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Politics

Republicans, Democrats at Odds in Maine Budget Negotiations

AUGUSTA, Maine - Maine Democrats and Republicans want to hammer out a budget deal within the next few weeks, but say the biggest sticking point remains a voter-approved tax on high earners to fund schools.
 
The budget's due by July 1, but legislative leaders want a deal by mid-June.
 
Democratic House Speaker Sara Gideon says anyone threatening a government shutdown at the peak of the Vacationland state's tourism industry won't get the two sides any closer.
 
Republican House Minority Leader Ken Fredette says that there's no room to compromise on Republican opposition to the new 3 percent tax on portions of household income above $200,000.
 
Gideon said Democrats are open to nixing the tax and still providing increased education funding.  
 
But she said they're still waiting to hear Republicans' proposals to fund education.