Maine finished its 2008 fiscal year with a general fund surplus of $56 million, the state announced last week. Most of the surplus, $43.7 million, will be used to pay past-due bills to hospitals. The remainder will be put toward the budget stabilization fund, which has grown from zero to $128.9 million in the past five years.
“The year-end surplus is the result of a disciplined budget approach,” Gov. John E. Baldacci said in a press release. “Maine faced a grim economic picture earlier this year that required the state to make many difficult decisions. That hard work has allowed us to finish the year in a good position.”