MECEP Statement on Maine’s Debt Situation

Maine’s leading nonprofit research and policy development organization urges the state to “consider all options” and take a “reasonable, balanced approach”
Augusta, Maine (Wednesday, January 26, 2011)—The Maine Center for Economic Policy (MECEP) today released a statement on Maine’s debt situation calling on the Legislature and Governor to “consider all options and adopt a reasonable, balanced approach that preserves needed investments for roads, bridges, schools, health care and retiree security.” 

“Maine’s fiscal situation is considerably healthier,” the statement says, comparing Maine to California, New York, New Jersey and other states which face much more serious debt problems.  “Through prudent debt management, Maine has maintained exemplary credit ratings.  We are better-positioned than most states to address short and long range challenges and pursue investments that make the state more attractive to business, encourage economic growth, and create good jobs.”
MECEP issued its statement as State Treasurer Bruce Poliquin today called Maine’s unfunded pension liability “fiscally unsustainable.” MECEP noted that the nationally renowned financial rating organization Moody’s Investor Services stated in July 2010 that “Maine continues its conservative approach to debt, with an aggressive payout structure and capacity to accommodate unforeseen borrowing needs.”
“We strongly agree with the Treasurer that we must have ‘all stakeholders at the table’ to reach agreement on a path forward,”  MECEP Executive Director Christopher St. John said.  “We must make sure that we use the state’s borrowing power for infrastructure, education and other investments needed to encourage economic growth.  And the state must honor its longstanding commitments to our public employees.”
The position statement is available on MECEP’s website: Building on a Solid Foundation: Maine’s Future Prosperity Demands Responsible, Fact-based Fiscal Management

As Maine’s leading non-profit research and policy development organization, MECEP provides expert analysis and advocates for fair, equitable state revenue and spending priorities that support working families, encourage economic growth and assure their opportunities for success.