Maine budget

After a day of closed-door negotiations, doors have opened on a vote for a two-year state budget. The nearly $8 billion budget required a two-thirds vote of both the House and Senate, and received that with few votes to spare.

Maine Lawmakers have been in formal sessions and in private meetings trying to find a way to pass a two-year state budget that takes effect July 1.

Steve Mistler / Maine Public

Public hearings begin Monday on Gov. Janet Mill’s proposed $8 billion budget to run state government for the next two years, starting July 1. The hearings are expected to last for at least a month.

The legislature’s Appropriations Committee has voted unanimously for a $7.5 million supplemental budget to pay bills owed this budget year.

Rebecca Conley / Maine Public

The legislature’s budget-writing Appropriations Committee has started work on Gov. Janet Mills' proposed supplemental budget to pay the state’s bills through the current budget year, which ends July 1. But it does a lot more than that.

Robert F. Bukaty / AP Photo

Democratic Gov. Janet Mills will present her two-year budget plan Friday. The proposal is expected to have wide-ranging implications for Mainers, the Democratic-controlled Legislature and the governor herself.

New numbers on the Maine state budget are out. Officials say revenues were above estimates, and state agencies did not spend all that was appropriated to them, yielding a surplus of nearly $176 million for 2018.

Finance Commissioner Alec Porteous says higher-than-projected revenue from the state’s income tax and sales tax and unspent balances in various state accounts of nearly $17 million resulted in the surplus. Budget law allocates the surplus.

“Mainly, it’s 80 percent to the budget stabilization fund, and 20 percent reserved for tax relief,” says Porteous.

Maine Budget Update

Jul 5, 2017
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Now that the state has ended the government shutdown, we’ll discuss the ins and outs of the budget compromise and what's in store for the future.

Guests:  Mal Leary, Maine Public Political Correspondent

Sarah Gideon, Speaker of the House (D-Freeport)

Mike Thibodeau, Senate President (R-Waldo)

Maine lawmakers have reached the last official day of the session but are expected to stay for another week or so to hash out a budget deal. Lawmakers will likely vote on the matter Wednesday.

Loose ends to tie up include Republican Gov. Paul LePage’s $6.8 billion, two-year budget proposal. The budget is due June 30 to avoid a government shutdown and negotiations have stalled over education funding.

State of the State Analysis

Feb 8, 2017
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Our panel offers their perspective and analysis of Governor Paul LePage's State of the State address and budget priorities.

Guests:

Michael Cianchette, former counsel to Gov. Paul LePage from 2012-2013 and deputy counsel from 2011-2012. He holds a BA in economics and political science from Boston College along with a JD and an MBA from Suffolk University. He works as in-house counsel and financial manager for a number of affiliated companies in southern Maine.

Cynthia Dill, civil rights lawyer and former State Senator.