Lawmakers hear Maine hospital debt bills

11:48 AM, Mar 11, 2013   |    comments
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AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - Republican Gov. Paul LePage has told the Committee on Veterans and Legal Affairs he's "very frustrated" by lack of action on Maine's $484 million debt to hospitals.

LePage addressed the Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee as it opened a hearing on a plan to use income from future liquor sales to pay the debt. He envisions covering the debt right off with money from bonds, which would be paid off with the future liquor revenues.

Even before the committee opened its hearing, legislative Democrats presented their alternative plan, which would pay the hospitals in full by Sept. 30, 2013, using money from the financing on the state's liquor contract.

This way the state would not have to borrow money through revenue bonds Democrats consider constitutionally shaky.

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