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Political Brew: State budget surplus

Political Brew's pundits talk about the state budget surplus likely to be center of big debates at state house with NEWS CENTER Maine's Don Carrigan

PORTLAND, Maine — The Maine economy continues to do well, and that is helping the state budget accumulate a larger than expected surplus. And NEWS CENTER Maine political analysts Phil Harriman and John Richardson say that is likely to spark lots of debates in the coming Legislative session. 

The latest revenue forecast suggests the current two-year budget will have a $74.6 million surplus when it is completed in June of 2021. Harriman and Richardson agreed there will be lots of proposals for using that money but disagree on the actual appetite if lawmakers for added spending. 

Democratic analyst John Richardson says because 2020 will be an election year, he thinks both parties will be reluctant to be seen as eager spenders. But Republican analyst Phil Harriman says he expects some major battles overspending, with bills already submitted that would use hundreds of millions of dollars.

The two also talked about Governor Janet Mills’ executive order for the state government to aggressively pursue energy efficiency and alternative sources, reports that Rudy Giuliani had been negotiating a private business deal in Ukraine last summer, and how they expect the impeachment process to unfold in the coming weeks.

Political Brew airs Sunday on NEWS CENTER Maine

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