For Immediate Release: Friday, June 30, 2017
Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531
AUGUSTA – In the event that no budget is signed into law by the end of the fiscal year, Governor Paul R. LePage has signed a proclamation declaring a civil emergency and an Executive Order directing state departments and agencies to take the necessary steps for a state government shutdown. The Order is effective at 12:01 a.m. on July 1, 2017, and remains in effect until the state of emergency is terminated by Executive Proclamation or until 5 p.m. on July 3, 2017, whichever is earlier.
“This is not about today or tomorrow,” said Governor Paul LePage. “This is about the future of Maine. The Maine people are taxed enough. I will not tax them anymore and in my budget overall taxes were decreased. Maine has plenty of revenue to fund state government without raising taxes.”
Governor LePage submitted his budget in January to the Legislature. Even after six months of inaction, Speaker of the House Sara Gideon (D-Freeport) extended the session twice during the past two weeks. “We do not want to harm state employees or any other of the 1.3 million Mainers who live in our great state,” Governor LePage said. “They should not have to pay more taxes just because the Speaker of the House and Senate President want to go home for the weekend.”
The LePage Administration announced Friday it will continue to pay most benefits administered by the Department of Health and Human Services.
“We are very fortunate as a State to be in the position to pay welfare and unemployment benefits during a shutdown,” Governor LePage said. “This is only because of the strong fiscal management we have implemented over the past seven years. Previous administrations lived day by day, ran huge deficits and could not make it through a shutdown. Because of our strong fiscal responsibility and financial discipline, we have enough in our accounts to make sure we can provide these payments.”
The Office of the Governor will continue to review requests as necessary. If the state of emergency still exists by 12:00 a.m. on July 3, 2017, the Order will be reviewed and revised accordingly.