And I believe a solution exists that will save taxpayer money and improve the treatment of the people in our care.
President Lincoln wrote to Congress in 1862: “The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew and act anew.”President Lincoln wrote to Congress in 1862: “The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew and act anew.”
You don’t have to face the deepest crisis in the history of the Republic – as Lincoln did – to understand the necessity of thinking about old problems in new ways.
We live in a complex world that requires government to carry an increasing load. Natural resource and environmental issues demand experts with broad experiences.
In a time of declining revenues and increasing financial pressures in other areas of the budget, we can’t continue funding silos that keep our experts separate and our attentions divided.
It’s been more than 30 years since we developed our approach to the stewardship of Maine’s natural resources.
In those three decades, the world has changed dramatically. There have been amazing advances in science and technology.
And Maine’s natural resource agencies haven’t been allowed to keep up. The structure hasn’t kept up pace with the changing times.
Already, we’ve brought together those agencies’ back-office staffs, accountants and IT experts. We created a single natural resource service center to do all those jobs that aren’t part of the agencies core responsibilities.
That’s done. But we need to do more.
In my budget, I will propose a process that will result in no more than two natural resources agencies, where today we have four.
We will seek efficiencies and combine programs that shouldn’t be separated by bureaucracies.
I know that I don’t have all the answers, but I do believe we can find them together.
The merger process will seek input from those willing to come to the table.
Our goal is to enhance the services provided to natural resource-based businesses; To increase outdoor recreation; And to improve natural resource management.
We need to end the duplication in administration that stands in the way.
Our efforts are not confined to a single area of government. We are looking at government at every level, and we’re looking for improvement.
Earlier this month, Maine selected a private company, Unisys Corporation, a nationally respected company, to fix a troubled part of the Department of Health and Human Services.
For almost three years, we have struggled with a Medicaid computer system that has never lived up to expectations. It’s caused countless headaches and heartaches for Maine businesses and created financial difficulties for the State.
With this work, we will move on to a better way of doing business.
I am also proposing a reorganization of the upper and middle management at Health and Human Services that will give my commissioner the flexibility she needs to run Maine’s largest department.
It will empower frontline workers, reduce from 10 to 6 the number of central offices in the agency and consolidate management at the regional level.
To be successful, you must be able to adapt. We will give them that ability.