 as emergency legislation, which means if it is passed, it will go into effect as soon as the Governor signs it.
House Republican leaders Tuesday joined Governor LePage calling on Democratic leadership to bring forward the bipartisan measure to pay off Maine's hospital bills without delay.
Although polls indicate a majority of Mainers believe the hospital debt ought to be paid, Democrats have announced they will not move on the hospital debt bill until they get their way on their controversial welfare expansion proposal.