This week, I’ll discuss some of our votes late in the session, including the biennial budget and the Seed Capital Tax Credit.


LearningWorks YBA Graduation

Friday morning, I had the honor of speaking at LearningWorks’ Youth Building Alternatives graduation ceremony. Twenty students took classes over nine months to earn their GED and participate in job-site skills training. It was inspiring to see these young adults who did not complete high school taking charge and investing in themselves through hard work.

Seed Capital Tax Credit

I have heard from many business owners and members of the public, both in Portland and around the state, about how important the Seed Capital Tax Credit (SCTC) program is to growing businesses here in Maine. The SCTC is designed to help Maine-based business operated by their owners secure financing. The program had been authorized to allow up to $30 million in tax credits to qualifying businesses, and it reached that statutory limit in January.


Democrats know the importance of supporting business growth to foster job creation, and we made reauthorizing funds for the SCTC a top priority. Yesterday, the House and Senate authorized bridge funding to support the program over the next several years. This is a critical program for business growth, and I am proud to support it.

Budget Veto Override

On Wednesday, legislators took the most important vote of the session: the budget veto override. In bipartisan votes, in both the House and Senate, legislators overwhelmingly rejected the governor’s veto of our bipartisan budget.

Through months of hard work and cooperation, the Legislature developed a budget that is balanced and responsible. It restores nearly two-thirds of the governor’s proposed $400 million property tax shift, while increasing funding for education and restoring prescription drug support for seniors.

In order to fund these essential programs and services, Democrats and Republicans came together to close $40 million in corporate tax loopholes, and Democrats accepted the Republican proposal to temporarily increase the sales tax by half a penny and the meals & lodging tax by one percent for two years.

By overriding this veto, we avoided a catastrophic state shutdown, which has not happened in over twenty years. A shutdown would have indefinitely put thousands of hard-working, middle-class Mainers out of work and would have suspended critical state services, like driver’s license renewals and state park maintenance.


As I have said before, this budget is not perfect, but it is a workable solution that keeps thousands of middle-class Mainers employed while ensuring vital state operations continue. This budget and our veto override speak to the spirit of Maine — cooperation and compromise always win over cynicism and irresponsibility.


Thank you for all your support, questions, comments and concerns this session. I would love to hear from you on how we did as a Senate, and how you feel I performed as your Senator.