By Ramona du Houx
Democratic and Republican legislative leaders on the evening of June 15th announced a bipartisan budget agreement that will prevent a shutdown of state government.
Senate President Michael Thibodeau, R-Waldo said, “I believe this budget has something for everyone in Maine. We were sent here to represent them, and I am pleased that we were able to lower their tax burden while at the same time take steps to keep property taxes in check and fund vital state services," said Senate President Michael Thibodeau, R-Waldo.
The agreement includes tax cuts, investment in students and workers, property tax relief, and welfare reform. The House and Senate will take up the Appropriations budget bill Tuesday morning, offering House floor amendments to reflect the bipartisan agreement.
“In divided government, compromise is the only option, ” said Speaker Mark Eves, D-North Berwick. “I'm pleased we've reached an agreement that will grow our economy and improve the lives of Maine families. While no one in our negotiations got everything they wanted, we worked hard to deliver progress for the people of Maine.”
“Compromise is never easy but this is how governing works. In Maine, we can see beyond our differences and find areas of mutual agreement to move our state forward,” said Senate Democratic Leader Justin Alfond of Portland. “This budget invests in our youngest and our oldest, our workers and our retirees, and provides a meaningful tax cut to all Mainers."
The four leaders have been meeting and working toward agreement since the state’s budget writing committee reported out a budget on June 5.
“After weeks of tough negotiations we have reached an agreement that we feel moves Maine forward,” said House Republican Leader Ken Fredette of Newport.