Four reports, one request

By Tony Payne | Feb 26, 2008

Augusta —



Four reports, one request















From: Tony Payne <tpayne@allianceformaine.org>
Subject: Four reports, one request
Reply: tpayne@allianceformaine.org




































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Prosperity through voter action February 26, 2008












Four reports, one request

 

#1: A layoff noted in MaineBiz (2/25/08):

Geiger, a Lewiston promotional products company that publishes the Famers' Almanac, recently laid off ten people because of what Peter Geiger, the company's executive vice president, said was a projected slowdown of orders prompted by an expected national recession and a need to maximize efficiency, according to the Sun Journal in Lewiston.

 

#2: A "dream list" for more school spending in the Sun Journal (2/26/08):

[Rumford area] Superintendent Jim Hodgkin wasn't about to reveal the "dream list" of requests for the fiscal 2009 budget at Monday's SAD 43 board meeting.

He did say, though, that if everything sought was granted, it could mean an increase of $700,000 to $800,000 over last year's $14.8 million budget.

That's not going to happen.

[SAD 43] enrollment stands at 1,516. But, Hodgkin said, this year's graduating class of 148 seniors will be replaced by only 105 freshmen in the fall. Most classes in subsequent years are also smaller. The student population at the high school is 580.



 
#3: Taxes are off the table in the Bangor Daily News (2/25/08):
"I expect the news Monday to be grim," said House Minority Leader Josh Tardy, R-Newport. "That does not change the Republican position that taxes are off the table."
 

Tardy said he could see a need for discussion about Rainy Day Funds. But, he added, "the issue has not been revenue. It's spending."

 

#4: Taxes are on the table in the Kennebec Journal (2/25/08)
[Sen. Joseph Brannigan of Portland] said that legislators should draw on state reserves, or raise taxes and fees, to make sure the state's most vulnerable residents are looked after.

 

One Request

It's hard to miss the point that the private sector nearly always makes the tough decisions to keep their businesses healthy. However, the public sector too often waits and wishes despite seeing the freight train coming straight at them.

 

The Governor has said he wants to engage legislators in a conversation about Maine's priorities. You need to inform that conversation. Tell your legislators what you want them to do and tell them that you'll be watching and keeping score - otherwise, expect a tax increase, higher fees creative accounting and a return to the undisputed position of having the highest tax burden in the nation and an economy that may not participate in the eventual recovery from the anticipated recession.

 

To contact your legislators or the Governor now, go to:


 

 

That's what we mean by Prosperity through voter action. We believe in Maine and we believe in you. Please, pass this along to your friends, family, co-workers, vendors and customers and ask them to do the same. Thanks!

 

Tony Payne

Executive Director


 

P.S. If you want to contribute to the Alliance, click here. We'd really appreciate it!

 

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Cut government costs before programs 

 

This week, the Blethen Newspapers have run a three-part series (Links to Part one, Part two and Part three) on the state budget detailing where cuts are proposed to help close the $200M budget gap. They highlight the real and desperate circumstances many face under the scenarios that have been suggested - and they are not pretty. Lacking in the discussion, however, are the desperate circumstances of those who are over-taxed from over-spending.

 

It seems that no discussion of cuts involves either layoffs of state workers or even contributions by state workers to their health care and retirement benefit plans. Why should those most in need take the hit when those who provide services do not? If state workers paid just 10% of their health care and dental insurance premiums, it would save $11.9 million in one year.

 

Here's another question: What ever happened to the computer programmers and their managers who failed to produce a working Medicaid reimbursement system at a cost to Maine taxpayers of more than $50 million? At the time, they were to be re-deployed elsewhere in state government. Should government workers prosper while taxpayers don't?

 

Why should the Legislature's staff receive $1.2 million in pay and benefit raises over the next two years while needy families face cuts in assistance? Quoting the Blethen article:

 

"One of the most controversial proposals would save the state $1.2 million by keeping an estimated 13,000 households like Houser and her 2-year-old daughter, who receive Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, from getting general assistance, starting this summer."

 

Government must look within itself to cut expenses before it removes the safety net for the most vulnerable.



About the Alliance for Maine's Future


The Alliance for Maine's Future was formed in 2001 by Maine business leaders to 'Improve the Economic Opportunities for All Maine People'. A non-profit, non-partisan grassroots entity, AMF provides free education services designed to help employers and employees make informed choices when voting for state legislative candidates.

In addition, the affiliated AMF Maine Prosperity PAC recruits and supports candidates for the Legislature who are experienced, thoughtful people willing to listen to both sides of an issue. They appreciate that both Maine's natural and economic environments are essential to enhancing the quality of life for all Maine people.

To learn more about the Alliance, go to: www.allianceformaine.org or call us 207.620.7060. To financially support the Alliance in its education mission, click here!





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