AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — LePage says he blocked his administration from testifying at a legislative hearing on bonds this week because lawmakers didn't ask for their presence in writing.

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The Appropriations Committee sought testimony from Department of Transportation Commissioner David Berhardt about a $100 transportation bond that has caused a fiery political battle in Augusta.

Bernhardt did not show up to testify, prompting criticism from lawmakers.

LePage told reporters Wednesday he told lawmakers that they would have to send a letter to his office if they wanted testimony from one of the commissioners. He says the committee "challenged him" and so "nobody showed up."

LePage says his policy is a response to an incident last year when the same committee barred the governor from speaking.