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Maine to pay college grads to stay

Our big neighbor to the north has an interesting approach to the kind of brain drain problem that we suffer from here in Rhode Island:

Maine Governor John E. Baldacci will sign a law today that will provide tax credits to help cover the cost of college loan payments for students who earn degrees in Maine and remain in the state.

Activists say the multimillion-dollar program, passed unanimously last month by Maine's House of Representatives and with little opposition in the Senate, is the first of its kind in the nation. They also said it is only the sixth time in the state's history that an initiative introduced by a citizens' group had been passed by the Legislature.

"I believe in this legislation, and I know that it is the key to opening up opportunity for Maine's students," Baldacci said in a statement. " This is about our generation helping the next one. We're telling our students: If you live, work, and pay taxes in Maine, you're not going to have this student debt hanging around your neck."

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