Governor fights against "massive new benefits" voters OK'd

AUGUSTA, Maine - Republican Gov. Paul LePage is fighting a judge's latest order calling for his administration to file paperwork to expand Medicaid as voters demanded despite ongoing litigation.

The judge said the executive branch's failure to follow the people's will could promote disrespect for laws. The LePage administration on Monday countered that it is being forced to implement "massive new benefits" that lawmakers haven't funded.

Last fall Mainers voted to expand Medicaid to over 70,000 adults with incomes at or below 138 percent of the federal poverty level.

LePage appealed a judge's order requiring his administration to submit a Medicaid expansion plan to the federal government.

LePage says before Maine expands Medicaid, lawmakers must fund Maine's share of expansion costs under his terms.

Advocates sued arguing lawmakers can use surplus funds.