Republicans Refuse To Reward Attorney General’s Budget Mismanagement
Democrats blame Republicans for Janet Mills’ frivolous use of taxpayer dollars
Tuesday, March 24, 2015
Augusta – Monday evening, Republicans on the Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee refused to reward Attorney General Janet Mills for her pattern of financial irresponsibility. Mills and her Democrat allies tried to convince the committee to release an additional $28,000 to fund the Medicaid Fraud Unit after Mills overspent her budget. That $28,000 would draw down more than $100,000 in matching federal dollars.
Now, Democrats and Mills would have you believe it’s the fault of Governor LePage and Republicans on the Appropriations Committee that the Attorney General could not responsibly manage her budget. Mills insistence to give merit increases and cost of living increases to those people working in the unit, when it should have been clear to her that the funding was drying up, shows that she has yet to prove she’s capable of having full control over her department’s budget, as this bill would have authorized. Republicans are not going to allow the attorney general to subvert the governor and thumb her nose at the same budgetary requirements every other state agency must abide by.
“What the Attorney General should have done is come to the governor and inform him of her plan to give merit and cost of living increases to the members of this unit and started a constructive dialogue. Had that been the case, the governor may have allowed her to move money around within her budget to make this happen. Instead, she and her Democrat allies decided to drum up this false narrative that ‘Republicans don’t care about Medicaid fraud’. Republicans do care about Medicaid fraud but we don’t reward people for mismanaging their budgets,” said Rep. Jeff Timberlake, (R) from Turner.
This is not the first time Attorney General Mills has been cavalier with the taxpayer dollars. According to the Maine State budget Office, the personal services lines in her budget were overspent by $255,000 last year.
Despite the mountain of misinformation being disseminated by the Democrat side of the aisle, the Medicaid Fraud Unit will continue to function as is, even without the Appropriations approving more funding. The Democrats’ attempt to paint Republicans as soft on Medicare fraud is reprehensible but unfortunately not surprising.
“In the 200 year history of the State of Maine, the Democrats’ attempt to circumvent the governor has never even been proposed before. The bottom line is, if the attorney general did not mismanage the funds she was allocated, and try to circumvent the governor’s authority to make up for that mismanagement, none of this would even be an issue. Now she and the Democrats are trying to blame Republicans and the governor. That is unconscionable,” Timberlake added.