AUGUSTA — Gov. Paul LePage is asking for fast passage of his supplemental budget.

In his weekly radio address, LePage says the budget pays Maine hospitals $248 million owed back as far as 2006 in unpaid MaineCare reimbursements. The governor says bills that are 4 years old will just be getting paid this spring if his budget passes.

LePage wants the bill to pass with a two-thirds majority so it’ll take effect immediately. That’s important, he says, because many hospitals are facing cash-flow problems. And he says the state can maximize federal matches if lawmakers act quickly.

In the Democratic response, Sen. Margaret Craven of Lewiston says repeal of the federal Affordable Health Care Act will cause real harm to real Maine people. However, Maine will be joining a multistate suit to challenge the law’s constitutionality.