budget






More than a hundred Mainers from across the state gathered in Augusta today to protest the priorities of Governor Paul LePage’s budget proposal, which contains large tax cuts that predominately benefit the wealthy, paid for in part through cuts to education, health care and other vital program

If you’re wondering how to tell that it’s an election year for the House of Representatives, look no further than the de facto understanding out of Washington that no substantial legislation will move

forward in 2014. As elected officials, particularly those in contested races, look to hunker down and ride out the year MPA’s work becomes that much more important. It’s the job of MPA members to hold legislators responsible on issues of social and economic justice and to use 2014 as a chance to distinguish between champions for change and those who are content with the status quo.

 

Last year, the legislature struck a bipartisan budget deal that raised some taxes in order to avoid the worst spending cuts from Governor LePage. The governor proposed those cuts in order to pay for his tax breaks that disproportionately benefit the wealthy. That budget deal contained two provisions that require action by the legislature this year: $40 million in money going to towns (revenue sharing) has to be paid for by closing corporate tax loop holes; and about $20 million of savings has to be found through increased government efficiency.




On Wednesday, Lewiston-Auburn residents conducted a walking tour of different locations in downtown Lewiston to detail the effect a prolonged government shutdown is having on various programs that provide vital services to veterans, the elderly, and low-income Mainers.

Recently, the CEO of Apple testified before Congress about his company’s tax dodging. From 2009-2012, Apple stored almost $74 billion offshore, money virtually untaxed thanks to the use of Irish subsidiaries.

Faced with the combination of a $900 million shortfall, a far-right governor, and a newly elected Democratically-controlled Legislature, Maine remarkably avoided both a state shut down and harmful cuts to the elderly, disabled, and poor in the budget.

 
The bill being announced today to be introduced by Representative Gary Knight has a number of flaws and weaknesses, but it represents a welcome recognition from Republican members of the Legislature, including prominent members of the Tea Party caucus, that there are no more cuts to be made in the state budget and that increasing revenue must be part of any workable solution.
 

 

Towns Have Supported a Fair Share Budget Solution

 

55 towns across Maine have passed resolutions rejecting the extreme cuts and tax shifts proposed in Governor LePage’s two year budget. In just the last week, the towns of Gorham, Bar Harbor, Searsport and the city of Portland have passed resolutions urging lawmakers to consider other alternatives, including tax fairness, to increasing property taxes and cutting essential services.

Nearly 50 towns across Maine have passed resolutions rejecting the extreme cuts and tax shifts proposed in Governor LePage’s two year budget. In just the last week, the towns of South Berwick, Freeport, Ellsworth and Old Town have passed resolutions urging lawmakers to consider tax fairness as an alternative to increasing property taxes and cutting essential services.

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