Merry Christmas, Maine!
What a Christmas present Governor LePage has given Maine this year.
In response to the fact that state revenue has been dropping since July of this year, Paul LePage issued a statement saying that he would issue an order next week curtailing state spending.
“I will be exercising my authority to reduce spending in the quickest manner possible. My commissioners and I are evaluating our options and we will put in place a plan that is practicable and follows the law,” LePage said.
Now, we all knew that there was a drop in revenue and it had been obvious that it would have an impact on our budget, but of all the times to issue statements about budget cuts, why now?
It could not have waited for another 3 weeks?
After all, Christmas is coming, and it’s the season for giving, but Governor LePage seems to be oblivious to the fact that there is no set timeline to issue this statement, nor is there any rush, really, because the Legislature will be convening in January to deal with this and other financial issues.
Curtailment is an immediate response to a revenue shortfall and does not need to be approved by the Legislature. The Legislature can modify the cuts when they convene in January, however. Lawmakers already are scheduled to take up budget changes – a supplemental budget – because of an estimated $100 million shortfall in the Department of Health and Human Services.
They’re the ones who will be dealing with the specifics, and details of this order. They’re on break now.
So it was rather precipitous, to say the least, and it makes LePage seem like the guy who drops coal into your stocking, doesn’t it?
Who says the Grinch isn’t real?