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Committee Approves Budget Package 

The Maine Legislature’s budget-reviewing

committee has approved a spending package for the current fiscal

year that closes a gap that’s grown to $166 million.

Legislative leaders say the Appropriations Committee voted

unanimously to OK a plan to balance the budget for the year ending

in June. The committee’s recommendation now goes to the full

Legislature.

Senate President Elizabeth Mitchell says the budget contains

difficult cuts to almost all areas of government. But Mitchell says

that while the pain is shared, state government remains can carry

out its fundamental missions.

Gov. John Baldacci congratulated the committee for completing

its work in a bipartisan fashion.

Lawmakers must later turn their attention to the budget for the

two years starting July 1.