majority party passes a budget without needing any minority party votes and immediately adjourns in
order that the budget takes effect on July 1 st , the start of the next fiscal year. Sen. Mary Andrews, Rep.
David Ott, and I sat in our respective chambers after midnight, March 30, 2005, when the Democratic
party, including Rep. Janet Mills, considered and approved such a majority budget, borrowing 447
million dollars through a legislative revenue bond to balance the budget. A recall referendum
Republican effort, led in part by Sen. Peter Mills, forced Gov. John Baldacci to call a summer special
session to balance the budget without borrowing money.
In 2011, Republican legislative leadership in both chambers adopted a traditional approach and worked
with Democrats to approve a 2/3rds budget to present to Gov. Paul Lepage. This year the Democrats
with Gov. Janet Mills and Rep. Patty Hymanson on the Appropriations Committee have gone back to the
more controversial method. I suspect later changes through “budget supplements”, may take place
without the critical scrutiny given the initial budget.
With all of the rancor we have seen in national politics in recent years, I am writing to local readers as a
reminder that bi-partisanship is just as critical in Maine as it is in Washington for us to address the
challenges of providing programs and services that improve our lives. No single political party holds a
lock on the best approach in addressing needs, and everyone must realize that no public official uses a
magic wand in balancing needs with limited resources (the taxes we must pay).
Bradley S. Moulton,