ME governor orders partial shutdown with budget in limbo

He has made it clear that he would only sign a budget that matched his ever-changing wish list. A budget agreement is within reach, but only if the ultimatums and threats from LePage and House Republican leaders are replaced with a commitment to serve ME people by compromising on a budget so state government can get back to business. They compromised on the $300 million in additional education funding, settling for about half as much by agreeing to a Senate Republican plan to generate additional revenue by raising the state's lodging tax, which was a compromise from GOP members who generally oppose tax increases. "He objected to both its contents and the process that led to Friday's vote, which ended with the leaders of the House and Senate negotiating the final details".

LePage, a Republican, has for years been in conflict with lawmakers he calls too beholden to special interest groups and over-spending.

The state has until the end of the day on Friday to approve a budget.

He also criticized the closed-door negotiations and accused lawmakers of rushing into a bad compromise "so they can go home for the Fourth of July".

Paul LePage is vowing to let a government shutdown go into effect at midnight.

Legislative leaders in past days met behind closed doors to hammer out a deal after months of hearings resulted in multiple budgets rather than a single proposal.

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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.

"The Governor came back, Speaker Gideon did not", said Bennett.

Maine, a popular summer holiday destination, is also in the middle of a prolonged fight over its state 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.

The exact substance of the governor's budget alternative was unknown late Friday. Fredette said, under questioning from committee members, that it is subject to negotiation.

But LePage said he needed time to review that budget, and even if it arrived on his desk before the deadline, he said he didn't plan to sign or veto it before the deadline.

"They need to understand you can't come down here and put a gun to my head and say you sign it or you're taking the shut down".

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"This is about the future of Maine".

LePage discussed the implications of a government shut down and seemed regretful that some government workers may have to work without a guarantee they will be paid.

This year, revenues are healthy, with unemployment at a historic low.

The state is the largest employer in the capital city, and Rollins said a shutdown not only affects those workers but business owners, shopkeepers and others in the service industry.

All correctional facilities, state psychiatric hospitals and state parks will stay open. Law enforcement and first responders would be on the job.

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