Maine lawmakers are frantically trying to solve the budget shortfall that left part of the government shutdown for 2 days (as of June 2), with a third projected to occur.
Currently a bipartisan committee is working on the budget due to a feud between the Republican Governor, Paul LePage, and the House Speaker Sara Gideon.
LePage posted a video on Facebook declaring that any tax increases on businesses or individuals won’t be signed. Also, LePage blamed the teacher’s unions for causing Gideon to:
“Drag her feet … To appease the [teacher’s] union bosses.”
The teacher’s union highlights a bigger part of the fight over the budget; education. The bill originally planned to increase spending for education for 2 years by $162 million.
As of now, it looks like the $162 million education increase might stay, and emergency personnel who work during the shutdown are compensated, but a lodging tax increase will be eliminated.
If this bill goes to a vote it could become law regardless of a governor’s veto because Maine requires the same majority to pass a bill and to veto an override.
In a rare, and refreshing, moment of bipartisan cooperation, both Republicans and Democrats are conceding some issues in order to get the Maine government operating again.
This bipartisanship cooperation is currently being overshadowed as Gideon and LePage bicker on Twitter like children. Both saying they are ready to negotiate, but Gideon will not go to the residence of the Governor, nor LePage to the State House.
If the bill is approved by the committee a vote will occur on July 3, and then go to LePage to sign.
Hopefully LePage and Gideon will not let their own petty battles overshadow the well-being of the people of Maine.