AUGUSTA, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — Gov. LePage has added some clarification amidst conflicting reports he told multiple lawmakers he would be vacationing during the state's first government shutdown in more than two decades.
LePage told NEWS CENTER political analyst Phil Harriman Monday afternoon he had no plans to leave the state, and that his pen would be on a vacation, personifying his refusal to sign an unfavorable budget that includes a tax increase.
NEWS CENTER's Don Carrigan and NECN's Danielle Waugh were both told by Senate President Mike Thibodeau that LePage planned to leave the office for 10-12 days, and that he had notified legislative leaders Monday morning. Waugh was also informed of the situation by Sen. Roger Katz, R-Augusta.
LePage told Harriman he believes the previously reported remarks were misinterpreted, and that he was actually referring to his pen vacationing. It's still unclear whether he'll be vacationing, too, just within Maine borders.
Lawmakers and the governor had not yet reached a budget agreement on the third day of the government shutdown. Previous attempts to pass the legislation — both at the 11th hour Friday and after the shutdown — failed to reach a two-thirds majority in the House. Another vote was expected Monday night.