AUGUSTA – Maine lawmakers are facing a logjam of proposed bills as this session gets closer to ending.
Legislative leaders from both parties agree on the priorities, but they disagree on how to deal with them. Tax conformity, Medicaid expansion, and, finally voting on laws to regulate the sale of recreational marijuana.
While there is a basket full of bills pending, those are the hot-button issues legislators will try to resolve before the gavel falls on the second session of the 128th legislature.
April 18th is the statutory final day of the session, but, “I think the realistic adjournment date is probably around the first of May. I think if we work really hard we’ll be able to that date,” said Senate President Mike Thibodeau, (R) – Winterport.
Senator Thibodeau said he believed it’s critical to change Maine’s tax code to dovetail with changes made to federal tax laws by last year’s Trump Tax Act. A senate democratic leader says efforts to fund Medicaid expansion are likely to be rejected by Governor Paul LePage.
“You know, we can wait until an administration comes in that actually wants to implement the will of the voters,” said Senate Minority Leader Troy Jackson, (D) – Allagash.
Plus, the funding bill for the Downeast Correctional Facility is expected to return to the house and senate. That’s if the governor vetoes it as promised “So we’re probably going to have a pretty contentious last couple of weeks of the session,” said House Minority Leader Ken Fredette, (R) – Newport.
Wednesday afternoon, leaders from both parties were scheduled to meet face-to-face in an effort to find some middle ground on key issues.