Tax Increase Divides Lawmakers 

Governor Baldacci and fellow Democrats are praising the passage of legislation to continue funding the Dirigo Health Insurance Program.

Part of the money will come from a tax increase for business owners on beer, wine and soda.

The Governor says the bill’s approval means about 18,000 Mainers can continue being covered under a health insurance plan they can afford.

The vote passed along strict party lines.

Republican lawmakers are criticizing the passge, saying this increase will only burden Maine taxpayers even more.

There is now talk of a people’s veto.

The new legislation goes into effect 90 days following the end of the legislative session.