Budget Misses Majority Vote in Maine House of Representatives

New Jersey, Illinois and ME are facing at least partial government shutdowns during the heart of the summer holiday season, which will adversely affect residents' travel and holiday plans, as well as the payments towards some government employees, if the states don't take action.

Gov. Paul LePage said if taxes are increased on the state budget, the state government will shut down Friday night.

"Christie and Senate President Steve Sweeney agree on legislation to make over Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield, including allowing the state insurance commissioner to determine a range for the company's surplus that if exceeded must be put to use benefiting the public and policyholders."But Democratic Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto opposes the plan, saying that the legislation could lead to rate hikes on the insurer's 3.8 million subscribers and that the legislation is separate from the budget."
"We did our job in the face of tremendous pressure".

"He walked out with the words 'Shut her down, '" Gideon said on the state House floor late Friday.

ME is one of a handful of states pushing budget talks up to the very end of the fiscal year, which is June 30 in all but four states. He has made it clear that he would only sign a budget that matched his ever-changing wish list.

The union recently gathered crowds of state employees to urge lawmakers to pass a budget with a deadline of midnight Friday.

The flurry of 11th-hour negotiating reflects the underlying revenue weakness that has broadly dogged states in the last two years and inflamed debates over how to spend the limited resources, according budget experts. The Maine people are taxed enough.

Democratic leaders pledged to maintain the surtax, and the more than $300 million in additional education funding it was predicted to generate over the next two years.

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The governor criticized an idea introduced Wednesday by State Sen.

Democrats laid the blame for the state shutdown squarely at House Republicans' feet.

During the last, in 1991, a time of bleak revenues with no immediate sign of recovery, state employees flooded into the State House as citizens seeking services found shuttered motor vehicle offices, long waits to apply for food stamps and closed veterans' cemeteries.

On Thursday, Mr. LePage blasted a prior proposal that came from Senate Republicans, upset with one type of tax rising without another decreasing.

"This is about the future of Maine".

"If you want to play chicken, let's play chicken", the governor said, saying lawmakers have been putting off the budget for months. "Once a budget hits his desk, he may have a comment".

Even if they had, state law gives the governor 10 days to respond to any budget passed by the legislature.

"I'm so sorry that you have to be here today, and I'm sorry you have been put in this position by any of us", Gideon said.

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