LePage's administration has presented a budget

Maine State House at Augusta, Maine

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) Governor Paul LePage's administration has presented a $6.8 billion dollar budget to legislative legislators.

LePage wants to make big changes to Maine's tax structure and school funding formula, cut welfare programs, and institute a statewide teacher contract. The governor said lawmakers lack the courage for such proposals, which include a flat income tax of 5.75 percent by 2020 and expanding the sales tax to more products, like movie tickets. Republican legislative leaders Monday said they're open to delving into LePage's ideas. Democratic leaders say they'll prioritize tax cuts for the middle class and reducing poverty. LePage said his proposals address his worries about the minimum wage hike and an income surtax on high earners that voters approved in November.