Governor Paul LePage delivers his final State of the State address before a joint session of the Maine Legislature in Augusta Feb. 13, 2018.

An attorney for Gov. Paul LePage will once again appear in a Maine courtroom Tuesday to defend the governor’s decision to hold up more than $1 million in budgeted public campaign funding.

[Maine public campaign funding hangs in limbo as lawmakers keep squabbling]

The lawsuit in Superior Court is brought by seven candidates in the Maine Clean Election program. The taxpayer-financed program distributes payments to candidates who collect a set amount of $5 checks to qualify.

[LePage sued for not releasing $1.4 million for taxpayer-funded campaigns]

Supporters of voter-approved program say LePage could single-handedly destroy it by refusing to sign a financial order that would release budgeted funds to 120 qualified legislative candidates and another running for the office of governor.

Patrick Strawbridge, LePage’s attorney who is also representing the governor in a lawsuit over a voter-approved Medicaid expansion law, argues that the courts can’t decide when the governor should sign a financial order.

Attorneys for the plaintiffs say LePage is not executing the law and putting publicly financed candidates at a disadvantage.

This article appears through a media partnership with Maine Public.