Augusta, ME – Thousands of Maine Island Residents could be without essential public transportation starting this weekend as the threat of a government shutdown looms.
Governor Paul R. LePage is prepared to issue a Civil Preparedness Emergency Order as a result of the State of Maine Legislature’s failure to deliver a budget by the end of the fiscal year, which would prevent a government shutdown.
“The Legislature has had six months to address the budget I sent to them. Now we are in the eleventh hour and liberal Democrats have still refused to budge, which will lead to a government shutdown,” said Governor LePage. “These Democrats are not interested in a budget that benefits hard-working Maine taxpayers. They are being controlled by labor union bosses and radical activists at the Maine People’s Alliance.”
Politics aside, the Maine State Ferry Service is a lifeline to year round island residents and summer visitors. In addition to carrying everything from passengers and their vehicles, groceries, and fuel, the ferries are routinely called upon to make special trips for medical and public safety emergencies.
The ferries are also important in keeping the local islands’ economies in balance allowing goods and services (including lobsters) to move to the market place.
While Governor LePage has been working with his staff to determine which state services and employees are deemed critical, as of Thursday afternoon (6/29), the Maine State Ferry Service has not been designated as such and will therefore be shutdown this Saturday if budget negotiations fail.
According to Governor LePage’s Press Secretary, Adrienne Bennett, the governor continues to review designations of “essential services” on a case-by-case basis.
To share your concern on the Maine State Ferry Serivce shutting down, make sure you call the governor’s office at 207-287-3531 and tell them why it is so important that this vital service be added to the government’s essential services list.