Lawmakers to Debate $5.8 Billion Budget 

House lawmakers have given the okay to go ahead with debate on a $5.8 billion state budget. They voted this morning on the general fund spending package for the next two years.The budget includes provisions for ten-day shut down days a year, where state employees would not be paid. That would save close to $14 million.Members of the Maine State Employees Association are expected demonstrate against the plan today. The package would also freeze merit pay and longevity pay to save close to $12 million more and introduce employee contributions for health insurance.