Former governor of Maine Paul LePage has spoken against the $850 stimulus check that could be sent starting next month to Mainers. He said it will hike even as criticism builds up around the proposal by Democratic Governor Janet Mills.
While the stimulus checks are the focus of the supplemental budget of the Democratic governor, the state stimulus check was initially proposed by the Republican legislators and bipartisan support in the Maine legislature.
LePage has been against the state stimulus check right from its inception and he had lined up against both Governor Mills plus his party members in the Maine House. Both parties have held that stimulus checks were a vital accomplishment in this session of the legislature.
Former Governor Has Proposed Spending Money Instead On Infrastructure Over Stimulus Checks
LePage and former Representative Bruce Poliquin of the 2nd District of Maine were speaking with the press at a gas station in Bangor. They were present to focus on the high gasoline costs which have been behind the record inflation figures, the highest in 40 years.
Sitting legislators of his party had proposed last year returning a portion of the state budget surplus to stave off rising prices.
She embraced the proposal totally and initially proposed a $500 stimulus check for residents in her February State of the State speech. The initial limit on AGI was proposed to be $75,000 for individual tax filers and double that amount for a married couple filing jointly.
The stimulus check amount was subsequently revised to $850 and the budget projection provided to be higher than anticipated initially.
But as Republican legislators wanted the Maine relief check to reach the maximum number of residents, the AGI limit was increased to $100,000 and $200,000 respectively for individuals and married couples.
LePage dismissed the whole proposal as a campaign gimmick of Governor Mills and told reporters that the money should instead have been invested in Maine’s infrastructure. He also renewed his earlier demand that the gas tax should be suspended and that the tolls be eliminated on the Turnpike. He said this would lower food and gas costs.