Friday April 20, 2012 | 10:11 AM

When they return May 15, lawmakers will need to deal with 73 pending bills, quite a bit more work than a simple budget vote.

In addition to the Department of Health and Human Services budget, there are 48 bills on the Appropriations Table. That means they've gotten almost all the way through the process, but they cost money, so they need an additional OK from the Appropriations Committee before they go back to the Senate for a final vote.

Those bills include:

L.D. 849, which proposes to reduce the income tax to 4 percent over a period of time

L.D. 1237, a bill to prohibit bullying and cyberbullying in schools

L.D. 1469, a measure to allow charitable fraternal and veterans' organizations to have slot machines

L.D. 1840, a bill that limits MaineCare reimbursement for methadone treatment

In recent years, many of the bills that have ended up on the Appropriations Table have been killed by the committee. Lawmakers often find creative ways to avoid having them end up there because they know the odds aren't in their favor. Time will tell if this year's crop of bills meet a different fate.

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Open Season is your guide to the 2014 campaign. Our team of political writers has its sights set on Maine’s major elections, from the Blaine House to the U.S. Capitol.

Steve Mistler is covering the 2014 governor's race. He covers politics and government for the Portland Press Herald. He spends a lot of time in the hallways of the State House.
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Eric Russell is covering Independent Eliot Cutler during the 2014 governor's race. He is a general assignment reporter for the Portland Press Herald.
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On Twitter: @pphericrussell

Matt Byrne is covering Republican Paul LePage during the 2014 governor's race. He covers Falmouth, Cumberland, North Yarmouth, Yarmouth and Freeport for the Portland Press Herald.
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On Twitter: @mattbyrnePPH

Randy Billings is covering Democrat Mike Michaud during the 2014 governor's race. He covers Portland City Hall for the Portland Press Herald.
Randy can be reached at 791-6346 or
On Twitter: @randybillings

Kevin Miller is covering Maine's U.S. Senate race and 1st Congressional District race. He covers politics and government for the Portland Press Herald.
Kevin can be reached at 317-6256 or
On Twitter: @kevinmillerdc

Michael Shepherd is covering Maine's 2nd Congressional District race. He is a news and State House reporter for the Kennebec Journal.
Michael can be reached at 621-5632 or
On Twitter: @mikeshepherdME

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