Published: Mon, July 03, 2017
Economy | By Melissa Porter

Partial government shutdown begins in ME after budget impasse

Partial government shutdown begins in ME after budget impasse

Maine's government is shut down.

"We ran for office to represent all of you and all the people in our districts we care about", said Rep. Erin Herbig, D-Belfast.

LePage, a Republican who rode the 2010 Tea Party wave into the governor's office, has pledged not to sign any budget from the Democrat-led Legislature that raises taxes in any way. Other states locked in debate include IL, which hasn't had a budget in two years and faces a credit downgrade to junk status if a deal isn't reached. This is not governing or leadership, it is extortion.

Maine's Republican Gov. Paul LePage says a government shutdown is "necessary for the future of ME".

A budget impasse between Maine Governor Paul LePage and Democratic lawmakers triggered a shutdown of nonessential state services on Saturday, after the conservative Republican threatened to veto a bipartisan compromise reached by lawmakers. In the days leading up to the shutdown, the governor threatened to wait the full ten days to respond to the budget afforded to him in the state constitution if he disagreed with the budget, ensuring a shutdown. Lawmakers are at a stalemate over how to change the law after the Maine Supreme Judicial Court issued an advisory ruling that it violated the Maine Constitution.

The Republican-controlled Senate on Friday supported the budget with a 34-1 vote, while House Republicans stymied passage of the budget in the Democratic-controlled house. In the Senate, the budget passed overwhelmingly with only one senator, Sen.

It was a 131-8 vote in the House, where a few lawmakers chided their colleagues for making the state face what would be its first shutdown since 1991. Eric Brakey, R-Auburn, voting against it. "No", said Tuell on Friday.

The government will partially shut down at midnight if there is no budget in place.

That is precisely the point.

"This budget that they have has no prayer, and if they're hell-bent on bringing this budget down, then we will shut down at midnight tonight, and we'll talk to them in 10 days", he told reporters, referring to the period during which he is allowed to review the budget bill. There must be compromise, not ranting and raving, to bridge these differences. Republicans and Democrats were at odds over a 3 percent tax surcharge on top income earners to support schools, as passed in a ballot initiative last November.

While LePage will not bend on his requirement that the budget include no tax increases, she said, he has been flexible on other topics, such as adding $1.6 million to the state's education budget. For 2018, he proposed including the 3 percent surtax in the new tax rates of 5.75 percent and 6.15 percent, down from the current rates of 5.8 percent, 6.75 percent and 7.15 percent.

But, this was not enough for LePage and his minions in the House Republican caucus.

The last time the ME government shut down was 1991, Casale said, and that lasted 16 days.

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