Democratic Senate President Justin Alfond of Portland said he agrees that hospitals should be paid back, but said the governor's plan is thin on details and the math doesn't add up in paying for revenue bonds using liquor revenues. The governor should also release the voter-approved bonds whether or not revenue bonds are issued to pay hospitals, he said.
Still, Alfond said he's glad to see the governor put forth a proposal.
"We will look at it, we will evaluate it, if we need to make changes we will," he said.
After LePage's presentation at the press conference, hospital and construction company representatives told reporters that LePage's plan is vital for them.
When the state pays its outstanding debt, hospitals will be able to stem the tide of job losses that have occurred the past several years, said Maine Hospital Association President Steve Michaud.
"It will also allow us to stop borrowing against lines of credit (that) many of our hospitals have been doing just to make payroll, make vital investments into hospital facilities and pay local business for the services they provide to our members," he said.
Associated Press writer Glenn Adams in Augusta contributed to this report.