Gov. Paul LePage says he's decided to order state spending curtailed, as early as next week, to help close a $35.5 million budget gap yawning this fiscal year.
In an press release today, LePage says the recent recession has punched a big dent in state revenues, leading to the multi-million shortfall for the fiscal year, which ends June 30.
The governor says he's working with his staff of commissioners to find areas where spending can be cut via a curtailment.
"I will be exercising my authority to reduce spending in the quickest manner possible," LePage says. "My commissioners and I are evaluating our options and we will put in place a plan that is practicable and follows the law."
Under Maine law, a so-called curtailment must be temporary and equitable, and can't terminate programs, state Finance Commissioner Sawin Millett says.
Similar orders were issued by LePage's Democratic predecessor, Gov. John Baldacci, totaling more than $180 million between 2008 and 2010, LePage says.