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Governor LePage Plans for Government Shutdown Friday

(WABI)
Published: Jun. 27, 2017 at 11:41 AM EDT
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Governor LePage says he's planning for a government shutdown on Friday.

In an interview this morning on WVOM Radio, LePage said he doesn't think budget negotiators are going to be able to reach an agreement on a $7 billion plan.

Both democrats and republicans agree that a shutdown at the start of tourism season would be costly.

But the Governor says he can't get behind a budget that would harm the people of Maine.

"They've had the budget since January. The Democrats have been sitting on the sideline waiting till the 11th hour. They put a gun to my head and say sign it or you shut it down. Education is only part of the problem. Every year we're taking hundreds of millions of dollars off the tax rolls and then that causes property taxes to go up and they don't want to address that. They just want to break the backs of the Maine people and I can't let it happen under my watch. They asked me last night what's the cost of shutting down. The future of Maine is worth shutting it down."

Both parties agreed to eliminate a voter-approved surcharge on wealthy Mainers designed to help fund education.

They differ over how much money should be allocated to make up the difference.

The Governor says he'll make sure state parks remain open during a shutdown.