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Maine Parties Tap Budget Panel Leaders

AUGUSTA, Maine - The presiding officers in the Maine Legislature have named the leaders of the budget panel that will influence the state's next two-year budget.

The Portland Press Herald reports Rep. Margaret Rotundo, a Lewiston Democrat, will lead the House budget panel while Sen. James Hamper, an Oxford Republican, will serve as Senate chairman. Republicans have the majority in the Senate and Democrats control the House.

Democrats will have majorities on 13 committees, including the budget panel. Republicans will have majorities on the Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, Marine Resources and Agriculture committees.

The committee assignments come after a November election in which Republicans made significant gains in state offices, including re-electing Gov. Paul LePage.