A state budget with input from all parts of Maine

Rep. Caleb Ness (R-Fryeburg)

Work continues on the biennial (two-year) budget. Governor Mills began the process when she submitted a $10.3 billion budget proposal to the Legislature back in February. The Appropriations Committee has held public hearings and received budget recommendations from all legislative committees.

That process has traditionally involved both political parties in order to win broad-based approval. This is accomplished by a two-thirds vote of the House and Senate before the bill goes to the Governor.  That way, the budget has support from representatives from all areas of the state.

Budget writers have discovered that a law, passed in 2005, limits spending growth after the state has achieved the required 55% state share of K-12 education passed by Maine voters in 2004. Under that law, the growth of the state budget is limited to $9.8 billion. 

The December 2022 Revenue Forecast projected a growth in General Fund revenues for the upcoming biennium to $10.5 billion, an increase of $1.9 billion from the current biennial budget. This level of projected revenue means that Maine does not have to cut any existing programs. In fact, it leaves the state in a position to return money to taxpayers via permanent tax reductions, while remaining under the statutory budget cap limit.

I favor reducing taxes while we have the opportunity. That would help ease the burden on Maine citizens and families struggling with higher prices. I do not believe that government should get larger as family budgets get smaller.

I remain hopeful that, as you read this, we are well on our way toward a bipartisan agreement on a budget that serves everyone’s needs by covering existing programs and allowing people to keep more of their hard-earned money.

I appreciate the opportunity to represent you in the Legislature. Please let me know if there are bills or issues of concern to you. If there is anything I can do to assist you, or if you have questions or concerns involving state agencies, please contact me at Caleb.Ness@legislature.maine.gov.

Thank you,

Rep. Caleb Ness (R-Fryeburg)

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