AUGUSTA, Maine — Budget negotiators in the Maine Legislature have tentatively agreed to a 5 percent across-the-board cut for all state employees effective Oct. 1.

The flat pay cut would take the place of some other proposals, avoiding furlough or shutdown days and curbs on merit pay and longevity pay.

Potential savings from the proposed pay cut are estimated at $23 million through the upcoming two-year budget cycle. Gov. John Baldacci’s overall general fund spending plan has been reduced to $5.8 billion.

Still on the table are potential changes in state employee health insurance.

Other unresolved items include dairy farmer support and back payments to hospitals.

Also still under discussion are proposals that would suspend the inflation-related indexing of state income tax brackets and let the state deviate from the federal standard deduction.

Appropriations Committee members who worked into the morning face another long day.