Maine Governor Janet Mills today, may 12, announced a “Part Two” budget proposal with historic investment in Maine schools, achieving 55% of education costs for the first time in Maine history.
The budget proposal also invests in a host of bipartisan priorities including health care, tax relief, revenue sharing, savings, and more.
According to Maine.gov:
If approved by the Legislature, the achievement would come more than fifteen years after Maine voters first passed a referendum directing State government to pay 55 percent of local school costs. The Governor’s proposal would not only finally meet the State’s obligation for the first time ever, but would also increase desperately-needed resources for cash-strapped schools and hold down local property taxes.
In her budget proposal, Governor Mills also proposes funding a host of bipartisan priorities, including initiatives to improve the health of Maine people; tax relief for low- and middle-income Maine people; enhanced revenue sharing for municipalities; PFAS remediation; and infrastructure upgrades – all while adding money to the Budget Stabilization or “Rainy Day” Fund. The proposal, which is balanced and does not raise taxes, also leaves approximately $21 million in allocated funds for the “appropriations table”.
Highlights include investing in Maine Kids and Maine Schools:
- $187 million to meet the State’s obligation to pay 55 percent of local education costs for the first time in Maine’s history.
- $47 million to support Maine’s public higher education institutions, including the University of Maine System, the Maine Community College System, and Maine Maritime Academy, including funds to renovate Maine Maritime Academy’s Curtis Hall.
- $20 million to increase the Maine State Grant Program’s maximum award from $1,000 to $2,500. The Maine State Grant Program provides need-based grants to Maine undergraduate students to help with the cost of higher education.
- $50 million to rejuvenate the School Revolving Renovation Fund, which provides no-interest loans for school repairs across the state. This would be Governor Mills’ second investment in the fund, extending her commitment to upgrading Maine’s school facilities and providing further property tax relief for Maine families.
The Governor will also submit to the Legislature a proposal that balances the Highway Fund budget, which, when combined with anticipated Federal funds and bonding, maintains essential levels of service.
More on the proposal here!