March 29, 2010

Revised budget with lower cuts heads for debate

The Associated Press

AUGUSTA — A state budget revision that reduces cuts for schools and the state's social services agency will be taken up this week by the House and Senate with little of the political rancor that seems to dominate debate on the national stage.

The Appropriations Committee unanimously approved the revision.

"Democrats and Republicans have been able to put aside partisanship and work together to put Maine on the right track," Democratic Gov. John Baldacci said in his weekend radio address.

Improved revenues and greater-than-anticipated federal funding have recently brightened the revenue picture.

As a result, reductions to programs will be less severe than expected if the budget passes.

A $68 million cut that had been proposed for the Department of Health and Human Services is reduced to $22 million in the new budget, and the $73 million cuts to public schools would be trimmed to $47 million.


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