Budget Achieves House Approval
The House voted 77-74 in favor of the budget plan early this morning. The tax on canoes and kayaks is out, and so is the study of fees for non-consumptive wilderness use. Many of the votes on amendments to the budget bill were close, including one which would have sent the borrowing plan to a public vote for approval. Two amendments that did pass eliminated tougher seat belt restrictions and prevented the hiring of new Senate staffers.
Today's newspapers went to print before the debate was concluded. Bonnie Washuk of the Sun Journal has the latest coverage, and the AP has a more recent report. The Budget debate will now move to the Senate where several Republicans are attempting to gather support for a proposal that would temporarily raise the sales tax in order to eliminate some borrowing from the budget.
Regardless of whether or not you agree with her positions, you have to admire the passion of Rep. Twomey (D-Biddeford). From the SJ:
Yelling and banging her fist on her desk, Twomey said it was a "bad budget" and that "we need to raise taxes." The mentally ill are going without housing, meat inspectors are being cut, and the poor aren't getting needed help, she said. "This party used to be the party of the people," Twomey said. Democrats "are carrying the water for those afraid to speak the truth to power."
[Update]: BDN article.
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