Governor fully funds Medicaid expansion, injects $126 million into K-12 education, protects the rainy day fund, and does not raise taxes
Augusta, MAINE – A little more than a month into office, Governor Janet Mills today submitted her first biennial budget to the State Legislature. The proposal fully funds voter-approved Medicaid expansion, creates a Medicaid Reserve Account with contingency funding, invests an additional $126 million in K-12 education, and builds progress towards voluntary universal pre-K and a $40,000 minimum teacher salary – all without increasing taxes and while protecting the rainy day fund.
“As Governor my priority has always been to solve problems – to marshal every sector of government and every private organization, business, and person to come together, identify the challenges we face, and create responsible solutions that improve life for every person in Maine,” said Governor Mills. “This budget honors the demands of Maine people who have voted again and again for more health care, not less; for investments in education and our classrooms, not cuts; for better roads, lower property taxes, treatment for their loved ones suffering from substance use disorder, and for a state that believes everybody should have a fair shot at a better life. This budget represents a responsible, pragmatic approach that advances our goals while living within our means.”
The budget also includes $5.5 million to combat the opioid epidemic, increases in revenue sharing and property tax relief, funding for a Washington County Pre-Release Center, 15 new state troopers and sergeants, and funding to fill public health nursing vacancies, among other initiatives.
“Make no mistake, we have work to do, but the future of Maine is bright. We will rebuild state government and create one Maine, undivided,” added Governor Mills. “Every day, innovators, small businesses, teachers, farmers, fishermen, health care providers, volunteers, and neighbors are helping one another and powering our economy. It is time for state government to join them in doing our part to create a bright future for us all. I look forward to working with the State Legislature on this proposal moving forward.”
In unveiling the budget during a press conference today, Governor Mills was joined by Department of Administrative and Financial Services Commissioner Kirsten Figueroa, Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Jeanne Lambrew and Department of Education Commissioner Pender Makin.
Governor Mills is scheduled to deliver her State of the Budget address scheduled next Monday, February 11th at 7:00 p.m.