Governor's Budget Brings Bright Spots to Education and Tax Relief for Working Families

February 11, 2011

Augusta, Maine – Today, details on the FY 2012/2013 biennial budget were released. For the complete budget report visit http://www.maine.gov/budget/budgetinfo/2012biennial.htm

The biennial budget focuses on several issues including reforming the state pension system, enacting needed welfare reforms and providing tax cuts for Maine job-creating small businesses and working families.

As the Governor promised during his campaign, there are no tax increases. In fact, Governor LePage was given a standing ovation from the Joint Convention when he spoke about a reduction in taxes. “240,000 families in Maine will see a savings as a result of the tax cut we propose,” he said.

The Governor’s plan also makes infrastructure improvements without borrowing money, creates a more affordable state workforce and increases aid to education.

“Reforms to our pension liabilities make it possible to increase state aid to local education by $63 million over the biennium from the state aid provided in FY 2011,” said Governor LePage. “In 2013 we will contribute $914 million to General Purpose Aid to Education.”

According to the National Governors Association, Democrat Governors this year have already released budgets slashing funding in major areas of state government. California, Oregon, Massachusetts and New York have made significant cuts to higher education, an area Governor LePage has preserved in the upcoming two-year budget. “They recognize as do I that government must change and begin to live within its means.”

Thursday Governor Paul LePage presented the Budget Address before a Joint Session of the 125th Maine Legislature. House Speaker Robert Nutting said the Governor’s leadership will be critical. “There are no easy answers to the challenges Maine faces. Governor LePage has laid out a vision that shows his serious commitment to fiscal responsibility, and his proposals are founded in core beliefs that we all share. We need to lift the burden of debt from future generations, we need to improve our business climate so jobs can be created, and we need to make sure money spent on education makes it to the classroom as efficiently as possible,” Speaker Nutting said.