The LePage administration says state lawmakers must appropriate funding before a voter-approved Medicaid expansion can be rolled out.

The court filing this week says the Legislature must act because a statewide referendum didn’t specify where the money to expand Medicaid would come from.

Groups that support the Medicaid expansion sued after the administration missed an April 3 deadline for an application to receive an additional $525 million in annual federal funding. The LePage administration contends the deadline doesn’t commence until money is appropriated.

A judge has scheduled arguments on the lawsuit later this month.

Republican Gov. Paul LePage has long opposed Medicaid expansion. He contends it would cost state taxpayers $50 million in fiscal 2019 and necessitate hiring 100 workers at a cost of more than $2 million.

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LePage response to Medicaid lawsuit: Show me the money