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24/7 Wall St: 10 States That Can't Pay Their Bills

5. Maine

2011 budget shortfall as a percentage of general fund: 34.7 percent
2011 budget shortfall: $940 million
2012 projected budget shortfall: 13.8 percent (16th largest)
GDP change (2006 – 2010): +8.3 percent (tied for 14th smallest increase)
Median home value change (2006 – 2010): +5 percent (26th largest increase)

Maine is another state that conflicts with the assumption that states with severe budget shortfalls were the only ones hit hard by the recession. Median home value actually increased 5 percent in the state, and the poverty rate dropped the third-most in the country. Nevertheless, Maine faced a $940 million budget shortfall in 2011, worth 34.7 percent of available funds for that year. In 2011, the state made cuts in every major funding category and to CHIP and Medicaid. It has also instituted hiring freezes for state employees. For the 2012 fiscal year, Maine is again projected to have a budget shortfall, this time of $422 million. In light of this, the state cut temporary cash assistance and food stamps to legal immigrants who have been in the country less than five years.

(iStock Photo)

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The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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