June 13, 2013

Bill Nemitz: First the budget vote, then the other shoe drops

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In fact, noted one Republican who asked not to be named, LePage may well have rendered his veto meaningless simply by yapping about it so much.   

“I think the governor has kind of taken himself out of the picture because he’s already made it pretty clear he’ll veto the budget,” this lawmaker said. “And in some ways, that’s sort of liberating to a lot of people” who already know they’ll have to vote twice.   

Still, anything can happen between now and that blessed final gavel. With the budget, Medicaid expansion and the use of Maine’s liquor revenues to pay off the state’s $186 million hospital bill all still in play, the coming days will be, as Fredette put it, “three lifetimes in the political world.”   

“What we want to do is be thoughtful and responsible,” said Fredette, the first political leader of any stripe to publicly use the word “shutdown” way back in February. “We know there are very serious consequences if the state does not have a budget come July 1.”   

Saviello, now in his 11th year as a legislator, put it more bluntly.    “There’s no other way to describe it,” Saviello said. “The next couple of weeks will be hell.”   

Not a good place for flip-flops.   

Columnist Bill Nemitz can be contacted at 791-6323 or at: bnemitz@mainetoday.com   

Twitter: @BillNemitz

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