special session

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press

Republicans in the Maine Legislature voted on Monday to stymie more than half of Democratic Gov. Janet Mills’ $163 million proposed borrowing package.

AUGUSTA, Maine - Lawmakers are set to get back to work and weigh reforms to Maine's tax code and its struggling child welfare system.

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press

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.

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press

Lawmakers are back in Augusta as their special session continues, and the work continues to mount.

Lawmakers have yet to complete votes on several bond proposals that would go to the voters in November, even as they grapple with Gov. LePage’s refusal to sign off on the sale of already-approved borrowing that is needed to fund ongoing road and bridge projects.

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.

Mal Leary / Maine Public

Representatives from 126 organizations, ranging from the Maine State Chamber of Commerce to advocacy groups for direct care workers, are calling on Maine lawmakers to set a date for a special legislative session to complete their work. 

“Direct care services will be cut by 12 percent on June 30 if the Legislature doesn’t come back and prevent this crisis and fund direct care workers,” said Lydia Dawson, executive director of the Maine Association of Community Service Providers, at an Augusta news briefing Tuesday.

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press/file

The Maine Legislature convenes today for a special session. Maine Public's Morning Edition host Irwin Gratz talks with political correspondent Mal Leary about the origin of the session and what items lawmakers will consider.