It appears the state will once again pass a majority budget, but as the BDN notes, the legislative process this year has been much more congenial.
Democrats, who outnumber Republicans 8-5 on the Appropriations Committee, were expected to work late into the night Friday before issuing a final vote on their majority budget. The Democratic measure does not include Gov. John E. Baldacci's original plans for taking out a $250 million loan against future lottery revenues or refinancing the state retirement system debt schedule to save an additional $160 million. [...]
Sen. Peggy Rotundo, D-Lewiston and Senate chairman of the Appropriations Committee, said the bulk of her panel's work could not have been completed without strong bipartisan approaches to complicated problems.
"We were very disappointed at the end that, in spite of all the good work we had done together, there were differences that we were unable to overcome," she said. "I look forward to working in a bipartisan way in the future to address many outstanding issues before us. I know that's important to the people of Maine. Republicans and Democrats share that goal."
"And we're not talking in the past tense," added Appropriations Committee House Chairman Joe Brannigan, D-Portland. "We like Republicans and they like us. We just don't like some of their ideas and they don't like some of ours."
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