State Government is overextended

The recent single audit highlighted deficiencies resulting from inadequate staffing, management and oversight

This is Rep. Ann Fredericks of Sanford with the weekly Republican address. 

Last week, the Appropriations Committee heard the findings of the Single Audit of the State of Maine for fiscal year 2022. 

The purpose of this kind of audit is to get a better look at state spending, and add value to an organization, department, or program by identifying – and eventually correcting – programmatic spending issues.

In the audit of the 2022 fiscal year, Office of the State Auditor identified $113.8 million of known “questioned costs.” Questioned costs are amounts of Federal financial assistance that OSA believes were not spent in accordance with program requirements. The Federal government may or may not disallow these costs which could result in reimbursements from the State to the Federal government.

In 2022, the net position of Governmental Activities increased by $457.5 million, and we spent a total of $12.941 billion on all programs and services. 

Unfortunately when it comes to government, identifying the problem and fixing the problem are not linked.  OSA identified 80 deficiencies in internal control over compliance, and the more than $100 million in questioned costs is apparently not unusual for this kind of audit.

These deficiencies were often explained as being the result of inadequate staffing, management and oversight.

While Democrats may interpret the audit to mean we need MORE government spending, the real issue is expanding government’s role and responsibilities beyond what can be funded or even staffed.

Rapid growth and poor management and oversight means workers are not properly trained, hurting retention and the delivery of services for Mainers. 

Rather than focusing on fixing the numerous deficiencies in state government, through targeted spending and the reallocation of existing resources, Democrats continue to pile on ineffective program after ineffective program. 

That reality is reflected in the fact that that the state budget has grown by 20% since 2021.

It has grown at the expense of Maine citizens whose average household budget declined by $7,500 during the last year due to rising prices and the increasing cost of living in Maine.

That decrease came on top of even greater losses in previous years.

To put it another way…  federal, state, and local governments grew larger as family budgets got smaller.

Government isn’t underfunded it’s – it’s overextended.

We need to stop throwing money at the issues and work to ensure the billions of dollars in tax payer funds already being expended are used efficiently and effectively. 

There is a better way.

If given the chance to lead, Maine Republicans will demonstrate that by lowering taxes so that you can keep more of your hard-earned money, by rooting out waste, and promoting more effective use of taxpayer money.

This has been Rep. Ann Fredericks with the Weekly Republican Radio Address.

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