Lawmakers Pass Budget 

(AP) – The Maine Legislature has given final approval to a $5.8 billion two-year state spending plan, setting the stage for Gov. John Baldacci’s signature. The House voted 119-26 Wednesday to enact the austere spending plan and the Senate voted 33-2. The budget includes deep cuts in state services affectingchildren, education and government workers. Overall, it reducesspending by 8 percent compared with the current spending package. Democratic Sen. Bill Diamond of Windham, co-chair of theAppropriations Committee, called it “the best results in the worstof times.” The final House and Senate votes came with bipartisansupport. Diamond said foster care, adoption services, property tax reliefprograms, higher education and public school aid are among theareas being cut. (Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)