AUGUSTA — Gov. Janet Mills previewed parts of her “Back to Work” bond proposal that is intended to accelerate Maine’s economic recovery and diversify the state economy in her State of the Budget address.
She announced plans to use $30 million to expand statewide broadband, $50 million for Maine farmers, foresters and fishermen to increase the state’s processing infrastructure, and $6 million for grants and low-interest loans to renovate, expand or construct childcare facilities throughout the state.
She also laid out her budget proposals that are meant to beat back the pandemic, keep Maine people healthy, fund education and get people back to work.
“In all, my budget proposals do their best to hold spending steady and preserve public health and education during the pandemic. Together they maintain the state s important relationship with town, county and school administrative units, all of whom receive more than a third of all general fund appropriations,” Governor Mills said.
She also reviewed the past year, stating that while the pandemic hit the economy hard, it and the state is currently recovering, thanks in large part to the collective efforts of Maine people and businesses.
With that and a strong public health focus, she said Maine is one of the safest states in the nation.
“Maine ranks second lowest in the nation in total hospitalizations; third lowest in total number of cases, fourth lowest in number of deaths from COVID-19. Our testing volume is seventh-best in the nation and our positivity rate over the past fourteen days is second-lowest in the country,” she said.
She said in the coming weeks her administration will fully lay out her back-to-work bond proposal, but in the meantime, Mainers have to persevere.
“With that perseverance, our state will prevail. Thank you. Please keep the faith and stay safe,” she said.