Gov. Mills signs bipartisan $8.5B state budget
AUGUSTA, Maine (WMTW) - Gov. Janet Mills on Thursday signed into law the updated $8.5 billion biennial budget approved by lawmakers on Wednesday.
The budget received strong bipartisan support three months after Democrats passed a two-year biennial budget worth $8.4 billion without a single Republican vote.
Mills proposed the revised budget after the state predicted nearly $1 billion more in revenue over the next two years.
“I am incredibly proud of this achievement, am optimistic about the good it will accomplish for Maine people, and am grateful to the Legislature who worked hard and in a bipartisan way to make today possible,” Mills said in a statement.
The budget includes a $300 one-time “hazard” payment to workers earning less than $75,000 per year or joint filers making less than $150,000.
More than 500,000 Mainers who worked during the pandemic can expect to receive the payment.
The budget commits the state to fund 55% of operating costs for K-12 schools. Voters approved the state funding 55% of education costs through a referendum in 2004 but the state has yet to meet that mandate until now.
It also earmarks $45 million for public school renovation projects.
The budget adds $60 million to the state’s emergency fund and increases funding to long-term and senior care facilities. It also provides property tax relief.
The budget takes effect immediately.
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