UnionMaine

Trust me, I work for the Government

If you cut the budget, the dog dies.




In the opening salvo of vicious government infighting, the Governor announced threats to cut positions in the courts, and the elimination of programs.


Do you think it is really your job that will be cut?

AUGUSTA, Maine: The governor announced that proposals to cut hundreds of state jobs and existing programs have been put on his desk. If the agencies are forced to meet the goal of at least a 10 percent cut in the coming two-year budget there will be cuts.

“We don’t know where”, the Gov. said he won’t know where or what until projected revenues are studied.

This is projected to lead to the usual infighting between departments in a vicious struggle to maintain upper management staff at the expense of public programs and employees serving the public.

Baldacci ordered, each state department to present a plan to reduce their budgets (spending) to meet the projected revenue.

The Governor has announced the usual “Scare the Public” cuts. He has suggested that there will be a need to cut

Up to 10 courthouses.

50 court employees.

16 state prosecutors.

80 faculty and staff positions in the community colleges.

Multiple community college programs.

1800 less students.

24 state troopers, four detectives and 10 game wardens.

The Governor stated these were not his ideas but the suggestions from the affected agencies. The agencies seem to be trying the usual, crying that i”Cut my budget and you won’t have the courts or the cops. Cut my budgert and you will be destroying education.

Paraphrasing statements by Finance Commissioner Ryan Low said in a real CYA statement “These are not the Governor’s ideas, the agencies made these suggestions”.

When you have to wait four hours to renew your license, or a hunting license takes six months to process due to lack of staff the governor will say “Not me”. He is letting his commissioners fight the battle rather than make the decisions that will best serve the public.

Any pet agency that can not meet the goal will expect another agency to make up the slack and take a ten, twenty or thirty percent cut in order to protect some commissioners job.

The Goal for DHHS is $400 million, made up of a $200 million increase requested this year and a $200 million cut demanded by the Governor. If we follow past history they will cut services as they cut funding to foster and adoptive children, while hiring additional management. If you know someone that needs services they can expect a cut, but at least they will be funding additional high paid positions at DHHS>

Don’t expect significant cuts to the outgo, because a big revenue generator in the DHHS, MaineCare, the state‚Äôs version of Medicaid, probably won’t be touched. Each state dollar cut means a loss of two federal dollars .

In a “The world will collapse message” the courts said that to cut $11.9 million in two years would cause the closing of up to 10 courthouses.

The courts also said that closing courts would cost the state nearly $5 million a year. What, they won’t fine me for speeding?

UMaine, after ignoring both the hiring ban and the travel ban in the last budget had not responded by Tuesday to the Governors request for a $20 million cut from their annual $200 million dollars.

The Community college system said a $5.4 million per year cut would mean the elimination of numerous and 80 faculty and staff positions. They said they would also have to cut enrollment by 1,800 students.

A number of the positions targeted for elimination arre currently vacant, and while this would mean additional workloads on remaining employees no concern has for employees has been expressed by the state. More importantly no complaints about the increased workload have been expressed by the employees, except as it affects services to the public.

Lawyer jokes aside, Attorney General Steven Rowe stated that that to cut $3.3 form his office’s budget it would mean slashing seven assistant attorney general positions and nine assistant district attorneys.

The Department of Corrections being asked for a $32.5 million cut said the cuts meant a “downsizing and restructuring of correctional facilities”. The department never mentioned the ballooning budget the state faces for outsoucing medical services at the DOC that had been, and could be performed more cost effectively by State employees. Outsourcing state jobs seems to be off the table when keeping them could save money.

The DOC, like the other agencies said meeting the proposed cuts will mean closing facilities, meaning that if you cut their budget they will be forced to let the criminals loose. Are you scared enough yet?

Unspecified law enforcement activities would be cut under the budget suggestions submitted and we will all be robbed and become drug addicts inside of six months.

The Golden Calf was threatened. The Maine State Police could cut 24 trooper jobs and four detectives. It also would cut funds for units ilike the canine teams. ( Can you just see the poor German Shepard begging on the street?).

Threatened cuts have been leveled at the Department of Marine Resources, and the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.

Bears will kill you in Portland and raccoons will attack your neighbors if you take these cuts.

It is expected that when the Governor receives the next projected revenue figures he will use his emergency powers to cut spending until the Legislature is forced to deal with this years budget in January.

If you work for the state and do a productive job that serves the public and saves money for the taxpayers I would be very worried.

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October 29th, 2008 Posted by narsbars | Uncategorized | no comments

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