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2 Weeks, Hundreds Of Bills: Lots Of Work Ahead For Maine Lawmakers

Virus Outbreak Maine Legislature
Robert F. Bukaty
Lawmakers stand for the National Anthem during the first legislative session in the State House since the proceedings were moved to the more spacious Augusta Civic Center, Wednesday, June 2, 2021, in Augusta, Maine.

For the first time this session, the Maine Legislature will meet every day this week, at it has only two weeks to handle hundreds of bills, including a supplemental budget and allocation of nearly $1 billion dollars from the Federal Recovery Act.

A large share of the burden will fall upon the Appropriations Committee, in the form of spending and allocation bills and some proposed bond issues.

“We still have a lot of work to do but we are not faced with a potential shutdown. So all I can say is the work will continue," says Democratic State Sen. Cathy Breen of Falmouth, who co-chairs the committee.

Breen says it is important that both parties negotiate openly on the money bills before them, some of which will need a two-thirds vote. Others will take effect 90 days after the Legislature adjourns.

She added, "I think it is really, really important that we set down in the room together as we have been doing for weeks, and we will continue to do. And that we be open and frank with each other and put our cards on the table.”