U.S. Markets closed

Maine budget rewrite gets final House, Senate OK

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) -- The Maine House and Senate have given final approval to a supplemental budget to address a $153 million shortfall in the current fiscal year, leaving only a final Senate vote pending.

Representatives voted 129-14 and senators voted unanimously Thursday to approve the budget, which balances the state's books through the end of the fiscal year June 30.

The budget addresses a downturn in revenue due to a lagging economy and higher than expected expenses in Medicaid services. The final budget keeps intact the Drugs for the Elderly program and rejects a cap on general assistance.

The budget has been sent to Gov. Paul LePage for his approval.

Now the hard work starts. The Legislature is to deliberate the details of a $6.3 billion two-year budget in the coming weeks.