Document Type



This is Governor John Baldacci.

I would like to begin this week’s radio address by offering a word of congratulations again to our new President, Barack Obama.

President Obama was inaugurated in Washington this past Tuesday just after noon, making history.

January 20th was the culmination of more than two years of campaigning that invigorated millions of young voters and inspired hope among Americans and others around the world.

His campaign, his comments since being elected, have largely revolved around the theme of “change.” We have got to change the way we are doing business.

The new President and his administration, he says that Americans can expect to see a lot of change throughout his first term.

Here in Maine, we will be undergoing more change as well.

A couple of weeks ago, I presented the Legislature my proposal for the next biennial budget.

We are facing a national economic crisis – the worst recession since the Great Depression. State revenues are down while the cost of products and services continue to rise.

It is my legal responsibility to present a balanced budget to the Legislature and people of Maine every two years.

Just like in a household budget, when the State’s income does not match the State’s expenditures, you have to do one of two things: cut spending, or increase revenues, or both.

For the next two-year budget, the discrepancy between revenues and spending was about $838 million dollars. And in order to close the budget gap, I faced those two paths.

Now is not the time to raise broad-based taxes to balance our State budget.

Families are struggling. Higher sales or income taxes are not the answer.

Instead, I made the decision to change.

To propose changes to the administration of our government, the way they do things, the way services are delivered to the Mainers who need them, and the way government is delivering it to our citizens.

We must work to prepare our State for recovery. It requires a shared sacrifice now and a commitment to work together for the greater good.

We cannot tolerate unnecessary spending in this time of economic crisis. Every part of the budget has been closely examined and scrutinized.

My proposal for the 2-year budget is about $200 million dollars less than the previous budget.

This will be the first time in at least 35 years that a biennial budget has been smaller than its predecessor.

Although cuts need to be made, we have made them carefully, keeping in mind the best interests of the people of our State.

I have made it a priority to keep our State safe by maintaining the staffing levels of our first responders and front line law enforcement;

I made it a priority to protect our most vulnerable citizens – our children, elderly and disabled;

And I made it a priority to continue investments in our areas our State needs in order to grow – such as research and development, and investments in our children and our grandchildren’s future.

Now I know there have been – and will continue to be disagreements with ideas that I have proposed.

I am already working with members of the Legislature on alternative ideas, and I will on continue to listen to other ideas as they are brought to the table.

So I encourage you, the citizens of our State, if you have questions…ask them. If you have concerns…raise them.

This will be a difficult time.

Many of the proposals are going to have real impacts and will test us as a people and as a State.

But the sacrifices will be shared across all of Maine.

And this is a time when we need to pull together.

We have been through tough times before. Our grandparents and parents went through the Great Depression and world wars and we pulled through.

And we are going to be able to do it again … together … stronger … and holding true to the ideals that make us, our families, our State special.

As Martin Luther King said, we are not judged in times of tranquility, but in times of adversity.

So now is the time to step forward, make the tough choices, build a new foundation, a new way of doing things, for not only ourselves but for future generations.

We can do it…and I am sure of it.

I want to thank you for listening and please have a nice day.

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.