AUGUSTA — Dozens of protesters chanting “Protect Maine Families!” have packed the hallway outside the House and Senate chambers today to express opposition to an $83 million budget that’s expected to be approved by the Republican Legislature.

The budget eliminates MaineCare for more than 20,000 people, ends prescription drug benefits for about 1,500 elderly Mainers, and cuts state Head Start funding and other programs.

Kim Sprague of South Portland said she and her husband currently get $215 a week to help pay for childcare for their 1-year-old. She’s worried that they will lose the subsidy if the budget is approved.

“If we lose the subsidy, I will not be able to work,” she said.

Republicans who support the budget say the MaineCare program has grown considerably over the years and provides benefits not found in other states. The bill is pending in the Senate, and will need votes in both chambers before it is approved.

The budget also revives some tax cuts set aside earlier this year. It proposes to increase the pension income tax exemption from $6,000 to $10,000; give an income tax exemption for active duty military personnel for work outside the state; and provide a sales tax exemption for commercial wood harvesting, commercial greenhouse and nursery products. All of the tax cuts would start in fiscal year 2014, and will have no impact on the current budget.