Gov. LePage says he won’t sign latest budget deal and will allow shutdown

Governor LePage (WGME)

AUGUSTA (WGME) -- Governor Paul LePage says he will not sign the latest state budget deal and will shut down the state government.

With only hours left, both Democrats and Republicans are taking every last second to negotiate the budget, which has both sides of giving up a lot to reach a deal.

However, Governor LePage says he will not sign the latest budget deal.

“I have made many offers that they are unwilling to accept and I think this ingenuous to put more taxes on Maine people when there are other options,” LePage said.

Senator Michael Thibodeau (R), Senate president, says the budget isn’t perfect but he pressed the importance of passing it Friday.

The house went back into session Friday morning.

It’s still unclear if there will be a 2/3 majority in favor of the budget.

A compromise, reached late Thursday night, brought education funding up to $162 million while eliminating the 3 percent voter approved surtax, but raised the lodging tax up to 10.5 percent

Protesters from both sides have been holding signs and trying to get their message heard at the State House.

They all say they want a budget passed now, but many disagree on what should be included in it.

“What brought me out here is just to support Governor LePage. I really appreciate what he's trying to do for the State of Maine, and for trying to make taxpayers not pay as high of a tax,” Beth Chelsey, state worker, said.

“He hasn't been very kind to us. He hasn't been good to retirees. I left state government early because he was taking away our health insurance,” Steven Keaten, retired state worker, said.

If the House passes the budget, it will then head over to the Senate.

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