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For Immediate Release

Date: 03/21/14

Maine House Enacts Budget, Rainy Day Fund Bills

After contentious negotiations, both measures pass overwhelmingly

AUGUSTA - The Maine House of Representatives late Friday enacted two bills to restore the state's rainy day fund and balance the state's budget for fiscal year 2014 and part of fiscal year 2015.

"I'm glad that lawmakers from both parties were able to come together and manage Maine's finances," said House Republican Leader Ken Fredette of Newport. "We may debate the issues passionately, but we're always committed to finding bipartisan agreement on the budget and I'm glad we were able to do so today. Budget bills require bipartisanship because the Maine Constitution requires a balanced budget."

Governor Paul LePage introduced LD 1807 to restore $21 million to the rainy day fund, putting the state in a strong financial position to release voter-approved bonds without hurting the state's credit. It passed in the House with a vote of 121-3.

"It was important to shore up the state's savings account before borrowing money, and although there was some disagreement over the necessity of doing this, we came together and made it happen," said Assistant House Republican Leader Alex Willette of Mapleton. "Everybody wins."

The other bill enacted Friday was LD 1843, which closes a roughly $39 million budget shortfall for the remainder of 2014 and $18 million worth of the 2015 budget shortfall. The House approved the supplemental budget with a vote of 121-6.

Friday marked the first time that Rep. Jeff Timberlake (R-Turner) voted for a budget in nearly four years in the Legislature. LD 1843 met the approval of the fiscally conservative lawmaker.

"Mr. Speaker, I believe there's something wrong with my light because it went green," he said to laughter in the House Chamber.

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David Sorensen
Maine House Republicans
Tel: (207) 205-7793