A budget showdown is happening in Augusta

Maine State House at Augusta, Maine
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AUGUSTA, ME (AP) - Maine legislative leaders are no closer to a budget deal after an hours-long meeting over the weekend.

A state government shutdown could begin Independence Day weekend.

A major sticking point is an extra 3 percent tax on higher earners that voters approved in November to fund public K-12 classrooms.

House Republican Minority Leader Ken Fredette's spokesman said the caucus wants education reforms instead of a "pile of cash" for Maine's primary teachers union.

Fredette also wants the total budget below $7 billion in line with Republican Gov. Paul LePage's $6.8 billion, two-year proposal.

Republican Senate President Michael Thibodeau proposed eliminating the tax and providing part of the educational funding sought by Democrats.

Democratic House Speaker Sara Gideon's spokeswoman says such a deal would likely exceed $7 billion.

Thibodeau's spokesman said budget talks will continue Monday.