AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Coverage of Maine’s budget impasse (all times local):

Updated 7:35 p.m.

Maine leaders say a bid to end the state’s government shutdown will wait until morning.

House Republicans say on Saturday their new budget proposal can win the approval of Republican Gov. Paul LePage and end the stalemate. The proposal is currently under review in a fiscal office.

State officials say a budget conference committee that must approve the proposal will reconvene at 10:30 a.m. Sunday. If the committee approves of the budget, it will go to the full Legislature for a vote.

House Republicans and Democrats have sparred for weeks over the budget, with the disagreements often focusing on state education funding.


Updated 6:45 p.m.: Republicans in Maine say their revised budget proposal can end the state’s government shutdown.

House Republicans are proposing a new spending plan on Saturday that eliminates lodging tax increases, adds $162 million to state education funding and ensures that emergency personnel who work during the shutdown are compensated. They say the proposal can win approval from Republican Gov. Paul LePage and end the shutdown if the Legislature approves it.

A budget conference committee must first approve the budget. The committee sent the proposal to a fiscal office on Saturday so its impact can be reviewed. Committee members say the proposal could come back to them Saturday night for a potential vote.

If approved in committee, the proposal could go to the full Legislature for a vote.

LePage’s office has said the governor looks forward to reviewing the proposal.

Updated 3:15 p.m.: A Maine budget conference committee is scheduled to meet to try to solve the state’s budget impasse, but neither side sounds confident that an agreement will come soon.


State government went into partial shutdown on Saturday morning because of lack of a budget. Democratic House Speaker Sara Gideon says the budget conference committee will meet at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday.

Democrats have blamed Republicans for causing the shutdown, and some have faulted Gov. Paul LePage for floating a budget that was destined to fail at the last minute on Friday night. LePage’s office hasn’t responded to requests for comment on Saturday.

LePage has tweeted a few times on Saturday that he’s willing to work with Gideon to craft a budget that can pass.

Updated 11:15 a.m.: U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree is urging Maine lawmakers to find common ground and agree on a budget to keep the state running.

The state’s partial shutdown began Saturday after the Legislature failed to enact a two-year budget Friday.

Pingree, a Democrat, says obstructionist actions in Augusta are jeopardizing the livelihoods of thousands of state employees.


The House is scheduled to begin meeting at noon on Saturday. Union members and Democrats were the first to arrive, and held a rally outside the House floor calling for the state to pass a budget.

Phil Bartlett, chair of the Maine Democratic Party, said the shutdown is about show, not core principles.

Updated 10:30 a.m.: Dozens of union members and state employees marching and chanting outside the Maine State House say a government shutdown is the fault of Gov. Paul LePage and Republican lawmakers.

The state’s partial shutdown began Saturday after the Legislature failed to enact a two-year budget Friday.

Marchers carried signs saying “Shame” and “Do your job so I can do mine.”

The shutdown will continue until the state agrees on a spending plan. Lawmakers say they will work through the weekend to try to make that happen.


The full effects of the shutdown haven’t been felt by many yet because it’s the weekend. Essential services such as law enforcement will remain in place while lawmakers work on the budget.

The Republican LePage had blamed Democratic lawmakers for forcing the shutdown.

Updated 12:30 a.m.: Maine citizens will experience a partial state government shutdown after lawmakers failed to pass a new state budget.

The shutdown began early Saturday after rounds of budget votes failed Friday due to resistance from House Republicans.

The two-year, $7.1 billion budget would have eliminated a voter-approved 3 percent surtax on high earners to fund schools, provided $164 million in additional education funding and raised the state’s lodging tax.

GOP Gov. Paul LePage and House Republicans want less spending, support for some policy initiatives that were rejected and an overall income tax cut.

Democratic House Speaker Sara Gideon says she left a late-night meeting at LePage’s residence in response to his “aggressive behavior” toward her.

LePage’s office didn’t immediately comment.

Union members and state workers protest a state government shutdown at the Maine State House in Augusta on Saturday, July 1, 2017. A partial state government shutdown began early Saturday after lawmakers failed to meet a deadline for a new state budget while House Republicans revealed they were working with GOP Gov. Paul LePage on a secret, alternative plan. 

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