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Politics

In Special Session, Maine Lawmakers Make Some Progress On Unfinished Business

The Maine Legislature is chipping away at a host of unresolved bills during a special three-day session in Augusta.

The House took a preliminary vote on a $41 million spending bill that provides funding to help people with disabilities, the elderly and those suffering from opioid use disorders.

And the Senate took an early vote on a bipartisan compromise designed to better align Maine's tax code with recent changes made by last year's federal tax overhaul.

Both of those bills require additional votes before going to Gov. Paul LePage, but legislative leaders hope to complete that process by the end of Tuesday.

Lawmakers also advanced bills that overhaul Maine's proficiency-based learning program, extend the controversial Pine Tree Development Zone tax break program for businesses, and a bill that releases millions of dollars into the state's public campaign finance program by fixing a typo in the budget passed last year.

The special session is necessary because the Legislature adjourned in early May after a stalemate over Democrats' push for funding for a voter-approved expansion of Medicaid and Republicans' desire to slow minimum wage increases.