• Plunging State Revenues Force Another Budget Fix

    AUGUSTA — A trend of nose-diving state revenues continued in May, according to new data, which will force the Legislature to enact yet another budget fix before it adjourns. Revenues for the month of May were $21.2 million under budget, pushing year-to-date totals $13.1 million into the red. The drop-off in revenue is so severe

  • State Shifts Cost Burden To Towns

    AUGUSTA — Hancock County towns are bracing for the worst as cuts in the state budget shift at least $140 million in costs from the state to municipalities over the next two years. The shift creates a situation as dire as the recession of the early 1990s, according to Geoff Herman, who monitors the Legislature

  • Baldacci Undecided on Tax Reform Legislation

    AUGUSTA — Governor John Baldacci remained undecided Tuesday about whether he’ll sign legislation to reform the state’s tax code while he and lawmakers negotiated changes that the Governor deems more acceptable. The House of Representatives voted 84-54 and the Senate voted 19-15 — with very little Republican support — to send the measure to Baldacci

  • Legislators Vote to Delay Consolidation Penalties

    AUGUSTA — The House and Senate have voted to delay penalties against school districts that don’t comply with the school consolidation law, which the Senate chairman of the Education Committee said he hopes will send a message to Governor John Baldacci. “Essentially, we are giving our message to the Governor,” said Sen. Justin Alfond (D-Cumberland

  • Legislators Deadlocked Over Borrowing Figure

    AUGUSTA — Legislative leaders are deadlocked over how much the state should borrow for major projects, though members of both parties said Monday they’re hopeful they can reach an agreement soon. The negotiations will have to produce results quickly if the Legislature is to meet its goal of adjourning for the summer by Friday, though

  • Holiday Will Tax Budgets, Not Help Economy

    Raise your hand if you would rather not pay taxes. Okay, hands down. Now raise your hand if you want good roads and schools, and someone to show up if your house is on fire. Alrighty. Most of us understand that we get a benefit for our taxes, but we want them to be fair

  • Appropriations Committee Resolves Budget-threatening Dispute

    AUGUSTA — In the wee morning hours of May 15, the Legislature’s Appropriations Committee resolved a dispute that threatened to unravel delicate bipartisan negotiations on the 2010-2011 biennial budget. Or so it seemed. With a vote along party lines, the committee approved a Democratic plan for state employees to pay a portion of their health

  • Budget Trimmed

    AUGUSTA — The House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly Tuesday in favor of the budget for the next two years, making quick work of a bill that has dominated the legislative agenda since January. Tuesday’s 115-31 vote came after the House struck down several amendments that would have diverted cuts that were made to bring spending