AUGUSTA, Maine — Veteran lawmakers on the Maine Legislature’s Appropriations Committee say they see their challenge to balance a state budget facing a $140 million shortfall as an opportunity.
They made the remarks Monday as the committee began work on revisions to the budget for the present fiscal year, which ends June 30.
The package advanced last month by Gov. John Baldacci would eliminate 94 positions, including 40 layoffs, mostly in the Corrections Department.
Democratic Rep. John Martin of Eagle Lake and Republican Rep. Sawin Millet of Waterford both see the work ahead as an opportunity. Millet says revisions in the present budget could strongly influence those to be made in the next two-year budget, which faces a shortfall of more than $800 million.