The Maine House of Representatives has failed to pass a state budget bill by the required two-thirds majority for emergency enactment.

In New Jersey, Republican Gov. Chris Christie ordered a government shutdown amid the budget impasse.

The final vote Friday evening was 87 yes and 60 no.

After the vote in the House, it was revealed by House Minority Leader Ken Fredette that a new budget would be presented by the governor.

Just before 9:00 pm, Gov. LePage tweeted, "No need to shut down govt". We can fix this. The budget that was passed Friday was far from flawless, but that is what happens when people with very different perspectives and priorities negotiate an agreement.

Phil Bartlett, chair of the Maine Democratic Party, said the shutdown is about show, not core principles.

The legislature had voted to approve the state budget, but did not reach the required 2/3 votes to override any potential LePage veto.

"But Democratic Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto opposes the plan, saying that the legislation could lead to rate hikes on the insurer's 3.8 million subscribers and that the legislation is separate from the budget".

Earlier this week, LePage said he wouldn't sign a budget that was higher than $7 billion.

Democratic House Speaker Sara Gideon says she left a late-night meeting at LePage's residence in response to his "aggressive behavior" toward her. "If they're hell-bent on bringing this budget down, then we will shut down".

While LePage will not bend on his requirement that the budget include no tax increases, she said, he has been flexible on other topics, such as adding $1.6 million to the state's education budget. "I see room for compromise".

"I will tell you this: If they put a tax increase, ready for a shutdown". Bennett said that despite rhetoric blaming LePage for the shutdown, the governor has not even had a budget before him on his desk to sign.

"I think this is a bad budget for Maine", the governor said at a news conference. Voters in November passed a measure imposing a 3 percent income tax on state residents who earn more than $200,000 a year, a measure the governor and statehouse Republicans object to.

Republican Gov. Paul LePage has announced that a shutdown would not close state parks, correctional facilities, psychiatric hospitals or law enforcement agencies.

LePage has also deemed state parks an essential service, along with the Maine Revenue Services and limited operations of the Office of Information Technology. So, they voted to shut down state government, turning a victory into defeat. Prieto said he would bar the governor from the state Assembly's chamber. TANF, SNAP and MaineCare payments will continue as usual.

In between the feuding lawmakers, hundreds of protesters who had abruptly found themselves without paychecks coming gathered at the State House to protest the shutdown. Other services, such as forest protection, are on-call.

The full effects of the shutdown haven't been felt by many yet because it's the weekend. The Office of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services will staff four emergency staff members to include one rapid responder for mental health and substance abuse crisis statewide; a data analyst to oversee the Prescription Monitoring Program; a crisis services manager for youth and adult services; and a substance abuse program specialist to handle placement of individuals in the case of an emergency. Limited unemployment benefits will be available.

The Bureau of Veterans' Services will offer limited staffing to ensure that any time-sensitive veterans' claims are processed in a timely manner.


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