There was a lot of good news this weekend. In the Senate, Snowe and Collins inked a deal to diffuse the nuclear option. (For some great Maine-based discussion of the filibuster compromise, check out Wampum and Alna) In the House, Allen and Michaud overcame the Republican majority and helped to lift the ban on stem cell research. Also, a painting of Maine Senator George Mitchell was unveiled in the old Senate chamber.
Rep. Tom Allen, D-Maine, praised Mitchell's legislative legacy, citing the Americans with Disabilities Act, the "Brady bill" on gun control and amendments to the Clean Air Act. "He's one of the greatest figures in Maine political history," Allen said.
In the statehouse, Duprey's nuisance bill was finally killed by a unanimous vote of the judiciary committee. Baldacci is also leaning towards vetoing a huge new racino proposed for Washington county.
The one bit of bad news seems to be the announcement from Moody's that it has downgraded the state's general obligation bonds from Aa2 to Aa3. The report cites both the bonds in the budget and the referendum effort to overturn them as reasons for the reassessment. This news comes despite the effort by Democrats on Tuesday to identify possible budget cuts by asking state agencies to plan out what a 5% cut would mean for their operational budget.
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