State lawmakers in Maine, who are trying to figure out ways to cover a $248 million budget shortfall while also preserving a $30 million program to supply 7th and 8th grade students with laptop computers, have reportedly become more inclined to keep the program free of cuts after Apple late last made the winning bid for the contract. MaineToday. com is reporting that key state legislators have said the state would suffer an awkward and embarrassing PR nightmare if it were now to cut the program—a strategy that Maine Governor Angus S. King most likely had in mind when announcing Apple’s winning bid. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is also likely to provide a grant to train teachers, according to the governor’s office, which would further protect the program from budget cuts.