The Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan — which is modeled on the advice of experts and is backed by a wide coalition of organizations and supported by funding from the American Rescue Plan – is likely the most transformational legislation of our lifetimes and on July 19th, I was proud to sign it into law.
Hello, this is Governor Janet Mills and thank you for listening.
In May I announced the Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan – my administration’s proposal to invest more than $1 billion allocated to the State of Maine under the American Rescue Plan Act passed by Congress and signed by President Biden.
Our proposal focused on making historic investments in unaddressed needs and longstanding challenges to achieve three goals: immediate economic recovery from the pandemic; long-term economic growth for Maine; and infrastructure revitalization.
Our proposal will ensure that Maine is known as a safe place to live and work, a place where everyone has the benefit of a good education, a rewarding career, and good connectivity. A place of unrivaled physical beauty and natural resources, where you can raise a happy and healthy family, and live comfortably in a community that you love in the most beautiful state in the country.
I am grateful for lawmakers’ work on the Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan, which has incorporated many weeks of research and drafting by my Administration, to focus on the immediate need to rebuild our economy and improve the lives of working families after the financial shock of the pandemic.
I am disappointed that, although Republicans and Democrats in the Legislature agreed on more than 95 percent of our proposal, the Legislature passed the Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan along party lines, postponing the investment of millions of dollars in Maine people.
Because of the Legislature’s lack of consensus, we now have to wait ninety days, but this fall when we are able to deploy funds allocated by this plan, our state will be able to address challenges in an unprecedented way, with unprecedented tools that will hopefully contribute to unprecedented economic growth.
$20 million to expand childcare; $50 million to build more affordable housing; a total of $150 million to achieve universally available high-speed internet; $39 million to lower health costs for small businesses and their employees; $105 million to train workers to succeed in new and emerging fields; $50 million to upgrade our state parks and nearly $25 million to ensure safe drinking water; and $50 million for Maine’s farms, fishing, and forest industries — these are just a few of the investments in the Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan that will help Maine people and businesses recover from the economic shock of the pandemic and help our state address longstanding structural issues that have held us back.
Despite the three month delay in these investments, I am pleased that the Legislature, both Democrats and Republicans, agreed on the vast majority of the important measures in this bill and, like them, I am pleased to see it become law.
I will instruct my Administration to take all steps necessary to immediately advance its investments when it takes effect, in accordance with the intent of the Federal American Rescue Plan bill.
Additionally, my Administration will continue to review additions and changes made by the Legislature and compare them against the guidance and regulations of the U.S. Treasury Department to determine whether the various provisions of the bill will pass muster as an allowable use and whether they otherwise comport with State and Federal law.
But all in all, this is very good news for the people of the State of Maine.
This is Governor Janet Mills. Thank you for listening.