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Hear Gov LePage's Entire Remarks in Reaction to Budget Veto Override

In a press conference yesterday, Gov. Paul LePage told reporters that he's disappointed that lawmakers' voted to override his veto of the compromise state budget, which raises the sales tax half a percentage point and the meals and lodging tax a full percentage point this fall, while preserving some revenue-sharing funds for Maine cities and towns. LePage said the budget plan will hurt Maine's business climate and the state's senior citizens and students, assertions Democrats refute.

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Hear Gov. LePage's entire Wednesday press conferen
Originally Aired: 6/26/2013 5:30 PM

The state has a new budget. It preserves some state aid to cities and towns, boosts spending on schools, and preserves various safety-net programs. But all of that comes at a price that Republican state Rep. Lance Harvell said yesterday he was unwilling to pay.

"Well, I suggest to you today that if a Democrat and Republican both reach their hands into my pocket to take my wallet, bipartisan it may be," Harvell said, "but the net result is not different."

The new budget raises the sales tax half-a-percent and raises the meals-and-lodging tax a full percent this fall. But Democratic state Sen. Emily Cain said, given the alternatives, she was willing to override Gov. LePage's veto of the budget.

"Today is one of those moments where it feels extra tough, it feels extra hard. But I will tell you with confidence that this vote should be easy," she said.

In the end, the override cleared the two-thirds threshhold easily in the Maine House and by two votes in the state Senate. It removes the threat that most state agencies would have to shut down next week.

Gov. Paul LePage expressed disappointment in the tax increases, and in the Republican lawmakers that supported them.

"We've certainly solidified our place as 50th worst place in the country to do business for the forseeable future," LePage said. "I think it's a really sad day for the elderly in Maine and a real sad day for our students."

To hear the governor's entire remarks, click the "Listen" button above.

This story was reported by A.J. Higgins.


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