An Agreement on a State Budget

Legislative leaders were able to come to a bi-partisan, $7.1 billion, two-year deal Thursday night, and worked to pass it through the House and Senate Friday. They are expected to vote on yet another compromise state budget proposal.

Rep. William Tuell, R-East Machias, was one of the nine Republicans to vote for the budget. CT and New Jersey are also pushing the limit and face stark consequences if budgets aren't completed by midnight.

Employees, some with family members in tow, marched from Capitol Park to the State House, passing in front of the governor's mansion while chanting "shame, shame, shame".

"Illinois legislators failed to enact a budget by the end of Friday, the last day of the budget year".

Maine's Republican Gov. Paul LePage says a government shutdown is "necessary for the future of ME".

"This is about the future of Maine".

To suggest, as Fredette has, that lawmakers must just rollover and adopt such demands from the governor is a complete abdication of his responsibilities as a representative of the ME people. LePage said on a radio appearance on WGAN-AM on Thursday that if he is presented with a budget that raises taxes without reducing income taxes, the state should be "ready for a shutdown". "Under federal law, once having opted to participate in federal public assistance programs, the state is legally bound to comply with certain federal requirements, including the timely processing of applications and the timely provision of assistance to eligible persons".

The final budget deal voted on included an increase in the state lodging tax from 9 percent to 10.5 percent, although it nixed a 3 percent surcharge on incomes more than $200,000 that was approved by voters in November. Roger Katz, a Republican, laid out the stakes.

"The House Republicans want to support a budget the chief executive can sign", Fredette said. "Democrats and Senate Republicans have exhausted every possibility to prevent this outcome". If his decision comes after midnight tonight, the government shutdown will take effect.

Gideon has said that LePage behaved "aggressively" toward her during a late night meeting Friday in which she and three other lawmakers were attempting to avert the shutdown. "And make no mistake I will continue to do everything in my power to end it".

Gov. Paul LePage, who drew national headlines last summer for making what critics referred to as racist comments at a town hall, as well as for leaving a lawmaker an expletive laced voicemail message, has repeatedly blamed Democrats in his state for creating the conflict that led to the shutdown.

The state is the largest employer in the capital city, and Rollins said a shutdown not only affects those workers but business owners, shopkeepers and others in the service industry.

This story will be updated.

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