Panel Delves into Proposal for Ending Shutdown

Maine State House at Augusta, Maine

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — The Latest on the Maine state budget shutdown (all times local):

11:35 a.m.

A six-member conference panel is delving into details of a new budget proposal aimed at ending a state government shutdown in Maine.

Things got off to a rocky start Sunday.

Democratic House Speaker Sara Gideon said she could “barely contain” her fury upon learning that there were further changes beyond what was discussed the evening before.

Republican Rep. Tom Winsor responded that there wasn’t “anything nefarious” afoot.

Gideon said the panel could meet several times Sunday as it goes through the proposal line by line in hopes of producing something that can be voted on in the House and Senate.

The new proposal calls for $162 million in increased education spending but eliminates a proposed lodging tax increase. There are other changes, as well.

___

12:03 a.m.

Lawmakers are set to return to the Maine State House to try to end a budget stalemate that has sent a government shutdown into its second day.

Maine state government went into partial shutdown on Saturday because of the state’s failure to approve a new two-year budget. It’s Maine’s first shutdown in 25 years. Lawmakers will be back in Augusta on Sunday morning.

House Republicans shot down $162 million in increased education spending in a proposed two-year, $7.1 billion budget on Friday night. But they say they believe their new spending plan can pass and end the impasse.

The new proposal must first pass a budget conference committee. That committee is scheduled to reconvene at 10:30 a.m. Sunday. If the committee approves it, it could go to the full Legislature