Document Type



Good morning. This is Governor John Baldacci.

Looking back over the week’s news, it’s easy to understand why there’s so much confusion about the national and State economy.

On Tuesday, the Dow Jones Industrial average topped 10,000 for the first time in more than a year.

We also announced the good news about a new company moving to Maine, with plans to hire 125 people.

At the same time, unemployment remains too high and State revenues are not meeting projections.

Most economists believe that the national recession ended late this summer, but also think it will take several months before things stabilize.

Like most other states, revenues in Maine are under budget.

While the evidence suggests that economic expansion will take hold next year, we have to take the necessary steps to keep Maine’s financial house in order now.

So this week, I directed all State agencies to make plans to reduce spending to bring the budget back into balance.

The targets I’ve set to reduce spending are by $100 million dollars this year and $100 million dollars next year.

Already, the budget we passed early this year reduced State spending by $500 million below the last two-year budget.

Now, that’s the first time that a biennial budget has been less than its predecessor in over 30 years.

So the task I’ve laid out for my administration will be difficult.

But it’s clear we must do more – and do it without raising broad-based taxes or cutting the most vulnerable in our society.

We must find efficiencies and make the changes necessary to keep spending in line with resources.

We must continue with the reforms, and protect the gains we have already made.

We can’t afford to undo important progress, like the steps we have taken to reduce unnecessary administration in public schools.

And at the same time, we must protect the core of our safety net and critical services that government provides.

We must find ways to invest in our people so that they are prepared to take advantage of new opportunities when they emerge.

In Maine, we have shown that even during the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, we are able to balance a fair, responsible and compassionate government with the necessity of reduced spending.

It hasn’t been easy, and it’s only going to get more difficult as we move forward.

But working with the Legislature, we have demonstrated our commitment to Maine values of good government and fiscal discipline.

Almost every State has faced the same financial dilemma as Maine. What sets us apart has been our ability to work together, across party lines.

With that same type of cooperation, I am confident we can chart the best path forward.

Even now, as we work to close an anticipated budget gap, we know that a turn-around is coming.

The steps we have taken to lower the income tax rates, to improve business incentives and to safeguard our economy will leave us in a stronger position for recovery.

So on Wednesday, PlumChoice, a Massachusetts high-tech company, announced its plans to expand into Maine.

This is the first time the company has created a new Center of Excellence outside of its home state.

The competition for PlumChoice was intense.

Ten other locations were considered for the expansion, but PlumChoice picked Scarborough, Maine, because our State has a high-quality workforce and the right business incentives.

This is exactly the kind of innovative company Maine wants to attract. It’s bringing good jobs and benefits that were once outsourced to foreign companies back to the United States and to the State of Maine.

The company is growing fast. It hopes to double its revenues this year.

Hiring has already begun and the company expects to hire 125 employees by the end of this year.

Of course, one new company doesn’t mean that we’ve recovered.

But it does demonstrate that our State has the foundation to be successful.

We have created an environment that is attractive to cutting-edge companies, and that we have the workforce they need for success.

In the days and months ahead, we will face many tough decisions.

We will have to reconsider our priorities and make decisions about our values and the appropriate size of government.

And it won’t be easy. There will be disagreements.

But I know that as long as we all approach our current financial reality with an open mind and a willingness to work together, we can move forward.

That’s what Maine people expect, and that’s what we are going to do.

Thank you and have a good weekend.

Exact Creation Date






Files over 3MB may be slow to open. For best results, right-click and select "Save As"



Rights Statement

Rights Statement

No Copyright - United States. URI: http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/NoC-US/1.0/
The organization that has made the Item available believes that the Item is in the Public Domain under the laws of the United States, but a determination was not made as to its copyright status under the copyright laws of other countries. The Item may not be in the Public Domain under the laws of other countries. Please refer to the organization that has made the Item available for more information.