LePage Presents 2-Year Budget Proposal 

Maine Governor Paul LePage is calling his first budget proposal a “jobs bill” that also increases aid to public schools and cuts taxes. In an address to a joint session of the House and Senate on Thursday, the Republican governor presented a broad outline of his budget priorities for the two-years starting July 1. There is no bottom line yet, but finance officials say it’s roughly equivalent to the $5.6 billion figure in the current spending package. LePage says the budget calls for changes in the state pension system that saves $524 million. Those changes include asking retirees to forego cost-of-living increases in the near term and accept modest increases in the future. He says those changes will make it possible to increase aid to local education by $63 million. (AP)