Dem Govs Get It Done: Gov. Mills Signs Historic Bipartisan Budget, Keeping Promises to Fund Public Schools
Gov. Janet Mills recently signed a transformative budget that sets Maine on the path to economic recovery and delivers on promises to provide necessary relief. The budget makes a historic investment in public schools and fulfills Gov. Mills’ promise to pay 55 percent of the cost of K-12 education — an investment achieved for the first time in the state’s history.
Across the state, school districts are already taking action thanks to Gov. Mills’ budget, and are using increased funding to provide tax relief to taxpayers.
The budget, which passed the legislature in a bipartisan vote, along with funding public education, also creates a $300 hazard pay program for Maine essential workers, provides new funding to Maine’s land conservation program for the first time in a decade, and adds a minimum of $60 million to the state’s emergency fund — all without raising taxes.
Gov. Mills said, “This budget is a historic investment in the people of Maine, in our future, and in our economic recovery…As we turn the corner on a deadly pandemic, the State of Maine – under my Administration and the bipartisan leadership of this Legislature – has finally delivered on its longstanding promises to the people of our great state.”
See below for highlights on Gov. Mills’ signing of the historic budget below:
Governor Janet Mills signed a revised 2022-2023 biennial budget into law Thursday.
The budget meets the state’s obligation to pay 55 percent of the cost of K-12 education for the first time in history.
The budget also includes a one-time $300 hazard payment to Maine workers.
Mainers qualify for payments if they filed a W-2 last year and made $75,000 or less, or $150,000 or less for joint filers.
The Governor’s Office says the one-time payment will support more than 500,000 Mainers who worked during the pandemic.
To see the budget, click here.
Gov. Janet Mills on Thursday signed into law the updated $8.5 billion biennial budget approved by lawmakers on Wednesday.
The budget received strong bipartisan support three months after Democrats passed a two-year biennial budget worth $8.4 billion without a single Republican vote.
Mills proposed the revised budget after the state predicted nearly $1 billion more in revenue over the next two years.
“I am incredibly proud of this achievement, am optimistic about the good it will accomplish for Maine people, and am grateful to the Legislature who worked hard and in a bipartisan way to make today possible,” Mills said in a statement.
The budget includes a $300 one-time “hazard” payment to workers earning less than $75,000 per year or joint filers making less than $150,000.
More than 500,000 Mainers who worked during the pandemic can expect to receive the payment.
The budget commits the state to fund 55% of operating costs for K-12 schools. Voters approved the state funding 55% of education costs through a referendum in 2004 but the state has yet to meet that mandate until now.
It also earmarks $45 million for public school renovation projects.
The budget adds $60 million to the state’s emergency fund and increases funding to long-term and senior care facilities. It also provides property tax relief.
The budget takes effect immediately.
Bangor Daily News: New funds from state budget will reduce the tax burden on Bangor homeowners
Bangor property owners are likely to see a small decrease in their taxes thanks to an influx of state money, city officials said.
Maine’s newly passed state budget will provide the city of Bangor an additional $1.2 million in revenue sharing in the fiscal year, allowing it to lower the city’s mill rate, City Manager Cathy Conlow said Monday. More money will be sent by the state to Bangor schools and further decrease homeowners’ tax burden, though that amount has not been decided.
The drop in the city’s mill rate means that a family owned an average Bangor home worth about $175,000 could see their tax burden drop from $4,060 in the previous fiscal year to $3,937.50 at most — it would likely be less depending on the school committee’s money going to the city.
Gov. Janet Mills signed the $8.5 billion, two-year budget on July 1. Under the budget, the state increased funding for public education to 55 percent.
Asked if the shift was likely to help commercial taxpayers, Conlow noted that because Bangor has such a large commercial property tax base, few other municipalities in Maine are seeing such a shift. However, she said the drop in the mill rate would benefit all taxpayers, residential and otherwise.