Pandemic Revenue Loss Could Lead To Big Cuts In State Government
According to WGME, Governor Janet Mills has ordered most State of Maine department heads to come up with 10% cuts to offset the revenue loss brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.
She has given affected departments until August 19th to submit proposals to her administration.
A letter from the commissioner of the Maine Department of Administrative and Financial Services said, in part:
"Due to the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Maine state government will have to make significant fiscal changes for both the current year and the upcoming biennium"
The recommendations would be used by Mills to issue "curtailment" orders.
According to the KJ:
"Curtailing is the practice of reserving funding appropriated by the Legislature, rather than spending it, so that if a budget shortfall occurs, the reserved funding may be used to cover the shortfall and ensure that the State budget remains in balance as required by the Maine Constitution."
Maine's projected revenue is down more than $500 million of the 2021 fiscal year alone and it is projected the state could see a $1 BILLION deficit over the next three years.
Governor Mills has already done a few things to limit the shortfall. She put a hiring freeze in effect when the first state of emergency was declared in March. Additionally, the Maine Department of Administrative and Financial Services memo detailed a 5% reduction in highway funding - money that would normally be used for road and bridge repair.
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