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Democrats Reject GOP’s Proposed Compromise Budget

House Republicans have submitted their proposal for a two-year state budget to the conference committee trying to draft a compromise measure, and Democrats found it lacking.

“There’s lots in this for people to like, and there are a lot for people not to like. But at the end of the day, this is fair and this is the budget the chief executive will sign,” says Republican Rep. Jeff Timberlake of Turner, presenting the House GOP proposal.

The proposal provides about $125 million more for local schools over the two years, but the voter-approved 3 percent surtax on incomes over $200,000 a year would generate more than $300 million.

“My understanding from the voters was they wanted to grow the pie. They didn’t tell us to change the ingredients of the pie, or how to cut up the pie, they told us to grow the pie,” says Sen. Cathy Breen, a Democrat from Falmouth who serves on the committee.

Democrats say the proposal falls short and more work needs to be done to craft a compromise. Negotiations are expected to continue through the weekend.

The conference committee must complete their work on Monday. If a new budget is not in place by June 30, there will be a partial shutdown of state government.