AUGUSTA — The Maine House and Senate voted Wednesday to override Republican Gov. Paul LePage’s veto of the accompaniment account for the aing two years, alienated a accompaniment government abeyance and briefly adopting sales, commons and abode taxes.
LePage reacted Wednesday afternoon during a account conference, saying, “It was a sad day for Maine.”
He accursed Democrats and Republicans wm he said had created a “country club” of the Accompaniment House and afresh acknowledged the angle that his budget, which cut about $400 actor in accompaniment revenue-sharing with munilities, would automatically aftereffect in property-tax increases.
“I’m actual aghast on this budget,” LePage said. “Until we alpha compionate what makes an abridgement drive and why the southeast and the southwest and the Atlantic states accept such acceptable economies, until we challenge some of their behaviors we are not activity to be anywheres but 50th abode in the country for accomplishing business.”
The House voted 114-34 aloof afterwards apex Wednesday. The Senate followed with a 26-9 vote. Both tallies exceeded the two-thirds beginning appropriate by law to override the veto and achieve a two-year budget, which will booty aftereffect on July 1. Wednesday’s votes on the account veto mark the aboriginal time that the Democrat-controlled Legislature has overridden one of LePage’s added than 40 vetoes this session.
The vote in the House followed two urs of acute aation from both parties. The Senate vote followed about two urs of debate.
Sen. Dawn Hill, D-York, w chairs the aldermanic board that crafted the account deal, casting the override vote in abrupt terms.
“Today, you can no best vote whether or not you accede with the account or whether you like the budget. That’s a affair you can accompany up aback we acknowledgment in January,” she said. “But today, your vote will be either to shut bottomward or not to shut bottomward and I achievement you will ane actively about that.”
The Senate vote came bottomward to whether abundant Republicans would angle by their aboriginal votes in abutment of the account to override LePage’s veto. Two of tse Republicans apprenticed their colleagues to adios the veto.
Sen. Brian Langley, R-Ellsworth, said his vote to override LePage’s veto was meant to abutment the embly w adjourned a account during the accomplished six months.
“This account is ugly. We accept no abundant options. We were abreast that we were voting for things we were diametrically adjoin to,” he said. “My vote today is a account of abutment for our Republican aggregation on the Appropriations Committee. For what it’s worth, I’ve got your back.”
Sen. Tom Saviello of Wilton, addition of the Republicans to abutment the account the aboriginal time around, actomed Republican victories in the budget. Income-tax cuts embly anesthetized two years ago that accept been championed by LePage and Republicans abide intact, he said, as able-bodied as a Republican-backed angle basic a ignment aculation to ysis unfunded mandates on towns and cities.
“Today, I vote with my acquaintance and adolescent logger, Troy Jackson,” Saviello said, apropos to LePage’s comments aftermost anniversary about the Democratic agent from Aroostook County.
Some House ociates batten in agnate terms, while abounding of the account opponents said affair for capacity acquired them to stick with their aboriginal votes adjoin the deal.
“This account represents poor cices and confused priorities,” said Rep. Lawrence Lockman, R-Amherst. “It represents backroom as accepted in Augusta, a abandonment to the cachet quo and a alarming apathy for the challenges adverse our state. … Mainers cannot allow to pay any added taxes.”
Rep. Jeff Timberlake, R-Turner, agreed and said he supports neither the accepted account accommodation nor Gov. Paul LePage’s aboriginal proposal.
“I don’t appee to accession any taxes,” he said. “I appee abate government and I accept we can do it. We’re headed for anarchy and if we abide at this akin it won’t be sustainable.”
Rep. Jarrod Crockett, R-Bethel, is one of the Republicans w voted adjoin the account beforehand this ages but addled his vote on Wednesday.
“A accompaniment abeyance is a abortion for all of us, there’s no catechism about that,” he said. “I’m either voting for a account that I don’t necessarily adulation or I can vote for a government shutdown. That’s what the bodies aback me see this as.”
Rep. Benjamin Chipman, I-Portland, is addition administrator w switched his vote to abutment the override Wednesday afterwards voting June 13 adjoin the budget. He said he afflicted his vote because a account charge be anesthetized by Monday to abstain a accompaniment government shutdown.
“We’re in a actually boxy atom appropriate now,” said Chipman. “We don’t accept a lot of time to renegotiate the account and cipher wants to see a accompaniment shutdown. We don’t accept a lot of options. Somew we accept to acquisition a way to go forward.”
Rep. Kathleen Chase, R-Wells, the baronial Republican on the Appropriations Committee, said the stakes were too aerial to sustain LePage’s veto.
“Voting (no) is actually annihilation beneath than chaos,” she said.
Rep. Peggy Rotundo, D-Lewiston, w co-chairs the Appropriations Committee, said the account isn’t absolute but a accompaniment abeyance would be devastating.
“There isn’t a affiliate in this alcove w couldn’t acquisition accountability with some aspect of this budget,” said Rotundo. “Yet this is a accurate compromise. … In a disconnected government we cannot appeal all or nothing.”
Tension began architecture over the biennial account anon afterwards LePage proposed it in January. Maine munilities, forth with abundant legislators, anon singled out LePage’s angle to aught out allotment for the four-decade-old borough acquirement administration affairs for two years and his bids to cut aback acreage tax abatement programs as the above battleground. Together, tse proposals would accept adored some $275 actor over the biennium, according to LePage.
A accepted affiliation of embly on the Appropriations Board disagreed and wrote a account amalgamation that avoids about 65 percent of the acquirement administration cuts and restores some of the acreage tax abatement programs. The embly additionally alien a $30 actor backpack in spending on accessible scols and funds to restore arete and constancy pay for accompaniment workers w accept had their salaries arctic for added than four years.
Most Republicans, including LePage, agreed that the aboriginal account certificate independent abounding accoutrement that they didn’t like, but the absolute battle came with the committee’s final decisions, which included temporarily adopting the sales tax from 5 percent to 5.5 percent and the commons and abode tax from 7 percent to 8 percent. LePage anon began talking about a veto, which he followed through with on Monday.
The biennial budget, because it was anesthetized so backward in the aldermanic affair and is advised an emergency measure, appropriate a two-thirds vote in the House and Senate. The achievement votes almost met that thresld, 102-43 in the House and 25-10 in the Senate. Five GOP senators and 23 House Republicans aing all Democratic senators and best House Democrats in voting June 13 to achieve the budget.
Wednesday’s House vote wasn’t as close, with some Democrats, Republicans and independents w originally adjoin the account voting to override the veto. Abounding cited the blackmail of a accompaniment government abeyance as their motivation.
Witut a account in abode by July 1, all but capital casework of accompaniment government would shut down, repeating a 1991 book that Democrats and Republicans in the Legislature accept said they appee to avoid.
On Thursday, the governor proposed a acting 60-day account in the anatomy of the continuing resolutions acclimated by Congress to pay for advancing government functions while he and legislators accommodate a new account deal. Maine Attorney General Janet Mills, a Democrat, said such a plan would breach the Maine Consution, but Michael Cianchette, LePage’s arch acknowledged counsel, said a concise account that does not alarm for accompaniment government to absorb added than it takes in would not breach the Maine Consution and could be presented as an emergency bill.
House Minority Leader Kenneth Fredette, R-Newport, said LePage’s angle was “unreasonable.”
“If there were a applicable alternative, a aisle to inject added Republicans ethics into this budget, I would accede it,” said Fredette. “The best we accept is a abeyance or a account compromise. The time for agreement has ped. There is no plan B, nor accept I been approached with a plan B.”
The votes to override the account veto put legislators in a position Wednesday to vy up about $1.25 actor for almost 130 bills that ped witut committed funding. The bills that accretion allotment will go to LePage, w could veto them, urance them or let them booty aftereffect after his signature.
BDN Accompaniment House ancrman Matthew Stone contributed to this report.
How the Legislators voted
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