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Maine 2-year budget accord reached

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) -- The Maine Legislature's budget-writing committee has agreed on a two-year state budget proposal.

The bipartisan agreement reached early Friday by the Appropriations Committee will face votes by the House and Senate, likely next week. Majority Democrats say it eases the impact of a $6.3 billion spending plan introduced earlier this year by Republican Gov. Paul LePage.

The budget agreement reached Friday would temporarily increase Maine's 5-percent sales tax by a half penny and temporarily raise the state's meals and lodging tax.

The Senate's top Republican, Mike Thibodeau of Winterport, says he appreciates the committee's hard work, but he's disappointed by the tax increases that are included in the budget.

The Appropriations Committee is scheduled to take a final vote on the budget measure later Friday.