Spearheading Maine’s Economic Recovery and Building a Stronger Economy:
Governor Mills is focused on ensuring that Maine has a strong economic recovery from the pandemic. She has prioritized getting Maine people back to work and building an innovative, forward-looking economy with good-paying jobs across Maine. Since taking office, Governor Mills has:
- Released the State’s First Economic Development Strategy in Decades: In 2019 Governor Mills commissioned the first statewide economic development strategy in more than a decade that gathered input from more than 1,300 Maine people from every corner of the state and had the support of the University of Maine System, the Maine Community College System, the Maine Development Foundation, the Maine State Chamber of Commerce, the Maine Venture Fund, Coastal Enterprises, Inc (CEI), the Maine Technology Institute, FocusMaine, and the Finance Authority of Maine, among others.
- Targeted Federal Funds to Make Historic Investments in Maine: Governor Mills proposed and spearheaded passage of a transformational plan in 2021 based on her Strategic Economic Development Strategy and supported by funding from the American Rescue Plan. Her Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan advances a range of initiatives — including funding for child care, housing, broadband, health care subsidies, workforce training and economic recovery grants — to tackle serious issues that will help Maine people and businesses recover from the economic shock of the pandemic and address longstanding structural issues that have held our state back.
- Strengthened the Economy: Under Governor Mills’ leadership, Maine’s GDP has fully recovered from historic falls at the outset of the pandemic, and surpassed pre-pandemic projections. Unemployment rates have fallen from pandemic highs while new unemployment claims have also returned to pre-pandemic patterns.
- Supported Maine’s Communities: Governor Mills has infused more than $59 million into 461 Maine communities through the Federal Local Fiscal Recovery Program to support their economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Communities will be receiving a second round of payments in just a few short months.
- Supported Maine’s Families: Using surplus revenues acquired under her Administration, Governor Mills returned $149 million in disaster relief payments to more than 500,000 Maine people and provided $195.6 million in additional direct tax relief to Maine people. That’s more than $344 million in relief from the Mills’ Administration to Maine people since the pandemic began.
- Attracted New Families to Maine: Under Governor Mills’ leadership, our population has grown at the second highest rate in New England and we have the seventh highest rate of net in-migration nationwide.
- Supported Small Businesses. Governor Mills established multiple grant programs that ultimately awarded more than $273 million in funding to more than 5,224 businesses and non-profits to help keep their doors open and employees on the payroll during the pandemic.
- Increased State Savings to Record Highs: Governor Mills has increased the Budget Stabilization, or so-called “Rainy Day” Fund, to an historic high of $491.9 million. Since Governor Mills took office, the Administration, with the support of the Legislature, has deposited more than $282 million into the Rainy Day Fund, more than doubling its balance.
- Protected Maine’s Credit Rating from the Pandemic: Governor Mills secured the reaffirmation of Maine’s credit ratings, with Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s citing governance practices and the State’s reserves in the Budget Stabilization Fund as grounds for reaffirming Maine’s Aa2 bond rating and for rating Maine’s debt as stable during the pandemic, even while downgrading ratings of other states.
- Protected Small Businesses from Tax Increases: Governor Mills maintained the solvency of the Unemployment Trust Fund throughout the pandemic preventing massive tax increases on Maine businesses. Many other states had to borrow billions of dollars from the Federal government to pay out benefits since the start of the pandemic and then pay back the Federal government with interest.
- Stabilized the State Budget: Governor Mills effectively and responsibly managed Maine’s finances throughout the pandemic, maintaining critical services for Maine people while achieving multiple budget surpluses throughout her time in office.