Budget battles, medicaid expansion, solar energy subsidies and Narcan use were just some of the headline grabbing issues out of Augusta this legislative session. MPBN state house bureau chief AJ Higgins and leaders from both political parties discuss what the legislature accomplished, what the governor veteod, and what's still left to be done.
The legislature runs in two-year cycles and this legislative session was the "shorter" of the two, which means lawmakers didn't take up as many bills as last year. Still, there was plenty to debate and plenty to do. Lawmakers started the session facing a budget shortfall, and right off the bat, had to come up with a supplemental budget to balance the ship. Then, there were the issues of medicaid expansion and welfare reform, drawing deep political divisions between the two parties. Governor LePage issued a record number of vetoes, angering Democrats, but Republicans said many of those bills were designed as traps.