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Revenue sharing bill wins initial OK in Maine

AUGUSTA (AP) -- Maine's Democratic-controlled House has given early approval to a bill that would restore $40 million in revenue sharing to the state's cities and towns.

The House voted 114-21 on Thursday in support of the bill that would take $21 million from the state's rainy day fund and $4 million from a fund aimed for future income tax decreases to pay the state's municipalities. The measure would also be paid for through new revenues the state is projected to receive.

Democrats say further cuts to revenue sharing will cause cities and towns to slash services and raise property taxes.

But Republicans and Gov. Paul LePage's administration say taking money out of the rainy-day fund which will hurt the state's bond credit rating and a better solution should be worked out.