I thought "NO" meant no. Well, with LePage it means...???

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I thought "NO" meant no. Well, with LePage it means...???

Post by T on Sat Jun 21, 2014 10:01 am

I have an idea! Maybe LePage just realized it's election time! OR, maybe he's just an idiot??

Governor says he'll consider nonprofit bonds

Gov. Paul LePage said this week he will consider signing bonds for nonprofits, including hospitals and colleges, and said he doesn't know why anyone thought he had shut down the program.

The governor made it clear three years ago that he was opposed to the program.

The governor's spokeswoman, Adrienne Bennett, said LePage was willing this past fall to restart the program.

"There are multiple times when he said it, but I don't have that in front of me right now," she said.  However, Bennett could not provide an interview, news release or quote from the governor from that time showing that.

At issue is the pool bond program run through the Maine Health and Higher Education Facilities Authority, a quasi-state agency. For two decades, Maine nonprofits were allowed to pool their major projects and, with help from the authority, issue tax-exempt bonds together. Such pool bonds gave them lower interest rates and better loan terms than they could have gotten by seeking financing on their own.

In the previous two decades, Republican, Democratic and independent governors had all signed without much comment, and it had become routine.

However, LePage said no.

His refusal stunned Maine's nonprofit community, which had come to rely on the program for less costly, easy financing. Eight hospitals, colleges and other nonprofits were in that pool and had expected to get $31 million in financing for projects already planned. Others, including MaineGeneral Medical Center in Augusta, were working on projects and planned to seek financing in later pools.

The former head of the Maine Health and Higher Education Facilities Authority, the current head of the authority and nonprofit leaders said LePage and then-State Treasurer Bruce Poliquin had made it clear that the pool bonds would no longer be signed.

Poliquin has refused in recent weeks to talk about the pool bond program or to answer questions about the 2011 decision, saying he is in the middle of a campaign.  lol! 

"The issue will be, are they wasting money preparing bonds the governor won't sign? If he's saying he'll 'consider,' that's not very secure. That's not a promise," Douglass said. "I'm on that (authority) board; we'll have to weigh what that means."

Michael Goodwin, executive director of the authority, said he hadn't heard LePage was willing to consider restarting the pool bond program after the hospitals were paid.

T

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