Maine unveils plan to fix budget gap caused by coronavirus



PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Maine’s finance commissioner has announced a plan to bridge a half-billion dollar revenue shortfall by using a combination of federal funding, liquor sales tax receipts and cost reductions. The state is facing a projected $528 million revenue shortfall for the two years ending June 30, 2021. The Maine Department of Administrative and Financial Services says in a statement that Commissioner Kirsten Figueroa’s Wednesday proposal can avoid “deep programmatic cuts and layoffs for now.” The budget shortfall is a product of the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Figueroa’s proposal calls for about $256 million in cost reductions from state departments.