Will States Budget for a Second Stimulus?

By: - December 14, 2009 12:00 am

Maine Gov. John Baldacci (D) this week will submit a budget proposal that assumes Congress will pass additional stimulus measures, according to Maine’s Capitol News Service.

Baldacci’s budget “is based on the assumption Congress will pass another $200 billion in stimulus programs and provide additional direct aid to the states through picking up a greater share of the cost of the Medicaid program,” the news service reports in the Bangor Daily News.

It’s not that Baldacci knows something that other governors don’t. It’s that Maine’s budgeting process is set in state law, and he must rely on the forecasts of the state’s economic analysts – who one state lawmaker said were making a “political assumption” about what may or may not happen on Capitol Hill.

President Obama last week outlined a proposal to help boost job creation – including additional help for the states – but the contours of the plan are still very much up in the air.

Even Baldacci said he was worried about including assumed revenues from the federal government in his budget proposal.

“We have to deal with what is before us, the process we have,” Baldacci said, according to the Capitol News Service. The governor, an eight-year veteran of Congress himself, said that “any assumptions based on what it may or may not vote for is questionable.”

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