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Maine Governor Baldacci Pins Budget Hopes on Second Stimulus

1 min readBy: Joseph Bishop-Henchman

Governor Baldacci of Maine wished upon a Christmas star when he put together his budget proposal:

Gov. John Baldacci this week will submit a budget calling for more than $400 million in cuts and spending shifts based on assumptions Congress will pass an additional stimulus plan and extend federal aid to the states.[…]

The state’s Consensus Economic Forecasting Commission findings are the basis for the work of the revenue forecasting committee, and the economic forecast is based on the assumption Congress will pass another $200 billion in stimulus programs and provide additional direct aid to the states through picking up a greater share of the cost of the Medicaid program.

“That’s a political assumption,” said Sen. Richard Rosen, R-Bucksport, the GOP senator on the panel. “And there are economic assumptions they have made, and that is what we will have to deal with.”

The article mentions several times that the revenue forecasting process is based in state law, as if that excuses it for being totally unrealistic or as if that requires every penny be spent. Spending beyond revenues got states into this predicament, so assuming more spending beyond revenues isn’t exactly a viable solution.