Governor Encouraged By Brookings Institution StudyOctober 05, 2006 - TRCAUGUSTA – Governor John Baldacci today said a report commissioned by GrowSmart gives clear evidence that Maine’s economic foundation is solid, and that there is more work to be done. The non-partisan Brookings Institution study shows Maine is poised for more growth. The Governor noted that many of the recommendations made by Brookings are areas in which the Administration has taken strong action.“I'm pleased the Brookings report speaks so favorably about Maine and our opportunities,” said Governor Baldacci. “Every county is growing. People want to be in Maine and come to Maine to enjoy the high quality of life Maine offers and to take advantage of new job opportunities.”Among the findings, the Brookings study said that nationally Maine experienced the fifth biggest jump in people moving into the state, with growth occurring in every county of the state. Additionally, Maine’s job creation has outperformed the nation. Per capita income is at the highest level ever experienced in the state. The economy is diversifying, with clusters of businesses relying on new technology – for both traditional industries like farming and forestry, and in new and growing sectors such as information technology and biotechnology. The Governor said that the Brookings Institution recommendations follow closely along the lines of improvements he has promoted since taking office. These include streamlining state government, increasing government efficiencies, instituting a spending cap on all levels of government, incentivizing consolidation of school administrative functions, and reducing taxes. Additionally, the Governor has increased investment into research and development and expanded access to higher education through partnerships between the Community College System and the University System, increased workforce training opportunities.While the Governor is pleased with the direction of the state, he is not satisfied and said there is more to be done to grow Maine’s economy, create good jobs with benefits, and create opportunity for Maine people. Governor Baldacci is directing his Cabinet to use recommendations in this report as a guide in preparing the next budget.“Brookings recommended some forward thinking investments and they are in line with the strategy my Administration has followed,” said the Governor. “As we look to move these initiatives forward, we must keep to these with three guidelines:1 - We must not increase our state's tax burden ranking2 - We must make government efficient and effective3 - We must set priorities in education, health, and corrections at all levels of government“As we move our economic development plan forward, we must continue to draw upon the good ideas of the Brookings Institution, GrowSmart, and others.”NOTE - This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of the TRC Alliance Team.