I couldn’t help but notice the irony by juxtaposing the Dec. 30 Maine Sunday Telegram front-page article on Gov. Paul Le-Page’s legacy, including responsible fiscal and tax policy, with the Jan. 4 Page A1 Press Herald report that Gov. Mills has signed Medicaid expansion into law.

The expansion amasses a cost of $50 million in year one, with that expense increasing as the federal subsidy faces possible reductions and health care costs rise. The governor has not articulated how this or any other promised initiatives will be paid.

It is appropriate with the new governor taking office to memorialize the current economic health of our state to establish a benchmark from which to compare Gov. Mills’ success over the next four years.

The state’s budget stabilization fund stands at $273 million, six times the amount that existed when Gov. LePage took office.

The recent budget year had a $175.8 million surplus, compared to the $800 million shortfall inherited by the LePage administration.

Cash reserves are the highest in the state’s history.

The state pension fund has been stabilized.

Millions owed by the state to hospitals have been paid.

Working Mainers have been able to retain more of their earnings with income tax reductions.

Unemployment is at 3.4 percent, down from 8 percent when LePage took office.

Former Gov. LePage’s bluntness offended the sensitivities of some, but he was an effective steward of the taxes paid by Mainers. Working Mainers should compel Gov. Mills to sustain the financial discipline that has created the strong fiscal footing that Maine currently enjoys. Failure to do so will result in a return to poor economic conditions and a deterrent to those successful companies and highly skilled workers who Gov. Mills wants to attract.

Mark Lodge