Dear MSEA-SEIU Member,
The $1.4 billion state revenue shortfall over the next three years just got real.
The Mills administration yesterday directed all state departments and agencies to identify, by Aug. 19, proposals for budget cuts amounting to 10 percent of the current-year state budget. The only exception is the Maine DOT, which must identify 5 percent in cuts. The cuts would continue in the next two-year state budget.
There’s more: Maine cities and towns are expecting to lose $146 million in revenues this year alone. That shortfall could threaten services and jobs provided by our members who work for municipal governments.
These shortfalls are real. Mainers have increasingly counted on state and local services (Maine Department of Labor and DHHS among them) during this pandemic. State departments remain understaffed. Workloads remain impossible for scores of our members.
The state can’t cut its way out of this pandemic without causing real harm to state and local workers, public services and the people we serve. To prevent harm, we all need to:
- Tell the U.S. Senate needs to do its job by passing the HEROES Act to fund state and local services during the pandemic. Passing the HEROES Act would help prevent state and local workers from losing their jobs. The U.S. House of Representatives passed the HEROES Act in March, but the Senate hasn’t acted on it. Senator Susan Collins needs to hear from you immediately: Tell her to pass the HEROES Act.
- Get serious on revenue: The LePage tax breaks costing $864 million every two years and mostly benefiting corporations and the wealthy have come home to roost. The fact is, repealing those tax breaks would nearly erase the state’s $1.4 billion revenue shortfall! It would be wrong and reckless to make state workers to bear the brunt of pandemic-related cuts!
Take action now to prevent cuts in state and local jobs and services. Join me in telling Senator Collins: Pass the HEROES Act.
President, MSEA-SEIU Local 1989