AUGUSTA – The Maine Legislature adjourned early Wednesday morning after House Republicans voted against extending the legislative session Wednesday night.
Many say there’s still a lot of work to be done and leaders of both parties spent the day deciding what to do next.
Many legislators said they need to agree on a number of key issues. Among those funding for the Downeast Correctional Facility, funding Medicaid expansion, and tinkering with the state tax code to bring it into conformity with the Trump Tax Act.
Senate minority leader Troy Jackson, D-Allagash, “These issues are important. We’ve always been able to extend. We need a little bit more time to make it happen.”
The leader of the house republicans, however, says lawmakers had enough time to get everything accomplished.
House minority leader Ken Fredette, R-Newport responded, “The management of the session has just not been such that we should be at a point where we have to now extend, cost the taxpayers more money, to get work done that we should have gotten done a couple of weeks ago.”
Fredette favors extending the session but only if negotiations on the key issues progress toward a potential agreement. He stated, “The law says April 18th, statutory adjournment. Done. Get your work done and get out of there. That’s what the law says.”
The Republican leader of the Maine Senate said it’s crucial for lawmakers to finish the work they started, especially with tax conformity. Otherwise, the Senate president said, Maine taxpayers will be hurt. “The exact right thing to do is deal with that issue before we adjourn,” said Senate President Mike Thibodeau, R-Winterport.
Some legislators said they’d just as soon end the session, letting the next legislature and the new governor deal with all the bills currently in legislative limbo.