No $450 Relief Checks for Mainers as Governor’s Proposal Fails
The Governor's Emergency Winter Heating Relief Plan failed to achieve the 2/3rds vote in the Legislature it needed to pass.
Why Was the Plan Going to Pay Residents?
With heating costs rising, and the general challenges of inflation, Governor Janet Mills' administration put together an initiative that would have paid each qualifying Maine resident a $450 check or, as the Governor announced it, an average of $900 per household. The money was intended to help residents defray the rising costs of heating their homes. As part of the proposal, money would have been made available to several heating assistance programs across the state, as well.
How Did the Vote Go?
The plan went before the Legislature on the first day of their latest session and got a mixed reaction. The $474 million initiative passed in the House with a 125 to 16 vote but failed in the Senate with a 21-8 vote. Although that Senate vote seems like a good thing, the proposal needed 24 positive votes to obtain the two-thirds majority necessary to pass.
What Happens Now?
Governor Mills released a statement, expressing her frustration at the rejection of the initiative.
I am deeply concerned about the impact that high energy prices are having on Maine people. We must ease the burden by putting money back into their pockets so they can better afford these energy costs and ensure that our most vulnerable citizens are able to stay warm this winter.
She goes on to say that she hopes lawmakers will give the plan the support it needs to be enacted as an emergency measure, so they can bring some relief to Maine residents.