Budget Task Force Reaches its $25 Million Goal

November 29, 2011

Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Contact: Adrienne Bennett (207) 287-2531

AUGUSTA – Since August, the “Streamline and Prioritize Core Government Services Task Force” has made considerable progress to identify and suggest ways to streamline state spending. On Monday, the group, often referred as the streamlining task force, announced it has achieved its goal and will present its recommendations to the Committee on Appropriations and Financial Affairs by December 15, 2011.

PL 2011, chapter 380, Part KKK established the Streamline and Prioritize Core Government Services Task Force. The task force is charged with undertaking a comprehensive analysis of departments and agencies with the goals of prioritizing services, consolidating functions and eliminating duplication and inefficiencies in order to achieve on-going General Fund savings of at least $25 million in fiscal year 2012-13.

As decisions have been made, the results have been posted on the Bureau of the Budget website. The twelve-member task force located a total of $24.7 million from various state agencies and an additional $425 thousand from general fund revenue over the biennium. Overall, achieved savings total $25,163,223.

Commissioner Millett, who chairs the task force, was confident they would be able to reach the goal. “While it was a daunting assignment, we were able to focus on the task and ultimately offer solutions that will put us in better fiscal shape moving forward,” he said. “There were many long hours that each member put into this and I want to thank them for their dedication and hard work which was voluntary.”

“I’m pleased by the effort the task force has shown throughout this process,” said Governor Paul LePage. “We have made progress to identify functions that will maximize efficiency and that’s the direction this administration will continue to work toward. As we face fiscal challenges, we must keep our focus on the cost and benefit of state programs.”

Governor Paul LePage appointed a bipartisan team of seven of the twelve-member task force. Members include: George Kerr, a former Democratic lawmaker and Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee chair; Joe Bruno, former House Republican Leader and President of Community Pharmacies; Sue Charron, Director of Social Services for the City of Lewiston; Phil Harriman, a former legislator and business consultant; former Central Maine Power Co. CEO David Flanagan, David Winslow of the Maine Hospital Association, and former finance commissioner under Gov. John Baldacci Ryan Low.

Four legislators are on the team as well: Sen. Richard Rosen, R-Bucksport; Sen. Dawn Hill, D-York; Rep. John Martin, D-Eagle Lake; and Rep. Dennis Keschl, R-Belgrade. All are members of the Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee.