Stories about Appropriations Committee

Sawin Millett

Revenues improving, but sales tax still a worry in soft economy

By Mal Leary, Capitol News Service on Sept. 25, 2011, at 4:48 p.m.
AUGUSTA | After a disappointing start to the budget year, revenues improved in August but remain under budget by $10 million. Finance Commissioner Sawin Millett says while that is good news, he remains concerned about sales taxes in a soft economy. “Early information indicates that we will continue on …

State revenues drop in July

By Mal Leary, Capitol News Service on Aug. 21, 2011, at 4:04 p.m.
AUGUSTA | The first month of the new budget has surprised state officials and lawmakers as revenues dropped significantly in July, $17.2 million less than projected; stirring worries the economy in Maine has stalled. “It is a concern,“ said Finance Commissioner Sawin Millett. “Much of that shortfall is in …

State ends budget year with surplus

By Mal Leary on July 13, 2011, at 8:32 p.m.
AUGUSTA | Revenues continued to come in better than expected in June and that has resulted in a revenue surplus of $49.2 million for the budget year that ended June 30. That will increase by another $3 million to $5 million when unspent appropriations are finally tallied next month, …

Potatoes may regain status in school lunches

By Jen Lynds on June 21, 2011, at 8:17 p.m.
PRESQUE ISLE | Pressure against proposed changes to nutritional guidelines is causing federal officials to take another look at what foods they will recommend schools across the nation serve their students. The increased scrutiny could improve the role of the potato in the National School Lunch and Breakfast Program. …

Legislature considering ‘bath salts’ ban; synthetic drug a growing problem in Bangor area

By Nok-Noi Ricker on June 17, 2011, at 8:40 p.m.
An alarming number of people living in the Bangor area are snorting, injecting or smoking a designer drug known on the streets as “bath salts” — a type of which, dubbed “monkey dust,” has become prevalent in the Queen City, authorities say. Local officials are worried and …

Mob action in Augusta derails paycheck-protection reforms

By Larry Lockman on June 13, 2011, at 6:56 p.m.
What would you think of a member of the Maine Legislature who voted to postpone consideration of a bill because several hundred demonstrators showed up at the State House and shouted, “Kill the bill”? And what would you think of legislative leaders who caved in to pressure from an angry …

Time running out on 2011 legislative session

By Kevin Miller on June 12, 2011, at 4:53 p.m.
AUGUSTA | After more than five months of work, lawmakers are headed into the final stretch of the 2011 legislative session facing votes on a broad range of issues, including a $6.1 billion budget and bills that would legalize fireworks and recreational marijuana use. Lawmakers have already dealt with …
Maine Reps. David Webster, D-Freeport, and Margaret Rotundo, D-Lewiston, pour over documents during a work session at the legislature's Appropriations Committee at the State House in Augusta, Maine, on Monday, June 6, 2011.  Maine lawmakers continued working their way toward an agreement on a $6.1 billion state budget.

State budget worthy of support

on June 10, 2011, at 9:37 p.m.
With little fanfare, the Legislature’s Appropriations Committee has in recent months approved three budgets with unanimous votes. The most significant, of course, is the spending blueprint for the next two years, which the committee completed Thursday night. This shows that despite sometimes heated rhetoric and often divergent views of the …

Legislature cuts own budget by $8.3M, adds security to the State House

By Mal Leary, Capitol News Service on June 05, 2011, at 2:51 p.m.
AUGUSTA | Legislative leaders have voted to cut the Legislature’s budget by $8.3 million over the next two years while at the same time bolstering security at the State House. “This actually is probably a historic legislative council budget,“ Majority Leader Jon Courtney, R-Springvale, said Friday evening. “This is …

Pension debt and taxes

on June 01, 2011, at 10:57 p.m.
As is usually the case, members of the Legislature’s Appropriations Committee agree on most of the state budget for the next two years, but a small percentage of spending decisions will require difficult decisions and compromises. Two of the places where there is broad disagreement are in proposed changes to …

Maine Public Broadcasting asks state to not cut funding

The Associated Press on May 16, 2011, at 4:14 p.m.
AUGUSTA | The Maine Public Broadcasting Network and its supporters are asking lawmakers to leave funding for the statewide system intact. MPBN and others made their pitch Monday to the Appropriations Committee, which is considering a cut of nearly $2 million a year as part of Gov. Paul LePage’s …
Rep. Patrick S. Flood

House panel chairman gives resignation after health insurance fracas

By Kevin Miller on May 13, 2011, at 5:57 p.m.
AUGUSTA | State lawmakers were assessing the political damage Friday from a late-night blowup over health care reform that prompted the Republican chairman of the powerful budget committee to submit his resignation and has left Democrats fuming. Rep. Patrick Flood, R-Winthrop, submitted a letter of resignation to House Speaker …

Big tax payment limits state red ink in March

By Mal Leary on April 20, 2011, at 7:58 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine – State revenues were $200,000 below estimates in March, but the red ink would have been considerably more if a one-time estate tax payment of $5.8 million had not been made during the month. “I don’t look at March as a very positive month,” Finance Commissioner Sawin Millett …

Dorothea Dix study raises concerns

By Mal Leary on Feb. 27, 2011, at 4:03 p.m.
AUGUSTA | Buried in the hundreds of pages of the proposed two-year state budget is language establishing a study of the future role and structure of the Dorothea Dix Psychiatric Center in Bangor, but some lawmakers are concerned the study is a ruse to close the facility and shift …

Scenarios numerous for budget

By David Farmer on Feb. 09, 2011, at 5:24 p.m.
On the verge of his first legislative success and on the eve of the most important bill he’s likely to introduce this year, Gov. Paul LePage put it all at risk. Word started to spread that the governor was considering a veto of the supplemental budget that the Appropriations Committee …

Maine lawmakers take up budget update

The Associated Press on Jan. 23, 2011, at 4:41 p.m.
AUGUSTA | Gov. Paul LePage’s supplemental budget, which pays down hospital debts and accounts for increased enrollments in MaineCare, now moves into the legislative arena. The Appropriations Committee on Monday takes up the revised spending document for the fiscal year ending June 30. LePage wants quick passage to maximize …