Governor Mills: State government finances are in excellent shape.

September 24, 2021

Earlier this week, I was proud to report that the State of Maine recorded more than $40 million in surplus revenues for August 2021, exceeding expectations by almost 12 percent.

Hello, this is Governor Janet Mills and thank you for listening.

State government finances are in excellent shape, with Maine continuing to record surplus revenues for the second year in a row since I took office.

By making smart financial decisions, including preserving surpluses and curtailing spending, before and during this pandemic, we’ve been able to maintain critical services for Maine people, avoid the budget woes of other states, and add millions to our savings. We used last year’s surplus to deposit another $223 million into the State’s Budget Stabilization, or so-called “Rainy Day” Fund to bring that fund to a historic high of almost $500 million. A. Record. High.

The biennial budget recently approved by the Legislature which I signed into law is balanced, it does not raise taxes, and it is estimated to be approximately $456 million lower than projected General Fund revenues for Fiscal Years 2024-2025. This is quite separate from the American Rescue Plan federal funds which will go to boost broadband, child care, and immediate workforce issues separate from the General Fund budget.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Moody’s Investors Service and Standard and Poor’s Global Ratings, these big companies that analyze and issue reports of credit worthiness, they all reaffirmed Maine’s strong credit ratings and our stable outlooks. S&P praised Maine’s “active budget management” and the State’s “steady progress in strengthening its reserve profile” while noting that the State’s cash pool is “very good.” Moody’s stated that Maine has a “strong financial position with adherence to governance best practices.” The affirmation of Maine’s ratings by these important agencies came as at least 22 other states experienced downgrades of their bond ratings and their financial outlooks.

This solid budget footing has made a world of difference to our state’s economic recovery. My Administration will continue to preserve critical services — like public health, public safety, education, and health care — for all Maine people using our revenues wisely while saving for a Rainy Day, making our state even stronger in the years to come.

This is Governor Janet Mills. Thank you for listening.