State Relations

June 12, 2009

Different state, same story

An article in Maine’s Kennebec Journal has a familiar ring to those who followed recent state budget debates here and around the nation. According to the article:

A critical component of Maine’s long-term economic recovery is investment in higher education. But that’s not where the state has put its money in recent years, a former Maine state economist said Thursday.

Investment in Maine’s colleges and universities is “the most critical thing we can do for the future of our state,” said Laurie Lachance, now president and chief executive officer of the Maine Development Foundation.

But that investment has dropped off during the past few decades as a percentage of state spending, Lachance told Augusta Kiwanis Club members.

In 1968, she said, 18 percent of the state General Fund supported higher education. In 2007, it was down to 9 percent.

People with higher education levels are less likely to be unemployed and are more likely to have high incomes, Lachance said.

You can find the complete story here.