LePage seeks $2M in budget for legal fees when attorney general declines to represent state

Government And Institutions Associated Press

Republican Gov. Paul LePage wants to set aside $2 million in Maine's budget to cover legal fees for cases in which the state's top attorney declines to represent the state.

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LePage's administration said that the governor is pursuing an "aggressive agenda" and wants to ensure funds are available if he must pursue outside counsel in the future.

But a spokesman for Attorney General Janet Mills, a Democrat, called the governor's proposal "baffling and unprecedented." He said there have only been two cases in which the attorney general has authorized LePage to hire outside counsel because of a disagreement between the offices.

The proposal is part of LePage's $6.3 billion spending plan that was unveiled last week and must be approved by the Republican-led Senate and the Democratic-controlled House.