AUGUSTA – Governor Paul LePage’s proposed $6.8 billion budget was back into the spotlight Monday.
The governor met with members of the appropriations committee asking them to help him move Maine forward.
Minutes before Governor LePage stepped into the hearing room to push the benefits of his budget, that same budget was being ripped apart by members of the Maine Center for Economic Policy.
“Governor LePage has submitted a budget proposal that continues to shortchange Maine students and communities while doubling down on tax cuts for the wealthy and large corporations.” MCEP Director Garrett Martin stated.
Yet, the governor contends his budget will grow the state’s economy and broaden it’s tax base. Governor LePage said “And, I could not in good conscience submit a budget that destroyed our economy and hurt our state’s most vulnerable people, especially our elderly.”
Voters approved a referendum question in November last year, placing an additional tax on the state’s wealthiest. But proponents of that tax, earmarked to fund K-12 education, say the governor is gutting that law. Yes on #2 proponent John Kosinski added “And what this does is give more tax breaks to the wealthy, underfund our schools, and puts more pressure on property taxes all over the state.”
Now that Governor LePage has submitted his budget in person to the legislature’s appropriations committee, you can bet they’ll go over with the proverbial fine-toothed comb.