State spending — what should go?

Posted Dec. 01, 2008, at 3:36 p.m.

Maine’s 124th Legislature will be sworn in this week. What should be lawmakers’ top priorities? Balancing the budget, in the face of declining revenues, will be a major focus. Where should they cut? Are there departments that should be merged? What are the criteria for eliminating programs?

Legislative leaders have asked lawmakers to limit the number of bills they submit to save money. Is this appropriate? Or should lawmakers be able to submit as many bills as they want, especially to solve problems their constituents have raised?