Maine Democratic Legislature leaders prepare to push through $9.8 billion, two-year state budget

Democratic leaders in the Maine Legislature were prepared Thursday to push through a $9.8 billion, two-year state budget that’ll ensure there’s no government shutdown this summer. Over GOP objections, Democrats plan to adopt the budget on majority vote and adjourn the legislative session so the budget will go into effect on July 1, the start of the new fiscal year. That budget maneuver caused by a breakdown in negotiations between the parties means legislative leaders will have to reconvene in special session to wrap up work on bills, hundreds of which are still pending. MAINE’S AG SUES MANUFACTURERS OVER FOREVER CHEMICAL CONTAMINATION Republicans used their weekly press conference to blast Democrats for not considering their proposal to reduce income taxes on the state’s low- and moderate-income residents. Democrats said the early budget vote ensures that government will continue operations and provides an opportunity for both parties to work on a supplemental budget to address extra proposals before they adjourn in June. The budget that majority Democrats advanced would continue to fund 55% of public education costs, universal free school meals, revenue sharing with municipalities, among other things. But it doesn’t include any new programs — not even programs supported by Democratic Gov. Janet Mills.
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