Gov. Mills releases plan to spend $1.13B in COVID-19 relief funds

Maine State House
Maine State House(Allegra Zamore)
Published: May. 4, 2021 at 1:40 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Maine (WMTW) - Gov. Janet Mills on Tuesday released her plan to spend more than $1 billion in federal COVID-19 relief funds from the American Rescue Plan Act.

The governor’s Maine Jobs and Recovery Plan calls for spending the funds on immediate economic recovery from the pandemic, long-term economic growth and infrastructure.

“This plan will help us ensure that Maine is renowned as a place where you can get a good education, have a rewarding career that pays well, raise a happy and healthy family, and live comfortably in a community that you love,” Mills said in a statement.

Mills said in total, Maine will receive $4.5 billion from the American Rescue Plan Act. Congress approved $3.2 billion of that money for direct pandemic recovery efforts. The remaining $1.13 billion was allocated directly to the state.

The governor said $260 million will be spent on immediate economic recovery, including $80 million for economic recovery grants and loan guarantees, $50 million to invest in heritage industries and $39 million to lower health care costs for small businesses.

Another $305 million will be spent on long-term economic growth, including $105 million for worker training and $80 million to jumpstart innovation.

The third part of the plan includes $547 million for infrastructure, which includes the previously announced $150 million to create the Maine Connectivity Authority to expand broadband in Maine.

The governor said her plan seeks to complement and not duplicate the funding already approved by Congress for other recovery efforts in Maine.

Mills said she will present the plan to the Maine Legislature. The funding under the plan can be deployed through 2024.

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