AUGUSTA, Maine – Maine Democratic Party Chair Phil Bartlett released the following statement:

“I am happy to see the end of this needless government shutdown that threatened thousands of Maine workers and their families. Instead of negotiating in good faith, Governor LePage and House Republicans created chaos by forcing the government shutdown and then repeatedly moving the goalpost with ever-changing demands. Their political theater put real Maine people at risk.

“I am proud that Democrats refused to let Republicans use the government shutdown to further cut education funding. The final budget makes the biggest investment in education in our state’s history. Democrats also prevented harmful cuts to behavioral health services and secured additional funding for Head Start and the Maine Clean Elections Fund in 2018. This state budget is certainly not the one that Democrats would have written, but the worst of the Governor’s proposals were successfully blocked and Democrats made gains where possible.

“Maine Democrats have a positive vision for our state that includes increased education funding and property tax relief, as voters have repeatedly demanded. This session made clear that to fully achieve those goals we must elect a Democratic governor and Democratic majorities in both houses.”