BRUNSWICK — With Gov. Paul LePage expected to veto a $6.3 billion budget passed by the Legislature, the Town Council is expected to revisit its $57.3 million budget.
The council will meet on June 27 to discuss and possibly approve changes to the combined town, school and county budget if the state budget provides the town with different revenue projections than councilors originally expected.
Legislators passed the state budget on June 13; LePage has until June 27 to sign it into law or issue a veto. He has indicated he will veto the budget, but a veto override might be possible.
That means the council could have an outcome to work with by June 27. But if a veto happens, the council will have to wait longer until a budget can pass the Legislature and get LePage’s OK.
If the current state budget is approved, Town Manager Gary Brown said the town will lose about $1 million split between lost revenue from the municipal revenue sharing program and state education aid.
Under this scenario, Brown said the council would likely make cuts to road maintenance projects that were originally scheduled for the next fiscal year. Any other possible cuts are not known at this time.
Finance Director John Eldridge said town staff has discussed various state budget scenarios, including LePage’s proposal to suspend the revenue sharing, but for now, it’s just a waiting game.
“We’ve certainly talked about things, but we won’t know what we’re dealing with until the state adopts the budget,” Eldridge said. “If it gets vetoed, then it will be that much longer.”
Brown said if a state government shutdown occurs, the town would be able to cover deferred revenue payments from the state with different fund balance accounts for two months.
If the town needed to last longer in face of a government shutdown, Brown said the town would likely defer some programs or payments to deal with the missing revenue, though it’s unlikely the shutdown would last that long.
Once the state government starts operating again, Brown said the town would likely receive the deferred revenue payments in double to make up for the time lost.