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Maine Governor Vetoes Another Budget Bill
04/25/2014 05:38 PM ET   Reported By: Mal Leary

The governor blasted lawmakers in his veto message, saying the measure, aimed at closing a projected $32 million shortfall, was paid for with gimmicks.

Gov. Paul LePage has vetoed a measure aimed at closing a projected $32 million shortfall in the 2015 budget year, mostly in the Department of Health and Human Services.

The governor blasted lawmakers in his veto message, saying the measure was paid for with gimmicks.

Sen. Dawn Hill, a Democrat from Cape Neddick, co-chairs the budget-writing Appropriations Committee. "No, no, no, no - there were no gimmicks in this budget," Hill says. "There were very smart solutions, which I am also proud to say, a number of which were crafted by members of his own party."

The governor, in his veto message, says the budget was a partisan one. Hill says the budget was passed unanimously by her committee and by the state Senate, with the House passing the measure 136 to 8.

"I guess he has to take a look in the dictionary at the word 'partisan' because this budget came out unanimous from the Appropriations and the Financial Affairs Committee, and then when it went to the Legislature, 35 senators voted for it and 136 House members voted for it. I don't know how that adds up to a partisan budget," Hill says.

The veto will be considered when lawmakers return next week. The measure closes a $17 million shortfall in the MaineCare program and also provides $5 million to reduce and eliminate the Department of Health and Human Services' waiting lists for people with disabilities to get home care services.

Nursing homes would get an increase in reimbursement rates, and the measure provides $2 million for the court-ordered mental health consent decree. It also increases funds for safety and security at the Riverview Psychiatric Center and Dorothea Dix Psychiatric Center.


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