- Associated Press - Friday, August 12, 2016

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - Democrats are questioning a $3.4 million no-bid contract that Republican Gov. Paul LePage’s administration awarded to a nonprofit tasked with overseeing a program providing family home visits.

Democratic Sen. Cathy Breen, of Falmouth, says legislators need to review state procurement rules.

The April contract, first reported by the Bangor Daily News, followed an executive order making the attorney general’s review of contracts optional.

According to records obtained by the Bangor newspaper, the Department of Health and Human Services’ competitive bidding waiver request cited an “emergency.”

The department says consolidating services under one contract protects federal funding and complies with LePage’s directive to reduce “same-service” contracts. It didn’t immediately respond to request for comment.

LePage spokesman Peter Steele says “cut and paste” from a Democrat press release “at your own peril.”

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