Baldacci Outlines Plan for State Budget 

Governor John Baldacci says he is counting on government shutdown days, cuts in health care and education and what’s being called stepped-up tax enforcement coupled with a tax amnesty program to bring his current budget proposal back into balance. The governor outlined a new plan Thursday to plug a gap of about $570 million created earlier this week when the state revenue forecasting committee sharply cut back estimates. In all, Baldacci said his original $6.1 billion two-year general fund budget package will shrink to $5.8 billion. The governor wants a new state commission to identify $37.5 million in savings. He’s also proposing to use $75.5 million from the state rainy day fund and nearly $41 million more in other state government reserves.