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Maine Legislature Goes Into Recess With Issues Still Unresolved

Robert F. Bukaty
Associated Press
Speaker of the House Sara Gideon-D Freeport, addresses legislators from the House floor, Wednesday, May 2, 2018, at the State House in Augusta, Maine.

The Maine Legislature has gone into recess, leaving such major issues as tax conformity and Clean Election funding unresolved. House Republicans rejected a proposal from Democrats to break the impasse.

Tempers are short at the State House, and Republican Senate President Mike Thibodeau is calling on leaders to work on finding a solution.

“I am hopeful that in the next two or three days that leadership will get in this building, find a solution to this problem, and complete the work that the people of this state sent us to do,” Thibodeau said.

Thibodeau chose not to even take up a proposal to prompt the release of Clean Election funds drafted by   Democrats, citing a lack of significant Republican support in the House.

“If that bill would have received bipartisan support in the House, we would have passed it here in the Senate without any question," he said. "The fact of matter is that, because it was basically a partisan vote, then I would anticipate that is not a compromise that would survive the test of time and receive two-thirds.”

Democratic House Speaker Sara Gideon says House Republicans should vote to fix the drafting error that has blocked the Ethics Commission from distributing funds they already have in hand.

“This is insane and we are wasting taxpayer dollars every single day that we do this," Gideon said. "People need to get serious about their jobs, they need to get serious about compromise.”

She said lawmakers will have to return this summer at least two more times.