AUGUSTA – The state shutdown over budget negotiations continues on day two with conversations over a House GOP proposed budget.
“People are passionate about their positions, and that’s fine but we’ve still got to make sure those passions don’t stand in the way of us finding compromise and getting this budget done,” said Senate President Michael Thibodeau, R-Waldo.
Tensions continued to rise on day two of the state shutdown in Augusta.
“This is not a time for name calling or finger pointing,” said Sen. Roger Katz, R-Augusta.
The Committee of Conference met Sunday morning in a packed room to review a House GOP proposed budget from late Saturday evening with additional details.
“House Republicans apparently were not complete in their presentation yesterday so they have more proposals that they need to get scored,” said Sen. Cathy Breen, D-Falmouth.
This prompted frustration from budget committee members.
“I have to say I can barely contain my fury after receiving information yesterday that there is still yet more additional information today,” said Speaker of the House Sara Gideon, D-Freeport.
After the meeting ended, lawmakers met with state workers in the Senate chamber as well as Speaker Gideon’s office.
One notable point in the newest proposed budget is a $1.2 million cut to Maine’s community college system.
Legislators spent the rest of the day looking over the new budget line by line.
“Everybody’s goal is to make sure we have a budget document by 10:00 tomorrow morning so that folks will be here and be able to vote on it and hopefully we can get it down to the Chief Executive’s desk,” Pres. Thibodeau said.
Governor LePage also weighing in with a video on Facebook, accusing Speaker Gideon of dragging her feet. LePage then siding with House Republicans.
“I urge the legislature to vote on a budget tonight. If it includes common sense changes that House Republicans have offered, I will sign it immediately and government can open first thing in the morning,” Governor LePage said.
The Committee of Conference met again around 10:00 Sunday night.
Governor LePage also announced Sunday evening that he will allow state employees to take administrative leave with pay for Monday.