AUGUSTA — Democrats and Republicans on the Legislature’s Appropriations Committee have tentatively agreed to several changes to the proposed state budget, including the elimination of an additional 2 percent contribution by state employees to the state retirement system.

As budget negotiations continue, the committee tackled major lines in the budget that affect active and retired state employees and teachers.

Gov. Paul LePage had proposed to cap cost-of-living increases for retirees at 2 percent, but the committee set the cap at 3 percent. They agreed to a three-year freeze on the COLA, but are working to set aside funds to help ease the burden in future years.

Also, the committee agreed to a two-year salary freeze for state employees and ordered a study to reform public pensions.

The committee reserved the right to revisit any of the items, but committee leaders say they will now move on to negotiations on cuts in the Department of Health and Human Services and tax cuts.