Maine negotiators revamp budget plan

Posted May 18, 2009, at 7:50 p.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — Maine state budget negotiators have reversed course and scrapped a plan to impose a one-time 5 percent pay cut on state workers.

Instead, legislative budget bargainers with the support of Gov. John Baldacci’s administration have moved back to a plan that would rely on government shutdown days — 10 in each of the coming two years — to save close to $14 million.

Senate President Elizabeth Mitchell said Monday the change came in response to complaints over the proposed pay cut from state employees.

The revised package would also freeze merit pay and longevity pay for additional savings of close to $12 million more and introduce employee contributions for health insurance.

Baldacci’s two-year general fund spending plan totals close to $6 billion.