Maine supplemental budget moves to the full legislature

The spending plan got committee approval on a party-line vote
Published: Mar. 5, 2021 at 10:04 AM EST
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AUGUSTA, Maine (WMTW) — Gov. Janet Mills’ supplemental budget proposal is headed to the full legislature.

The Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee approved the spending plan on Thursday with a party line vote of 8-5.

The bill gives Maine businesses and unemployed Mainers a break from paying taxes on relief funds they received during the pandemic.

Republicans rejected two compromise proposals on the Paycheck Protection Program both from the Mills administration and Democrats on the AFA Committee in favor of a proposal that costs an additional $32 million.

“Maine people and businesses have experienced extraordinary financial hardship and a never-ending series of setbacks over the past year as our state and country responded to a public health crisis. As lawmakers, we have a responsibility to come up with a responsible supplemental budget proposal that lifts up the everyday Mainers and small-business owners that have had their livelihoods threatened, and in some cases vanished, through no fault of their own,” said Sen. Cathy Breen, Senate Chair of the Legislature’s Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee.

Senate and House Republicans released a joint statement late Thursday saying that the pandemic has affected all Mainers, whether they lost their job or not, and that all Mainers deserve tax breaks.

“Republicans will advance a minority report that stands with all Maine employers and their employees, all workers, and all taxpayers,” said Republicans in their statement. “We hope there will be ongoing conversations to provide beneficial tax relief to all Mainers in the biennial budget. We are all in this together and it is unfortunate that Republicans were left sitting alone at the negotiating table by Democrats.”

The budget will go before the full legislature next week when lawmakers convene in person at the Augusta Civic Center.

It requires two-thirds support in both chambers to pass.

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