Highway budget snarled in Maine House

Posted June 12, 2009, at 10:40 a.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — A partisan dispute over highway funding has boiled over in the Maine House of Representatives.

After weeks of wrangling over proposals for higher fuel taxes, Democrats and Republicans in the House split Friday over whether to approve a $630 million two-year highway fund budget that proponents called bare-bones.

The Baldacci administration warned that inaction could lead to layoffs.

The House impasse prompted a new round of negotiations just as House and Senate leaders were preparing to bring this year’s regular legislative session to a conclusion.