January 19, 2013

Radio address:LePage pitches hospital repayment plan

The Associated Press

AUGUSTA — Gov. Paul LePage said Mainers shouldn't be asked to wait for years to be paid for their work.

But in his weekly radio address Saturday, LePage says that's what the state is doing to Maine's hospitals.

The governor pitched his plan to settle a $484 million debt to hospitals for past Medicaid services, with income from liquor sales. LePage says a 10-year private contract for liquor sales, which expires in mid-2014, has cost Maine hundreds of millions of dollars, and his plan would return these revenues to the state.

In the Democratic response, Assistant Senate Majority Leader Troy Jackson of Allagash says the $6.3 billion two-year budget proposed by LePage shifts more than $420 million in expenses to towns and cities, which will force them to cut essential services or raise property taxes.

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