Maine governor believes government will shut down Friday

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.

Both sides agree that a shutdown at the start of the tourism season would be costly. But LePage told WVOM-FM Tuesday that “the future of Maine is worth shutting it down.”

The key sticking point in the budget is education funding. Both parties have agreed to eliminate a voter-approved surcharge on wealthy Mainers to better fund education. But they’re at odds 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.”