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Rep. Kathleen Chase (R-Wells)
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For Immediate Release

Date: 01/16/14

Republican Appropriators Support Spending Reductions

Hearing held on budget office recommendations ordered by last budget

AUGUSTA - The Maine Legislature's Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee on Thursday afternoon is hearing public testimony on spending reduction recommendations put forward by the Office of Policy and Management (OPM).

The recommendations were required as a part of the state's biennial budget passed last summer. The Legislature tasked OPM with finding $33,750,000 worth of spending reductions as a part of balancing the budget for fiscal years 2014 and 2015. The executive branch will implement $11,250,000 of the savings by financial order while the legislature must approve the remaining $22,500,000.

Democrats initially rejected the recommendations they asked for when they were introduced in the fall.

"The state has a spending problem, and we must be willing to find the political courage to do something about it," said Rep. Kathleen Chase (R-Wells), the ranking House Republican on the Appropriations Committee. "What Director Rosen has offered is a viable option."

"We hear a lot of recommendations for raising taxes from the Democrats, but I have yet to hear them get onboard with reducing spending," said Rep. Tom Winsor (R-Norway), of the committee. "Republicans made an enormous compromise to pass a budget that contained revenue increases, and Democrats must own up to their commitment to find savings as well."

"These recommendations are responsible ideas for containing the increasing growth of state government," said Rep. Tyler Clark (R-Easton).

"Nobody is going to agree one hundred percent with a spending cut package, but part of governing is doing the right thing for the state and the taxpayers as a whole," added Rep. Dennis Keschl (R-Manchester).

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David Sorensen
Maine House Republicans
Tel: (207) 205-7793