- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 14, 2016

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - An Augusta advocacy group says its signature drive to get Medicaid expansion on Maine’s ballot has been “hugely successful.”

The Portland Press Herald reports (https://bit.ly/2gIrZFC ) the organization, Maine Equal Justice Partners, expects to make an announcement on Thursday.

Expanding Medicaid would insure an estimated 80,000 people.

The group says many of the signatures needed to put Medicaid expansion on the ballot were collected on Election Day. Volunteers collected more this week.

The group has said the measure is more likely to appear on the ballot in 2018, though internal talks remain ongoing.

Republican Gov. Paul LePage has repeatedly vetoed Medicaid expansion. His administration has said it’s too expensive and would strain the state’s budget.

Democrats control Maine’s House of Representatives. Republicans have a single-vote majority in the Senate.

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Information from: Portland Press Herald, https://www.pressherald.com

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