AUGUSTA — The Appropriations Committee made substantial progress late Wednesday night, restoring cuts to health insurance for low-income parents and childless adults and authorizing money for a new school for at-risk students in central Maine.

The committee adjourned around 1 a.m. today and will continue work on items such as funding for the Maine Public Broadcasting Network and other outstanding issues throughout the day.

The committee voted last night on merit pay and longevity for state workers. The longevity pay, which rewards workers for long-time services, will continue for those currently receiving it, but will be frozen for all others, said House Committee Chairman Patrick Flood, R-Winthrop. Merit pay will be frozen for two years.

Goodwill-Hinckley will receive $860,000 over the two-year period for a new Center of Excellence for At-Risk Students.

Sen. Richard Rosen, R-Bucksport, offered up an amendment that would use money from Dirigo Health to cover health insurance for parents who make between 133 and 200 percent of the federal poverty level. Rosen said as the country moves toward national health care in 2014, it made sense to try to find a bridge to coverage for these parents in Maine who are currently receiving health care through Medicaid.

Democrats voted out a proposal to eliminate health care for childless adults, which gained bipartisan support.

The committee also voted to transfer $10 million to the Department of Transportation over the two-year period.

Toward the end of the meeting, Rep. John Martin, D-Eagle Lake, asked to vote on a proposed $2 million-a-year cut to MPBN. Rosen said he was not yet ready to take a vote because there were several other pending issues.