LePage sounds off on Medicaid expansion

1:38 PM, May 29, 2013   |    comments
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AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - Maine Gov. Paul LePage has returned to his State House office to conduct business.

The governor was back at his desk on Wednesday, nearly a week after he vacated it following a dispute over whether a television should be allowed in the hall outside his office. Legislative leaders said the TV, which carried messages giving the governor's views on the proposed state budget and other issues, violated rules of State House decorum.

Now, the TV has been removed to an area inside the governor's office, although it's still visible from the Hall of Flags. It shows a new message, including "No New Taxes." No complaints have been reported.

Last Thursday, the governor abandoned his State House office and decamped to the Blaine House to conduct business.

Also in Augusta, the Maine Senate has upheld Gov. LePage's veto of a bill to repay a $484 million debt to Maine hospitals and expand Medicaid.

Senators voted 20-15 on Wednesday to sustain the veto of the governor, who objects to a provision to expand Medicaid coverage to roughly 70,000 people as proposed by Democrats.

Democrats support the idea of repaying the debt to Maine hospitals for unpaid Medicaid services and paying the state's share of the debt, $186 million, through future liquor sales, as the governor proposed.

Before Wednesday's vote, Republicans said they'd be glad to discuss expansion of Medicaid, known in the state as MaineCare, as a separate bill.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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