AUGUSTA — Gov. Paul LePage said members of the Legislature’s Appropriations Committee have abdicated “their responsibility to the Maine people” by scaling back some of his budget proposals.

In his strongest language yet, LePage called an afternoon press conference to once again criticize Republican and Democratic budget writers.

“The latest plan is full of gimmicks and built on false savings,” he said. “It continues to cannibalize state government to support an out of control welfare program.”

Republicans and Democrats said they are working to get bipartisan support for a series of cuts to the state’s MaineCare program. They say they have been working together nights and weekends to come to an agreement, and LePage continues to be a distraction during the process.

Before the press conference, a final vote by the Appropriations Committee was expected to come later today.

“What happened today with the governor’s press event is he may have delayed that resolution,” said House Speaker Robert Nutting, R-Oakland.

House Minority Leader Emily Cain, D-Orono, said the committee “has been trying to clean up the governor’s mess” and that lawmakers have continued to struggle to get solid budget numbers from the LePage administration.

“This is nothing short of meddling by the governor,” she said.

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