For Immediate Release: 3/2/17
Maine Legislature Enacts Supplemental Budget
$29M spending package funds higher ed and addiction treatment, saves $35M for rainy day
AUGUSTA — This morning, members of the House of Representatives voted 142 to 1 in favor of LD 302, “An Act To Make Supplemental Appropriations and Allocations for the Expenditures of State Government and To Change Certain Provisions of the Law Necessary to the Proper Operations of State Government for the Fiscal Year Ending June 30, 2017.” Later, members of the Senate voted unanimously to finally enact the budget and send it to Gov. Paul LePage.
The governor has 10 days to sign it, veto it, or allow it to become law without his signature.
After a push from democratic leaders, specifically an amendment offered by Sen. Cathy Breen, D-Falmouth, the supplemental budget bill now contains nearly $5 million in state and federal funds to provide opioid addiction treatment to Mainers most in need of help — the uninsured and those with low incomes.
This $29 million dollar spending package also contains $7.1 million in funding to keep tuition low at the University of Maine, $7 million to the Maine Military Authority in Aroostook county, and $5.5 million to rehabilitate fish hatcheries in our Inland Fisheries & Wildlife Department. Additionally, the package moves $35 million to the state’s Rainy Day Fund.
Members of Democratic Leadership released the following statements:
Speaker of the House Sara Gideon:
“Due to the collaborative work of our members of the Appropriations Committee, we were able to pass a supplemental budget that addresses some of the pressing issues in our state. However, we have a long road ahead. We are committed to final budget that prioritizes middle class families, quality education and works for all Mainers. House Democrats look forward to a productive and dynamic budget.”
Senate Majority Leader Troy Jackson:
“From the harrowing drug addiction crisis to the lack of reliable, good jobs in so many parts of our state, the problems we face affect all Mainers — Republicans, Democrats and independent, men and women from all walks of life, from Aroostook County all the way down to the New Hampshire border. Our challenges are larger than any one of us, and it’s going to take all of us working together in good faith to solve them. Passage of the supplemental budget with broad, bipartisan support gives me hope that we can continue working together to improve Mainers’ lives.”
House Chair of the Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee Drew Gattine:
“The problems we need to solve are bigger than this supplemental budget, but I am heartened by the passage of this bill. Our committee has a lot of work ahead of us, but we will remain steadfast in our focus on long term solutions that strengthen middle class families, schools, and seniors, while creating an environment that supports good paying jobs and a strong economy.”
Senate Lead of the Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee Cathy Breen:
“A supplemental budget that did nothing to address a drug crisis that kills at least one Mainer a day was always unacceptable. I was please that members of both parties, in the House and Senate, were able to work together with the governor to make it right. The new funding in this spending package is not a silver bullet. It won’t end this public health epidemic. But I’m confident it will save Maine lives. I hope that by this time next year, we will see this provision as just the first of many this Legislature will enact to bring a balanced solution to get Mainers on the path to recovery.”