Hearings Begin Monday to Repay Hospital Debt 

Gov. Paul LePage is citing letters of support from Maine’s hospitals and other interests for his plan to pay off the state’s $484 million Medicaid debt to the hospitals with revenue from a restructured liquor sales contract. The governor is making public letters of support, in advance of Monday’s hearing on the issue, from hospitals across the state for his proposal. He’s also received letters of support from contractors, energy marketers and others. LePage says the plan will create jobs for the upcoming construction season.Democrats are uncomfortable combining the liquor contract with the hospital debt, and have constitutional questions about bonds that would be used to pay the debt. State Democartic leaders plan to hold a press conference in Augusta today. Leaders say they’ll outline a plan to make the final payment to Maine’s hospitals and a plan to help prevent future debt.