AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — The Latest on Maine’s budget impasse (all times local):
The Maine House of Representatives has passed a budget that would end the state’s partial government shutdown, but will need more votes for the spending plan to win final approval.
The shutdown was in its third day on Monday. The House passed the budget by a count of 92-54 on Monday. The proposal now moves to the Senate, which is expected to pass it.
The budget will need a two-thirds majority, or 101 votes, to earn final approval in the House in a second vote.
Democratic House Speaker Sara Gideon says Republican Gov. Paul LePage has told her he’d sign the proposal if lawmakers eliminated a lodging tax increase. However, the tax increase remains in the budget.
Maine’s partial government shutdown is entering its third day with state employees and union activists calling for state Republicans to support a budget compromise that could end the stalemate.
The state Legislature failed to enact a budget Friday, causing the shutdown. The Legislature has a chance to vote on a new spending plan Monday after a budget panel reached a late agreement on Sunday.
The new proposal hangs on to an increase in the state’s lodging tax, which could make it unpalatable to House Republicans and Republican Gov. Paul LePage. But Democrats and unions say the standoff has gone on too long and it’s time to reopen Maine.
Union members held a rally outside the Maine State House on Monday morning to fault the GOP and call for budget passage.
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