Maine Legislature enacts spending package

Posted Jan. 27, 2009, at 6:28 p.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — The House and Senate have enacted a supplemental state budget designed to bridge a $166 million gap between projected revenue and spending through the end of the current fiscal year.

The measure, which includes cuts in services and a $56 million withdrawal from the state’s Rainy Day Fund, was approved Tuesday by wide margins in both chambers.

Senate President Elizabeth Mitchell praised lawmakers for working in a bipartisan manner to pass a budget that makes tough cuts across state government but retains essential services that Maine people rely on.

The Legislature now shifts its focus to Gov. John Baldacci’s proposed $6.1 billion budget for the two years starting July 1. That budget seeks to bridge an $838 million gap between revenues and spending.