AUGUSTA — Legislative leaders and members of the LePage administration met for several hours Friday to discuss ways to tackle Maine’s drug epidemic.

But the meeting ended without any breakthrough deal, and each side is still seeking assurances that the other will back its preferred approach.

The closed-door meeting followed Gov. Paul LePage’s repeated requests for 10 additional Maine Drug Enforcement Agency agents. The governor has set a Dec. 10 deadline for the Legislature to convene and provide funding or he’ll call up the National Guard, even though he has the power to recall the Legislature and advance his own proposal.

House Speaker Mark Eves, D-North Berwick, told reporters after Friday’s meeting that lawmakers are still seeking a commitment from the administration that the governor will back a comprehensive approach that includes expanded treatment capacity for addicts.

“There was a lot of talk about a comprehensive approach, one that included law enforcement and treatment options,” Eves said. “At the end of the day, talk is cheap, and we need actions.”

Eves also addressed the governor’s threat to call up the National Guard and use it in a law enforcement capacity. While the guard is now assisting Maine State Police with intelligence analysis, Attorney General Janet Mills has said that putting guard members in law enforcement roles could be a breach of federal law.

Eves said that the governor’s threat to call up the guard was discussed during the meeting.

“I said it in there; I’ll say it again. If the governor feels like any lives are going to be saved by calling up the National Guard, he should do it today, not on Dec. 10,” Eves said. “If he felt that way six months ago, he should have done it six months ago.”

He added: “I don’t think the National Guard is going to be called and I don’t think we’re going to have a special (legislative) session. What I do know is that on Day 1 (of the next session) we’re going to be ready with a comprehensive plan that invests in law enforcement … but also that we’re providing treatment options for those that have been caught up in this insidious addiction.”

LePage, who was in Las Vegas at a conference of the Republican Governors Association, did not attend Friday’s meeting. However, he sent a letter to legislative leaders afterward saying that he wants to know lawmakers will support the additional agents before Dec. 10.

“You can determine the timeline for funding the new agents,” LePage wrote. “I just need to know you are serious about funding these positions out of the gate when you return in January 2016. If we can work together to address treatment and prevention needs in that timeframe and agree on a comprehensive piece of legislation, great. But in the meantime, I am asking you once again to commit to funding 10 new drug agents – even in a stand-alone bill, if necessary.”

Public Safety Commissioner John Morris told reporters that the administration is open to a multi-pronged strategy, but its focus now is on law enforcement.

“We in law enforcement have provided our leg of the comprehensive approach,” he said. “Other people that were in (the meeting) need to come up with their plans for the legs of the comprehensive approach.”

For several weeks, lawmakers and the governor have exchanged criticism about their responses to a drug problem that has moved into Maine and many other states. Efforts to reach an agreement have been hampered by the poor relationship between the governor and legislative leaders. Several times, the governor has directly blamed the increase in heroin overdoses and deaths on the Legislature, telling an audience in Bar Harbor in October that the Legislature, “the 186 members that you’ve elected, have turned their backs on heroin.”

The governor has since demanded that the Legislature reconvene for a special session. Democratic and Republican leaders have expressed a willingness to fund additional MDEA agents provided that the state develop multi-pronged approach to the drug problem that includes treatment and prevention options.

On Thursday a committee composed of Republican and Democratic leaders advanced nearly a half-dozen drug-related bills. The proposals, which will be heard next session, included providing additional treatment services for addicts, increasing drug education in public schools, increasing fines for interstate drug trafficking convictions, increasing state reimbursement rates to treatment centers, and a pilot program designed to divert those arrested for drug possession into treatment programs.

Meanwhile, Republican and Democratic leaders continue to express frustration with the governor’s unwillingness to meet with them.

Eves has questioned whether the administration has hired the four MDEA agents that the Legislature funded when it enacted the state’s two-year budget in June. The Portland Press Herald reported Thursday that the agents have not been hired and it appears that many of the additional positions for drug prosecutors and drug court judges also included in the budget have not yet been filled either.

House Republican leader Ken Fredette of Newport and assistant House Republican leader Ellie Espling of New Gloucester said in a joint statement that they support adding MDEA agents.

“We believe that enforcement should be our top priority and that goal is readily achievable through the Legislature,” they said. “While we may need to focus on drug prevention and treatment efforts, we must not allow that conversation to slow down our ability to address the hiring of new drug agents now to fight the trafficking of drugs into our state.”

Senate Minority Leader Justin Alfond, D-Portland, said: “No one disputes the need for a strong law enforcement approach. But we can put every bad guy bent on selling poison to our citizens in jail and they’ll just be replaced by more drug dealers. That’s why any plan that stands a chance in the Legislature will feature a comprehensive approach for solving this problem.”