Treasurer Lemoine asks for “All Deliberate Speed” as State Policy Makers seek to Rebalance the State’s Biennial Budget
January 11, 2010
State Treasurer David Lemoine on Friday asked legislators to act with “all deliberate speed” as they consider Governor Baldacci’s plan for rebalancing the State’s budget. Lemoine testified at the public hearings being held on the Governor’s Supplemental Budget bill. Those public hearings are expected to continue through mid-January as legislative committees continue to hear comments on the proposed budget changes.
“I have full confidence in the collective wisdom of the legislature to evaluate, adjust and timely enact a supplemental budget measure,” said the Treasurer, noting that budget changes will be needed to create the “sustainable cash flows that are critical to the State of Maine’s fiscal health.” “Although we are in the same difficult times that are challenging almost every state and indeed, many other developed nations in the world, I expect that the ultimate result of the Legislature’s hearing process will be a bill consistent with our reputation as a practical people motivated by compassion, innovation and prudence in our public affairs,” Lemoine concluded.
Budget proposals that directly impact the State Treasurer's Office include eliminating of one full time position and bringing total position count for the Office down to fourteen. “The aggressive use of improved technology, process revisions and personnel cross-training have allowed this office to reduce the position count by one-third over the past five years,” said the Treasurer, “while at the same time we have placed all staff in a budget that is transparent and accountable to legislative oversight.”
Other budget changes proposed for the Office of the State Treasurer include reductions in debt service expenses resulting from clarified bond expenditure rates and from postponed tax anticipation note issuances. The anticipated use of electronic benefit transfer (EBT) cards for SSI and child support payments by the Department of Health and Human Services is expected to provide further savings, and a work group led by the Treasurer would study the expanded use of such cards across state government.