State of Maine Endured Short, Tension-filled Shutdown
Around 2:00 am on Tuesday, July 4, Governor LePage signed the biennial budget that had been delivered to him moments before by the Secretary of the Maine Senate, Heather Priest, accompanied by Senator James Hamper (R) Oxford County, Chair of the Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee. This put the state back in business, having been in shutdown status since midnight, Friday, June 30, when the previous budget expired. The largest barriers to break through in the budget-building process included appropriating the largest increase in education funding in the state’s history, while also repealing the 3% tax surcharge on household incomes over $200,000, and removing a proposed 1.5% increase in Maine’s lodging tax. In last-minute negotiations to remove the lodging tax, additional funds for Head Start and other services that had previously been removed during the budget process were reinstated.
Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee Meets to Decide Fate of Bills on Special Appropriations Table
On Wednesday, July 12, the Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee met to consider bills assigned to the Special Appropriations