AUGUSTA – Several conservative groups are calling on Republicans in the Maine Senate to reject a proposed budget that doesn’t include income tax cuts or significant changes to welfare programs.

Senate Republicans struck a tentative budget deal with Democrats earlier this week but House Republicans say they refuse to approve that spending plan because it doesn’t lower income taxes or overhaul welfare programs.

The Maine Heritage Policy Center and five other conservative groups said in a letter to Senate Republicans on Friday that the tentative budget deal is “simply unacceptable.” They say that Republicans need to stand firm against “allowing liberal lawmakers to preserve the status quo.”

LePage attended the House Republican caucus Friday morning to urge the caucus to remain united against the tentative budget deal.