House Republicans Say “No” To New Spending

 

House GOP puts forward fiscally responsible plan for any state surplus money

 This afternoon, House Republicans on the Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee opposed a new spending plan put forward by the other members of the committee.

All four House Republicans on the committee voted instead to support an amendment put forward by Rep. Jeff Timberlake (R) of Turner that would put additional state revenues in the Budget Stabilization Fund commonly known as the “Rainy Day Fund.”

The House Republican amendment:

 

  • Transfers $55.5 million from the budgeted surplus to the Budget Stabilization Fund

 

  • Language provision that changes the so-called “cascade” for Fiscal Year 2015 and 2016 only to the following:

 

From the year-end committed fund:

 

  • 90% goes into the Budget Stabilization Fund

 

Of the remaining 10% distribution will be consistent with current law:

 

  • Contingent Account up to $350,000

 

  • Transfer to Loan Insurance Reserve up to $1,000,000

 

  • Transfer to General Operating Capital of $2.5 million

 

  • Transfer to the Retiree Health Insurance Internal Service Fund $4 million

 

If there are any remaining funds after the above transfers:

 

  • 80% will be transferred into the Budget Stabilization Fund

 

  • 20% of those funds will be transferred to the Tax Relief Fund for Maine Citizens

 

“We are just 9 months into a 2-year budget that raised state spending by $315 million at some point we have to say enough is enough. It’s time we start living within our means,” said Rep. Tom Winsor, ranking House Republican on the Appropriations Committee. “We are the stewards of the taxpayer’s money. House Republicans believe we need to be fiscally responsible given the uncertainties of upcoming referendum questions and the Presidential election.”

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