UPDATE: The budget moves on to the legislature for final approval after the Conference Committee failed to unanimous agreement as negotiations went late into Sunday night. The committee adjourned at about 11:15pm.
The final vote 5-1 failed to reach a unanimous decision, with Republican Representative Tom Windsor voting in opposition because of a line item that increases the lodging tax..
This despite democratic leaders budging on a number of significant line items including passing the Governor's land trust proposal that would require a review of property tax on conserved lands.
The committee did vote unanimously to pay all state employees--not just those deemed "emergency" workers. Still, state workers say they are set to march in protest of the shutdown Monday morning in Augusta. It is unclear if the legislature will convene tomorrow where it would need 2/3 approval to move forward.
Speaker Sara Gideon denied our interview request following Gov. LePage's attack on her today in a Facebook video blaming her "dragging her feet" for the shutdown.
AUGUSTA, Maine (NEWS CENTER) - Lawmakers met again on Sunday to discuss the current state of the budget while the government remains in shutdown for a second day.
House Republican leader, Ken Fredette, met criticism in a meeting that started Sunday morning, since most of his members voted against the proposed budget plan on Friday night while the rest supported it. Democrats, including Speaker Sara Gideon taking aim at Fredette demanding answers.
Fredette introduced a new plan to the special committee, which will determine the next budget package. This proposal would increase school funding, get rid of the three percent tax and eliminate plans to increase the lodging tax.
The plan also contains a series of other proposals, from both House Republicans and the Governor, that have already presented in bills that were turned down by Legislature.
Senate President, Mike Thibodeau, told reporters that he believes the leaders and the committee will be able to put together a new budget plan, though it has been difficult.
“I think everybody spending their holiday weekend at the state house wants to get this budget done and behind us,” Thibodeau said.
Democratic Senator, Cathy Breen, however, was not as optimistic.
"We worked together on the budget for months, and there’s not a single one of us who understands why we are at this juncture, other than a pure desire to damage the state of Maine,” she said.
The committee adjourned their meeting around noon and have yet to reconvene as of 9 pm Sunday to try to vote out a new budget agreement and end the government shutdown.
All workers out of work during the shutdown will be paid, according to Gov. Paul LePage in an impromptu Facebook video posted Sunday evening. LePage demanding agreement so that the government may reopen by 8am Monday.
Even if the committee reaches agreement, it will have to go before the legislature for 2/3 approval.