Governor Mills: Helping the people of Maine through this difficult time, addressing pressing issues, and laying the foundation for strong economic growth.

Inflation, along with rising oil and gas prices resulting from Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, is hitting Maineans hard. Last week, I proposed changes to our budget to put money directly into the pockets of Maine residents to help them meet these rising costs.

Hello, this is Governor Janet Mills, and thank you for listening.

Last month, in response to calls from Democratic and Republican lawmakers, I proposed returning half of the budget surplus to Maine taxpayers in the form of $500 checks to help them deal with inflation caused by the pandemic.

Since then, the nonpartisan Maine Revenue Forecasting Committee has improved our revenue forecast by nearly $412 million, while warning that our long-term revenue projections are “volatile and subject to significant downside risk.” ” in the years to come. Well, basically that means we shouldn’t count on state revenues to stay that high in the future, so we have to be careful to invest those funds to meet immediate needs, while not spending no one-time income in ongoing long-term projects. way.

Now you know Maine’s constitution requires that we have a balanced budget. So, with the new revenues, I propose revisions to the budget to ensure that it is balanced.

Last week, I offered to use that revenue to provide more direct relief to people in Maine. I propose to increase these rebate checks to $850, or $1,700 for the average Maine household.

These checks — a one-time initiative paid for with one-time surplus funds, as I just mentioned — will provide responsible relief to the people of Maine as soon as the Legislature passes the budget.

In addition to increasing these direct relief checks, my budget proposal dedicates funds to:

  • strengthen Maine’s behavioral health system;
  • save the Maine Veterans Homes in Caribou and Machias;
  • capitalizing a trust fund to address PFAS contamination to help farmers who discover these hazardous chemicals forever on their property;
  • create an emergency housing relief fund in MaineHousing as well to address homelessness; among many other initiatives.

Overall, my budget proposes to increase the Fiscal Stabilization Fund – the Rainy Day Fund – to more than $500 million for the first time in state history; we are also providing $100 million to the Maine Department of Transportation to repair these crumbling roads and bridges; we propose to provide crucial tax relief to working families in Maine; and increase the salaries of child care workers; and expanding tax credits to help Maine residents repay student loans; and providing two years of free community college to recent high school graduates to strengthen Maine’s workforce.

My proposed budget and amendments will help the people of Maine through this difficult time, address pressing issues, and lay the foundation for strong economic growth.

I’m sure the Legislative Assembly shares my commitment to addressing these issues, and I look forward to working with them to pass this proposal as soon as possible in a strongly bipartisan manner.

This is Governor Janet Mills, and thank you for listening.

Comments are closed.