The Legislature on Thursday overwhelmingly voted in support of a supplemental budget that would cut general assistance, while adding funds for court security and crimes-against-children investigations. But Gov. Paul LePage does not support the plan.
The bill is needed to balance the biennial, $6 billion budget through June 2013. According to the Portland Press Herald, the House voted 120-26 to approve the bill, while the Senate unanimously endorsed the plan.
But the proposal is significantly different from LePage's plan. Instead of limiting housing assistance to 90 days and cutting general assistance reimbursements to large cities from 90% to 50%, the bill sets a nine-month limit on housing and reduces urban reimbursement rates to 85%, according to the Press Herald.
LePage issued a written statement on Thursday indicating he would not sign the measure.
"I cannot put my signature on a bill that largely ignores welfare reform," LePage said. "This budget keeps Maine on the same path it's been on for 40 years and I will not be held hostage and forced to sign a budget that is irresponsible."
The paper reports that the bill could become law without the governor's signature if it clears final votes in the House and Senate.