January 13

LePage administration: $119 million needed to balance budget

A spokesperson says most of the shortfall is caused by the state’es Medicaid program.

The Associated Press

AUGUSTA – Republican Gov. Paul LePage’s administration says lawmakers must find a way to fill a $119 million hole in the state’s budget.

Adrienne Bennett, a spokeswoman for LePage, said in an email Monday that the shortfall in the budget exceeds $130 million and that $119 million is needed to balance the two-year budget.

Bennett said most of the shortfall is caused by the state’s Medicaid program. The administration said that further solidifies its position that expanding Medicaid under the federal health care law is a bad idea.

Lawmakers will craft a supplemental budget to address the shortfall.

Governors typically submit supplemental budgets, but LePage has said he won’t submit one because lawmakers approved a budget he didn’t like.

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