According to the White House Press Office, "the sequester" -- the series of automatic domestic and military cuts set to go into effect on March 1 (four days from today, for those without calendars) -- will impact Maine in many ways, including:
Where do these two stories dovetail?
The first is about education financing problems in Pennsylvania, where schools that rely heavily on state aid are in danger of closing (one district can't afford to pay its teachers) while charter schools flourish (or at least don't face the same magnitude of cuts because they get funding from other sources).
Listen, everyone. We'll have more on the budget moving forward, I'm sure. I'm heading up to Augusta on Wednesday to attend the Maine People's Alliances lobby day and learn more about what various organizations are most concerned (and others are most pleased) about. There have been protests and rallies of various sizes several times over the past few days, with more to come.
Thanks to Mike Tipping over at Maine Politics for posting some audio of the gov's press conference about the budget (click to listen), and for name-checking Portland Phoenix contributing writer Lance Tapley for asking interesting questions. (Some of the questions were along the lines of "Hey Guv: Stop Slashing!" from the January 2 issue.
With Governor Baldacci imposing $10s of millions in budget reductions, and the legislature scrambling to figure out what agencies and programs can stand another round of severe cuts, everyone's trying to make sure they keep their piece of the pie. Not only that, but everyone thinks they have the solution, the answers, the best way to climb out of this dreadful abyss