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Maine government shutdown ends after LePage and Gideon cut late-night budget deal

AUGUSTA, Maine — Hope soared at the State House just after 10 p.m. Monday when Gov. Paul LePage and Democratic House Speaker Sara Gideon struck a deal for a bipartisan budget bill and an end to Maine’s three-day government shutdown.

The House of Representatives voted 147-2 in favor of the deal at nearly 1 a.m. Tuesday and the Senate followed suit 35-0. LePage signed the budget into law.

At around 9:45 p.m., the House convened briefly send the budget back to the conference committee, said Gideon at the rostrum. The Senate quickly did so a few minutes later.

Gideon, D-Freeport, then joined five other members of a special budget committee to vote on the compromise that aims to end the shutdown. At 10:30 p.m., that group met and sent the new budget agreement to the full Legislature.

“We have reached an agreement,” Gideon said.

Legislative staff then began preparing documents to send the roughly $7.1 billion two-year spending plan into law.

According to Rep. Patricia Hymanson, D-York, House chairwoman of the Legislature’s Health and Human Services Committee, key elements of the deal include negating the proposed lodging tax increase, which LePage and Republicans have treated as a poison pill.

The Fiddlehead Focus / St. John Valley Times is pleased to feature content from our sister company, Bangor Daily News. To read the rest of “Maine government shutdown ends after LePage and Gideon cut late-night budget deal,” an article by contributing Bangor Daily News staff writer Christopher Cousins, please follow this link to the BDN online.

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