The Associated Press reports that Maine legislators have asked the state’s Attorney General
to review the state’s liability if it breaks its contract to buy thousands of iBooks from Apple.
Two state representatives from Baldwin and Hampden, Me. have asked the Attorney General’s office to find a way out of the state’s multi-million dollar contract with Apple, part of the Maine Technology Learning Initiative and an effort championed by Maine governor Angus King. Even King has wilted under mounting pressure to scale back the size of the program, however, suggesting that it be reduced from its current US$25 million size to $15 million instead.
Rep. Phil Cressey, one of the legislators pushing for the contract review, said that the program “does not have the support of all the people” in the state and since Maine is facing a serious budget crisis, “everything should be on the table.”
Legislation to buy iBooks for all seventh and eighth graders in the state was passed last year. Already, a pilot program has been deployed with 2,000 computers in circulation. 16,000 more will be shipped this summer, unless the Maine Attorney General Steven Rowe’s office can get the state off the hook.
Cressey doesn’t want the program gone all together — he simply wants the pilot program continued for another couple of years. His Hampden-based counterpart, Brian Duprey, wants the program eliminated. “We can use the cash,” he said.