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Tim Belcher

Budget: First Responses

Here's a good first look at the budget from WLBZ/WCSH:

The main opposition so far seems to be focused on the plans to fire a large number of state employees and to transfer some inmates in the Maine prison system to private, out-of-state institutions.

Susan Cover adds up the state jobs lost in this article in the Kennebec Journal. You can see Tim Belcher, the executive director of the Maine State Employees Association, respond to the cuts in the clip above, where he predicts that they "will result in lives being shattered."

The prison plan is similar to one that was rejected by the legislature in 2007, and there's already been pushback from some Democratic legislators and the Maine Civil Liberties Union.

The Republicans, on the other hand, seem to be quietly supportive of the Baldacci plan so far.

There's still a long way to go on this one and the budget that actually passes may look very different from the governor's current proposal.