Maine governor: Much to be thankful for

Posted Nov. 29, 2008, at 2:51 p.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — Gov. John Baldacci said that even though times are tough, there was a lot to be thankful for this past Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

In his weekly radio address, Baldacci said two businesses — Boston Financial Data Services and NotifyMD — are expanding in Maine, bringing hundreds of jobs. He also said the State New Economy Index, which measures how well the states’ economic structures are prepared to deal with the new economy, gives Maine an improved ranking from 32nd to 28th.

The index also ranked Maine second in the country in technology in the schools, and fifth both in moving toward a green economy and alternative energy use.

In the Republican response, House Minority Leader Josh Tardy said that if there’s one thing to be thankful for, it’s that Maine is in relatively good shape economically compared to such states as California and New York, where he said budget deficits have climbed to “astounding” levels.

But Tardy, of Newport, said Maine’s not immune from the historic financial chaos that’s engulfed the nation and the Legislature has major work to do dealing with budget shortfalls in the hundreds of millions of dollars. He said he saw the economic crisis as an opportunity to get Maine’s spending under better control.

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