State Budgets 2012: Maine



To see more state budget news and information, visit State Budgets 2012

Budget Background:

  • Fiscal Year Begins: July 
  • Frequency of Legislative Cycle: Biennial
  • Legislative Session for 2012: Convened January 4, 2012
  • Frequency of Budget Cycle: Biennial

Learn more from the National Association of State Budget Officers


Budget News and Information: 2012


4/13/12: Maine state budget rewrite near final approval

The Maine House has given its approval to a state budget rewrite, sending it to the Maine Senate for final approval. The House vote Friday was 105-30 on the two-year supplemental budget for the period ending in mid-2013. The budget would cut the state reimbursement to municipalities for general assistance from the current maximum of 90 percent to 85 percent. The governor wanted deeper cuts but stopped short of a threatened veto.

Read More:

3/21/12: Big proposals await votes as session wanes

Maine's Legislature may adjourn in less than three weeks, allowing lawmakers to get to work on re-election campaigns. That hasn't stopped Gov. Paul LePage from introducing major proposals this month regarding education, energy, welfare fraud and tax and spending reforms. And lawmakers still must negotiate two controversial budget proposals. It's not unusual for work to pile up at the end of a legislative session. But it's clear that the governor and Republicans in the Legislature hope to take advantage of the final flurry of action before elections that could change the balance of power in Maine's State House.

Read More: Morning Sentinel

3/19/12: LePage: Make Maine's Income Tax a 'Thing of the Past'

The governor says the tax breaks in his latest budget proposal are just a step toward a bigger goal: eliminating Maine's income tax. Gov. Paul LePage says the proposed tax breaks for seniors and veterans in his latest budget bill are just one step in a much larger plan. "By the time I leave the state of Maine, I would like to see--I'm hoping to have the income tax a thing of the past--that's my goal," he told Capitol News Service.

Read More: MPBN

3/15/12: Feds create $10.5M hole in state budget

A federal decision to stop paying for some mental health services for jail inmates will cost the state an additional $10.5 million next year, lawmakers learned Wednesday. A proposal to cover that cost is part of Gov. Paul LePage's newest plan to balance the state's two-year $6 billion budget. In all, the new plan includes nearly $38 million in new spending cuts and tax cuts.

Read More: Kennebec Journal

3/14/12: Gov's budget rewrite includes some Maine tax cuts

Tax breaks for retirees and military personnel are among the items on Maine Gov. Paul LePage's state budget rewrite, presented Tuesday to lawmakers. The supplemental budget outlined for the Appropriations Committee also seeks sales tax exemptions for wood harvesting equipment, which would match exemptions the state already allows for equipment used in fisheries and agricultural industries, Finance Commissioner Sawin Millett told the committee.

Read More: CBS News

2/24/12: One budget done, another to go

An estimated 30,000 people will feel the effect of the budget cuts signed by the Governor on Thursday. That's according to Republicans in the State Senate.

The budget fills a $121 million hole in this year's budget, and makes significant cuts in two Medicaid programs

Read More: WLBZ

2/24/12: Maine budget bill gets final Senate approval

A week after a budget-balancing bill fell short of passage, the Maine Senate moved quickly Thursday to pass a measure that would close a $120 million revenue gap while cutting Medicaid coverage for thousands of Mainers.

Read More: CBS News

2/23/12: Controversial Maine Budget Plan Heads for Governor's Desk

Maine Gov. Paul LePage has a budget on his desk waiting for a signature. It took a week to get through the Legislature, and the Senate today finally gave the approval needed to move it forward. But this version isn't what LePage had called for, as it only closes a budget gap through June, and it's not clear whether LePage will sign on.

Read More: MPBN

2/23/12: Maine lawmakers to face $14 million budget gap

Budget. Budget. Budget. So goes the abbreviated session of the 125th Legislature, which will tackle three spending plans this session. None will be easy. Lawmakers have already begun wrangling two budgets at the Department of Health and Human Services, but thanks to declining revenues and soaring oil prices, they can expect a third supplemental budget before they adjourn in April.

Read More: Sun Journal

2/17/12: State Budget Proposal Passes House; Defeated in Senate

A supplemental budget proposal aimed at closing a $120 million shortfall won approval Thursday night in the Maine House before being placed in limbo by the Maine Senate, where Democrats defeated the proposal.

Read More:

2/16/12:  Wrangling Over Budget Continues in Maine Legislature

The Maine House at this hour is debating a budget plan that revamps many of the state's Medicaid programs for low-income Mainers. The version that emerged from the Appropriations Committee is a significant departure from the proposal originally submitted by Gov. Paul LePage and includes a tax on claims under the Dirigo Health program that is opposed by many Republicans. A House amendment promises to address those concerns, but now some Senate Democrats say they won't go along with the compromise.

Read More: The Maine Public Broadcasting Network

2/14/12: Maine budget cutting plan gets first House OK

The Maine House on Tuesday gave initial approval to Medicaid cuts that are intended to help close a $120 million state budget shortfall, but the governor says they don't go far enough to cut state spending. The House vote was mainly a procedural step to get the bill in position for possible amendments before further House and Senate votes. There was no roll call taken for the vote, so it was impossible to gauge the level of support for a measure that would eventually need a two-thirds vote. There was also no immediate sign of amendments.

Read More: CBS News

2/13/12: House ponders budget votes

The House will be the chamber to watch this week as leadership in both parties count noses in advance of votes on the budget. The emergency legislation to close a $120 million immediate shortfall at the Department of Health and Human Services needs 101 votes in the House and 24 in the Senate for passage. Those in the know say the Senate will deliver.

Read More: The Kennebec Journal

Budget News and Information: Previous Budget Cycles  

6/15/11: $6.1 billion state budget given preliminary approval in Legislature

Lawmakers gave preliminary approval Wednesday to a two-year, $6.1 billion budget bill that aims to reduce the tax burden on Maine families while trimming spending and reforming the state’s pension system.

Read More: Bangor Daily News

6/15/11: Maine Lawmakers Reject Governor's Budget Amendment on Welfare

Gov. Paul LePage's $6.1 billion state budget is working its way through the 125th Maine Legislature in a process that could stretch well into the evening. Although the two-year spending blueprint received unanimous bipartisan support in the Legislature's Appropriations Committee, a number of amendments were offered today in the Maine House.

Read More: MPBN

6/15/11: Maine highway budget in play in State House

A Maine transportation budget that would eliminate indexing of fuel taxes will save motorists $5.26 million a year starting in mid-2012.

Read More: NECN

6/10/11: Panel agrees on $6.1B state budget in Maine

A spokeswoman says Maine Gov. Paul LePage is "encouraged" by $6.1 billion budget that emerged from the Legislature's Appropriations Committee.

Read More: Bloomberg Businessweek

6/6/11: Maine budget writers get closer to accord

Maine lawmakers are inching toward agreement on a $6.1 billion state budget for the two years starting July 1.

Read More: Bloomberg Businessweek

6/6/11: Legislative Leaders Vote to Cut Maine Legislature's Budget

The Legislature's budget approved by the body's leaders is $8.3 million less than what Gov. Paul LePage has proposed.

Read More: MPBN

6/2/11: Maine Budget Talks Drag on as Session Nears End

The Legislature's Appropriations Committee continues to struggle with how to reduce the state's pension system costs.

Read More: MPBN

5/31/11: Maine lawmakers spend day in closed-door meetings on $6.1 billion budget

With just two weeks left in the 2011 legislative session, Republican and Democratic negotiators are still attempting to reach common ground on a handful of politically charged issues that likely will dominate debate on the state budget.

Read More: Bangor Daily News


4/28/11: Maine lawmakers face final weeks with big workload

The novelty of having a new Republican-led government is wearing off and the governor has said it's time to get down to business. With the 2011 session now half over, lawmakers returning from a week off face a mountain of work before a mid-June adjournment.

Read More: Fosters

4/27/11: Maine lawmakers learn revenues will be down $47 million

Maine lawmakers crafting the next two-year budget have been told that revenues are expected to shrink by another $47 million.

Read More: Bangor Daily News

4/20/11: LePage signs $65M revised state budget

A revised Maine state budget that covers a $65 million gap between revenues and spending is now law.

Read More: Bangor Daily News

4/17/11: Republican seek to simplify state taxes; Dems say cuts will lead to larger deficit

The debate over taxes soon will take center stage in the Legislature as lawmakers on the budget-writing committee take up competing proposals to lower Mainers’ tax burdens.

Read More: Bangor Daily News

4/15/11: $65M Maine revised supplemental budget passes House, Senate, sent to governor for signature

Maine's House and Senate have passed a $65 million supplemental budget, sending it to Gov. Paul LePage for his signature.

Read More: Canadian Business Online

4/15/11: Appropriations Committee gets some good budget news

After weeks of testimony uncovering increased budget needs, members of the Legislature’s budget writing committee got some good news Friday. The state retirement system needs $85 million less than what it now is allocated in the proposed budget.

Read More: Bangor Daily News

4/14/11: Lawmakers approve emergency spending bill

Lawmakers gave overwhelming approval to the second emergency budget to pay bills due in the current budget year that ends June 30. Gov. Paul LePagesaid the changes made by lawmakers are acceptable and he expects to sign the bill.

Read More: Bangor Daily News

4/12/11: Retirement age increase before Maine lawmakers

Maine lawmakers are taking up proposals aimed at easing a looming debt in Maine's pension system -- including a bill to raise the retirement age from 62 to 65 for new hires.

Read More: Bloomberg Business Week 

4/11/11: Maine Lawmakers Take up State Pension Debt

When Gov. Paul LePage's financial advisors sat down with the chief executive to craft a $6 billion, two-year state budget, they made restructuring the state pension system a major priority.

Read More: Main Public Broadcasting Network

3/18/11: ‘Death tax’ debate hits halls of State House

Debate over the “death tax” is heating up in the State House as lawmakers consider proposals to change or eliminate the taxes levied on family members who inherit valuable estates, farms and businesses.

Read More: Bangor Daily News

3/15/11: Governor sticks by Maine budget veto threat

A Democratic leader of the Appropriations Committee denounced Maine Republican Gov. Paul LePage's threat to veto a budget that doesn't include what he wants, saying she's "not sure if this kind of rhetoric helps us with the process."

Read More: Bloomberg BusinessWeek

2/28/11: Hearings begin on $6.1B LePage budget

Hearings on Gov. Paul LePage's $6.1 billion budget package opened today with a focus on taxes, and advocates were quick to weigh in with support for a package they said will stimulate business, while opponents said it would foist unfair burdens on those who can afford it least.

Read more: The Portland Press Herald

2/11/11: Governor LePage’s Proposed Biennial Budget for 2012-2013

2/10/11: Budget Address from Gov. Paul LePage

2/17/11: Schools face loss of state funding

For weeks, school superintendents around Maine have been waiting to hear how much, or how little, money their districts are likely to get in state subsidies during the next fiscal year.

Read More: Bangor Daily News

2/3/11: Stimulus funding to bridge $2.1 million general assistance gap

State health officials have come up with a plan that addresses an estimated $2.1 million reduction in state general assistance subsidy for the next fiscal year.

Read More: Bangor Daily News