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( See Informational Letter #133 for update information. )




TO:                   Superintendents of Schools

FROM:             Susan A. Gendron, Commissioner

DATE:              May 26, 2005

RE:                    Important General Purpose Aid (GPA) Update

            Shortly after I sent Informational Letter #131 regarding the People’s Veto Referendum there were two new developments which may lessen the possibility of a reduction in General Purpose Aid (GPA).  

            President of the Senate Beth Edmonds and Speaker of the House John Richardson directed each of the legislative policy committees to require Commissioners to present a proposal to reduce spending within their respective jurisdictions by five percent.   The memo specifically mentioned the possibility of excluding or reducing the amount for specific line items such as GPA.   Each of the legislative committees will present its recommendations to the Joint Standing Committee on Appropriations and Financial Affairs next Tuesday, May 31, 2005.

            On Wednesday, May 25, 2005 Governor John Elias Baldacci announced his plan to withdraw the borrowing plan to balance the FY ’06 and FY ’07 budget.   The Governor directed all Commissioners to develop recommendations to achieve reductions in state agencies.   The Governor and leaders of both parties have indicated a desire not to include reductions to GPA in the plan to balance the budget.   The legislature must adjourn by June 15, 2005 by statute, thus a plan for balancing the budget must be achieved quickly.  

            I will continue to keep you apprised of developments in the budget process as they occur.