“What discretionary funding?” Gov. LePage spent $150,000 in discretionary funding in FY2012
On May 8, 2013 At 8:00 pm
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After three likely arson fires have left hundreds homeless and caused many residents of Lewiston to be fearful of their own situation, on a visit to that city Gov. Paul LePage had no assistance to offer, and said:
“What discretionary funding?” he said. “If there’s discretionary funding – I’ve been there more than two years and I haven’t found any.”
Maine statute actually does provide a discretionary fund for a governor’s use, and in response to a query, we learned that Gov. LePage tapped into three times in FY2012:
$40,000 Economic development through the World Acadian Congress
$10,000 Economic development through the American Folk Festival
$100,000 Maine Emergency Management Agency for storm of December 2010
So why would Gov. LePage tell the people of Maine that he hasn’t found any such funding?
Adrienne Bennett, LePage’s long-time press flak, added:
There has been no decision made on the allocation of the remaining 282k available money in this year’s contingency fund. DHHS and MaineHousing is [sic] focused on the immediate needs of the fire victims in Lewiston and we will be kept apprised by Lewiston officials regarding costs associated with the fire damage.
Maine Housing, officially known as the Maine State Housing Authority (MSHA), has been a target of the LePage administration as well as former State Treasurer Bruce Poliquin. MSHA held a housing fair this afternoon at the DHHS offices in Lewiston to help those displaced by the fires find new homes.