Judge Orders Maine Governor LePage to Release Nearly $3 Million in Federal Funding
Murray, Plumb & Murray attorneys Kelly McDonald and Sage Friedman successfully represented Coastal Counties Workforce, Inc. (CCWI), in a case against Maine Governor Paul R. LePage. On January 3rd 2018, United States District Court Judge John Woodcock granted CCWI motion for preliminary injunction, ordering Governor LePage and Maine Department of Labor Commissioner John Butera to release nearly $3 million in federal funds to CCWI.
“The Court issued a very thorough, 64-page decision that rejected the multiple defenses raised by the Governor. We are grateful that the Court ruled quickly to resolve this matter,” said Kelly McDonald at Murray, Plumb & Murray, counsel for CCWI.
The approximately $3 million at issue for CCWI are provided by the United States Department of Labor to fund job training services for laid-off workers, low-income adults, and struggling young people seeking to enhance their skills and employment opportunities.
Without these funds in place since July 2017, workforce groups throughout Maine have been forced to reduce or eliminate operations, leaving many Maine citizens without the training and workforce development services they need.
CCWI filed this federal lawsuit against Governor LePage and Commissioner Butera on October 24, 2017 for their refusal to release federal funds allocated for workforce development and training services in 2017 and to prevent them from cutting off already allocated 2016 funds. The State immediately released the 2016 funds but refused to release the 2017 funds.
Michael Bourret, the executive director of CCWI, was pleased by the decision and stated that “We hope that we are now able to move past this dispute and refocus our efforts on helping Maine workers and businesses.”
Coastal Counties Workforce, Inc. (CCWI) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) entity founded to administer and oversee the delivery of the workforce system’s services for the six coastal counties in Maine (York, Cumberland, Sagadahoc, Lincoln, Knox, & Waldo).