Maine governor: Government will shut down, but parks won't
AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Maine Republican Gov. Paul LePage says he doesn't think budget negotiators are going to be able to reach an agreement in time to avert a state government shutdown on Friday.
Sides agree that a shutdown at the start of tourism season would be costly. But LePage told WVOM-FM Tuesday that "the future of Maine is worth shutting it down."
LePage says he'll make sure state parks remain open during a shutdown.
The sticking point is education funding. Both parties agreed to eliminate a voter-approved surcharge on wealthy Mainers to better fund education. They differ over how much money should be allocated to make up the difference.
LePage accused Maine's Democratic Party of being a "wholly owned subsidiary" of unions and liberal advocacy groups. He said "they just don't care about the Maine taxpayer."