AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) – Maine Gov. Paul LePage says he proclaimed a civil emergency to void the state employee’s collective bargaining agreement during the federal government shutdown.
The Republican governor, who made the comment to the Greater Portland chapter of the Informed Women’s Network on Monday, suggested the union’s threat of a lawsuit was impeding the flexibility he needs to deal with the shutdown. On the recording, he says the proclamation “means the contract is null and void until after the crisis.”
The Bangor Daily News revealed a recording of the remarks Tuesday. A LePage spokeswoman declined comment.
The Maine State Employees Association criticized the governor’s remarks, saying he assured them he’d do everything he can to honor the agreement.
The civil emergency allows LePage to suspend rules or laws to manage the shutdown’s impact.