Gov. Janet Mills unveils a record $10 billion biennial budget proposal for fiscal year 2024-25

Published: Jan. 11, 2023 at 6:41 PM EST
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AUGUSTA, Maine (WABI) - Governor Mills unveiled her 10.3 billion dollar biennial budget proposal for fiscal year 2024-25 in Augusta today.

Mills says the proposal builds on the progress from her previous budget by continuing free community college education, funding free school meals, providing property tax relief, investing in infrastructure, and funding efforts to fight PFAS contamination.

She says the budget allocates a historic 237-million dollars to invest in behavioral health which includes seven million dollars to prioritize direct response to the opioid crisis and funding prevention support.

The budget also includes significant new funding for housing and health care.

“Today, I’m proud to say that we’re proposing another $30 million in this budget to continue creating more housing units, particularly in rural Maine, so that people can have a safe and affordable place to live that allowed them to hold jobs here in Maine and raise their families here.,” Mills said.

“And health care. Over the past several years, my administration has also been looking comprehensively at how the state of Maine reimburses providers of Mayfair search services and ensure that we are paying them fairly and sustainable so as to provide high quality accessible care to Maine people,” she continued.

While this is a record high state budget, Mills says the proposal is balanced and does not raise taxes.

She says it also leaves the Rainy Day Fund untouched which currently sits at a record high of over 900-million dollars.

We had the chance to speak with Republican leaders about the governor’s proposed budget.

Here’s what they had to say.

“We’re pleased to see a lot of the priorities that Republicans highlighted in the energy relief bill included in this package. What we’re concerned about is the fact that we have over a billion dollars in budget surplus that’s getting spent without a tax cut. But we are looking forward to working on this bill with the Democrats and the governor, and following through the appropriations process,” said Billy Bob Faulkingham, House Republican Leader, Winter Harbor.

Senator Trey Stewart from Aroostook County, who is the Senate Republican Leader, says the budget is an okay start, but the devil is in the details.