Through an internal memo circulated by a top adviser of Paul LePage, the governor of the state of Maine, it has been discovered that Maine is planning on cutting 2,300 government jobs at the state level over the next two years.
The memo states that Maine intends to employ no more than 9,500 individuals by 2019; currently, the state has 11,810 employees on its payroll— not including a number of defense, educational, and other services— which means that it would need to cut nearly 20 percent of its current workforce.
It is unclear how much the layoffs would save the state of Maine financially, but it is safe to assume they would help offset the consequences of other statewide proposals, such as lowering the state income tax for all, including for those in the highest tax bracket.
It is also unclear how much of a dent the cuts would make in helping Maine get under the current $6.7 billion it spends annually at the state level.
Although LePage is intent on getting his budget proposals for the state passed, he has had problems in the past with getting policies approved due to partisanship in the legislature.
With the current proposal, it is clear that the unions representing state employees will fight against any serious layoff threats.
However, with the policy proposals not even coming to a vote until January, it would seem as if there’s time for changes and compromises to be made. For those living in the Pine Tree State, this will be a story to watch.