Government of Maine sets goals for recovery plan projects


AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) – Democratic Governor Janet Mills wants to use more than $ 1 billion in federal pandemic assistance to help the state’s economy recover from the pandemic and meet the needs of long-term infrastructure.

More than $ 540 million from the American Rescue Plan Act would be spent on infrastructure goals, such as repairing roads and bridges and building more affordable housing, the governor said.

The Maine Jobs & Recovery program includes more than $ 300 million for long-term goals, such as attracting, retaining and training workers. Another $ 260 million would be spent on immediate needs, such as reducing health care costs for small businesses and replenishing the state’s unemployment trust fund, Mills said.

“This federal funding represents an unprecedented opportunity to address the long-standing challenges that have limited our state’s ability to prosper over the years,” said Mills.

The plan, which builds on a 10-year economic plan released in 2019, requires legislative approval and would likely need help from Republicans who were excluded from a party line vote on the budget of $ 8.4 billion in March.

Some of its proposals, including improving roads and highways and expanding high-speed internet, are in line with the GOP’s goals.

The Maine State Chamber of Commerce hailed the governor’s plan. Dana Connors, president and CEO, said the governor already has a roadmap to build on for his spending proposal.

“They represent short-term investments that will translate into long-term gains for Maine employers and their employees,” he said.

Laurie Lachance and Joshua Broder, co-chairs of the governor’s economic stimulus committee, also praised the proposal.

“With a focus on investments in economic recovery, broadband, child care, innovation and workforce development, Governor Mills has set the right priorities to support the people of Maine, while creating a solid foundation for economic growth, ”said Broder, CEO of Tilson, and Lachance, President of Thomas College.


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