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Concerned Citizens & Groups Urge Lawmakers to ‘Keep Maine Open’ UPDATED

The political impasse over the state budget brought concerned citizens and groups to the State House Monday to urge lawmakers to ‘Keep Maine Open’.

They’re asking lawmakers to negotiate a fair budget for working Maine families.

The Maine People’s Alliance and Stand Up For Students were among organizations asking for the budget to include the extra tax on the state’s highest earners for education.

Amanda Cooper, a mother and middle school teacher from Gorham, says the surtax would provide a sustainable revenue stream to fund schools.

She says public schools have been underfunded for years.

“We had a new school built about 14 years ago and we had a room for an industrial technology classroom, and we have never been able to fund an educator to run that program. So our students, my students, are missing out on that. Language programs are being cut across the state- and in a time when we need to be in a global market, we need those things,” said Cooper.

Folks at the rally also called for the budget to be resolved to prevent essential state programs from shutting down early next month.