AUGUSTA, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- With big gaps still dividing the Republicans' and Democrats' positions on the state budget, Gov. Paul LePage said he doubts a compromise will be reached before a deadline hits to keep the government fully operational by the end of this week.
"I believe we're gonna shut down Friday night," LePage said in a radio interview Tuesday morning on WVOM's George Hale and Ric Tyler Show.
LePage can exercise his discretion as governor to choose which agencies to keep open with limited funding. He said that he would keep starts parks open through July 4th weekend over concerns that they would become targets of vandalism. However, he wasn't so definite about his plans for the court system.
LePage said Democrats are unwilling to compromise because they are beholden to special interests like the Natural Resources Council of Maine and the Maine Education Association instead of their constituents. "They just don't care about the Maine taxpayer," LePage said.
By putting more protections on land holdings and keeping them off the tax rolls, LePage said Democrats could set back the Maine economy by a decade. He defended his refusal to accept their budget priorities by saying, "The future of Maine is worth shutting it down."
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