- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 2, 2015

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - A Maine task force has rejected a proposal from Gov. Paul LePage to use revenue from the sale of timber to help low-income residents heat their homes.

The Commission to Study the Public Reserved Lands Management Fund on Tuesday recommended against the plan, proposed by LePage’s administration, which would have dedicated $5 million from the fund used to manage the state’s public lands.

Commission members said in a letter that proposals to divert money for home-heating programs or support state parks likely wouldn’t “withstand a potential constitutional challenge.”

The commission’s response makes it less likely that the Legislature will consent to the plan.

It instead offered other recommendations on using surplus timber revenue that include exploring ways to increase public access to state-owned lands.

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