Maine House, Senate set to vote on deal Friday

AUGUSTA – Late Thursday evening on the eve of a state government shutdown, Democratic and Republican legislative leaders announced a bipartisan budget agreement. The deal makes significant investments in education, expands property tax relief for middle class Mainers and rejects devastating cuts to essential government services.

The $7.1 billion dollar budget proposal includes $162 million in direct classroom education funds, the largest investment in public education in Maine’s history. The six member Committee of Conference voted (5-1) to advance the proposal. The full legislature will vote on the proposal on Friday. Lawmakers have until midnight on June 30 to pass a state budget or there will be a government shutdown.

Speaker of the House Sara Gideon released the following statement:

“In a divided government, compromise is the only option. I am pleased we have reached this agreement, despite a challenging and unpredictable course over the last six months. This budget displays a commitment to public service and will result in progress for Maine families. We did our job in the face of tremendous pressure. I urge my colleagues to support this proposal and urge the governor to take action immediately.”