AUGUSTA, Maine — A state known for a legacy of genteel politicians has resorted to borrowing tactics from Congress as budget talks stall ahead of a potential government shutdown.
Republican Gov. Paul LePage has thrown out the contentious idea of using continuous resolutions to keep state government running with short-term budgets.
In an unprecedented step, a group of six Maine lawmakers are now serving as special budget negotiators. In Congress, bipartisan “gangs” occasionally try hashing out deals.
The transparency of Maine’s budget negotiations is being questioned as politicians and journalists criticize closed-door negotiations over the U.S. Senate health care bill.
Republican Sen. Roger Katz said Maine lawmakers like Olympia Snowe and George Mitchell fought hard while recognizing a need to compromise.
LePage jumped into budget negotiations Friday by meeting with lawmakers.