Revised Budget Adjustment Removes Obstacle As Maine Lawmakers Try To Wrap Up Work

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — The Democratic-led Maine Legislature’s spending committee revised its budget proposal Monday in response to complaints from both Republicans and the Democratic governor, removing a late obstacle as lawmakers try to wrap up their work this week.

The revision came after criticism over its earlier decision to divert money from the highway fund and roll back pension tax breaks for retirees.

Highway funding and the pension benefit were restored on Monday, and Democratic Gov. Janet Mills said the new version had her seal of approval despites concerns that lawmakers' proposed spending went beyond her proposed budget update.

The governor has warned that revenue is expected to level off and proposed setting aside $100 million for the next budget cycle.

"Her administration will have to take a hard look at the budget at the start of the next legislative session to make sure that the state of Maine is able to meet its commitments, both in the short- and long-term," said Ben Goodman, a spokesperson for the governor.

The budget committee's approval allows the adjustment to the two-year, $10.4 billion budget to proceed to floor votes. Maine is required to have a balanced budget by the state constitution.