Maine government shutdown ends with signing of $7.1B budget

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Both Republicans and Democrats are finding something to cheer in the $7.1 billion, two-year budget that ended a three-day state government shutdown in Maine.

Republican Gov. Paul LePage won a victory with removal of a 1.5 percent increase in the state lodging tax. Democrats were pleased that money was added to the Head Start and Clean Election programs.

The budget also increased K-12 education spending by $162 million to partially offset funding lost with the elimination of a 3 percent, voter-approved surcharge on high-income earners.

Senate Democratic leader Troy Jackson said neither side was completely satisfied and that’s the way the system is supposed to work. He said that in the end, “we got a budget we can live with.”

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