Governor Janet Mills Signs $7.8 Billion Two-Year Budget
Governor Janet Mills signed a biennial budget on Monday afternoon that's slightly less than her original $8 billion proposal.
Mills says the $7.897 billion budget for Fiscal Year 2020-2021 expands healthcare, improves Maine's education system, provides property tax relief, and invests in the Rainy Day Fund.
"I applaud Democrats and Republicans for working together to build consensus on these critical issues," Governor Mills said in a media release on her website, " and although no one got everything they wanted - as is the case in any good compromise - together we have achieved important progress on behalf of the people of Maine."
- Highlights of the biennial budget include making healthcare more affordable and accessible, including expanding Medicare and supporting domestic violence and sexual assault services. 62 new workers will be added to Child and Family Services, to help keep Maine's children safe. $10 million will go to the Fund for a Healthy Maine, for smoking cessation programs.
- Education allowances in the budget include paving the way for a $40,000 per year minimum teacher's salary and will initially reimburse towns 100% to offset the cost on local budgets. $18 million dollars will be allocated to make repairs to school infrastructures, and the budget will eliminate the reduced-price school lunch program by adding those children onto the free-lunch roster.
- The budget will include $900,000 for adult education, $3 million for degree completion, and $2 million for early college. An additional $3 million will go to the Maine State Grant Program.
- Maine seniors, families, and small businesses will benefit from $75 million in property tax relief, and will increase the Homestead Exemption by $5,000 so Mainers can exempt $25,000 from their property taxes. In addition, the budget allocates for broadband expansion, renewable energy, and climate emissions reductions.
You can read more from the Governor about the biennial budget on her website.