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Maine taxpayers have a right to a state government they can trust and afford.

Hi. This is Governor Paul LePage.

When I was handed a $1 billion dollar deficit I promised the people of Maine I would close the budget gap with no new taxes or fee increases. This is a promise I kept because Maine families simply can’t afford more job-killing tax increases.

In an effort to create a more affordable government I have asked my commissioners to examine their departments and programs to set and meet goals designed to ensure tax dollars are spent wisely.

Spending reduction targets have been created for state agencies receiving taxpayer dollars. Commissioners are encouraged to look at all possible options for achieving savings, including the elimination of administrative red tape and other functions that are determined to be excessive, redundant and inefficient.

In order to take a close look at where your money is going state government must move toward a zero-based budgeting system. By starting from the bottom we will be able to track and locate what is working and what isn’t.

In June, I signed the budget which called for a task force to be formed. The 12-member group is named the, “Streamline and Prioritize Core Government Services Task Force.” Simply put, their goal is to find at least $25 million in government savings, and quite frankly I expect it to be four times that amount.

The bipartisan team is made up of knowledgeable folks who are familiar with the task at hand. Sawin Millett, Commissioner of the Department of Administrative and Financial Services serves as committee chair and there is representation from each side of the aisle as well as an independent.

There is no doubt their work will be daunting, but each person is committed to the job.

In December, the task force is expected to have its recommendations complete. At that time they will be reported to the Committee on Appropriations and Financial Affairs.

For too long, Mainers have footed the bill for duplicated government programs and purchasing, questionable travel reimbursements and departments that have little to show for the millions in tax dollars they receive. It’s time to identify the waste and abuse of your tax dollars.

We will create a better Maine for our children and grandchildren and you have my word I am working to make that happen.

Family is my first priority and that’s why I would also like to remind you that Saturday is a Day of Prayer and Fasting for our Nation.

This is a time of reflection. A time to pray for our families, give thanks to our parents and hug our children.

It is a time to think about the values in which our great Nation was built upon and reflecting on the direction our Nation is headed in.

On August 6th, I encourage us also to all pray for our troops who tirelessly fight in the defense of our Country. Family and our Freedoms should never be taken for granted.

We are a Nation that has hit a troubling era and praying for the strength to do what is right for our people is the right thing to do.

Thank you for listening. Ann and I hope you enjoy the weekend and pause for a moment to pray for our Nation.

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