Governor Janet Mills today, May 10, released a change package that aims to address some of Maine’s most pressing and urgent problems, including housing, homelessness, food insecurity, emergency medical services, and continued workforce development efforts.
The change package is an amendment to LD 258, legislation that includes the remaining budget initiatives for Fiscal Years 2024-2025 that were not included in the current services budget passed by the Legislature and signed by the Governor last month.
Maine’s Constitution requires a balanced budget, which prompted the Governor to introduce the change package today after the nonpartisan Revenue Forecasting Committee recognized $223 million in one-time funding available for Fiscal Year 2023 and projected a limited increase of $71 million in revenue for Fiscal Years 2024-2025 followed by a plateau in revenues for Fiscal Years 2026-2027.
In the change package, the Governor proposes using surplus and projected revenues to tackle Maine’s housing shortage; to fund food services and emergency shelters to address homelessness; and to strengthen Maine’s system of emergency medical services, among other initiatives.
The Governor also proposes investments to strengthen Maine’s economy, including funding proven workforce development strategies and the recently unveiled Dirigo Business Incentive Program, and doubling the Credit for Child Care Expenses to make child care more affordable for Maine parents. She also proposes additional funding for infrastructure repair, like school renovations, drinking and wastewater improvements, and culvert replacement, allowing the State to draw down more matching Federal funds for projects across the state.
This proposal lives within our means, using revenues in a responsible way to address serious, pressing issues – like the housing crunch, homelessness, and food insecurity – while also making thoughtful, strategic investments that will strengthen our economy and make Maine a better place to live in the long-run.
This proposal continues our disciplined approach to budgeting,” said Kirsten Figueroa, Commissioner for the Department of Administrative and Financial Services. “As we see revenues begin to plateau, this proposal addresses immediate problems while making sure that we will continue to deliver on the strong, bipartisan commitments made by the Legislature to promote the wellbeing of Maine families, communities, and businesses.
More at maine.gov.