In 2002 when Governor Angus King left office the State was seeing red—big time. He left a billion-dollar structural deficit for the next administration. Today, all of that is nearly eliminated.
Mainers who rack up debt and fail to pay it are adversely affected with poor credit scores and sometimes sued for payment. This impacts their ability to buy a car, apply for a loan or a mortgage, and it can even prevent them from renting an apartment.
Interest rates will also be very high for someone with bad credit. High debt can also harm a state’s credit rating, so it’s important to maintain fiscal responsibility in state government.
There has been a billion-dollar reduction in the State of Maine’s General Fund structural gap since I took office six years ago. Today, it’s down to about $150 million. This marks the single lowest structural gap in the last 16 years. We have proven that significant, ongoing reforms—not one-time gimmicks—get real results for the Maine people.
The same goes for my current budget proposal. You won’t find gimmicks or political foolishness to save money. The executive branch is essentially flat-funded, and I have kept my promise to lower the income tax for all hard-working Mainers. My tax relief plan puts more than $565 million back where it belongs—in Mainers’ paychecks.
Our administration has achieved savings through better fiscal management over the years. It’s why we are able to provide more tax relief, as well as better care for our elderly and disabled.
The Department of Health and Human Services saved $100 million within the department. This savings allows us to help our elderly and disabled who now make up 42 percent of our MaineCare population. My budget provides more funding to Medicare.
We also are able to eliminate one of the waitlists for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. By eliminating this waitlist, we are able to provide more than $12 million in programs and services.
Good financial management and limited state spending enables government to protect Mainers. My budget is not designed to please liberal politicians in Augusta or the special interests that live off state funding.
My budget reduces taxes to put hard-working Mainers first. More importantly, my budget prioritizes our most vulnerable citizens, especially our senior citizens.
Finally, the majority of jobs that have been cut are vacant positions dating back from 2008 to 2015. If state jobs are vacant for multiple years, why do we need them?
I urge all Mainers to contact their legislators. Tell them you want to cut taxes, reduce the size of government and take care of our seniors. The only special interest they should listen to is you.