November 29, 2012

Fiscal cliff worries blamed for Maine revenue drop

Legislators wait to see if Gov. LePage will order spending cuts to deal with the $35 million shortfall.

By Steve Mistler smistler@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

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Adrienne Bennett, LePage's spokeswoman, said Thursday that the governor may also consider a supplemental budget package to bridge the gap. That would allow him to make targeted changes to prevent future shortfalls.

"One of the problems with the curtailment is that it only fixes current budget problem, not the long-term problem," Bennett said. "The governor has said before that he's interested in long-term savings solutions, so we need to be looking at this problem through that lens as well."

Legislators are due to be sworn in Wednesday, but the session is not expected to resume until early January.

Republican Sen. Roger Katz of Augusta, who serves on the Appropriations Committee, said Wednesday that he would like to consider convening the Legislature in December rather than waiting until January.

An early session would give legislators a chance to solve the shortfall.

However, Katz and other Republicans said Thursday that they support the curtailment order.

"Although in a perfect world, these curtailments should be made following legislative discussion, the time crunch here warrants the governor's approach," Katz said in a prepared statement.

Staff Writer Steve Mistler can be contacted at 791-6345 or at:

smistler@pressherald.com

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