Gov. Paul LePage yesterday signed a supplemental budget to balance the budget for the rest of the fiscal year, which ends June 30. Missing from the budget are the two line items he vetoed earlier this month, items that earned strong legislative support.
LePage on April 14 exercised his line-item veto power, striking dollar amounts for 2013 general assistance funding and the state's share of funding to hospitals and psychiatric facilities to offset federal cuts, according to the Bangor Daily News. The Legislature did not reconvene to address the vetoes, but the items are expected to be revisited in the 2013 supplemental budget to address a Department of Health and Human Services shortfall.
LePage previously said he would not sign the budget because it "largely ignores welfare reform"; however, the budget would have become law today even without his signature. In a press release, LePage said "structural changes that will generate ongoing savings to our welfare programs must be considered," while also citing a need to address Maine's poverty level.