Maine Governor Signs a Historic $445 Million Budget into Law
Governor Janet Mills has signed a supplemental budget into law that will help people care for their families and deal with Maine's housing issues.
When Does the New Supplemental Budget Take Effect?
The $445 Million supplemental budget was signed into law on Tuesday, but will not take effect immediately. Since it didn't receive a 2/3rds majority in the Legislature, it will instead take effect in 90 days.
What are Some of the Programs Included in the Budget?
Included in the budget is a Paid Family and Medical Leave Program that provides $25 million in one-time start-up funding for the initiative set to take effect in 2026. When it's up and running, this program will help make it easier for Maine workers to care for sick children and aging parents.
There's also a Housing First Program, which aims to address the needs of people experiencing chronic homelessness, many of whom are also dealing with mental health and/or substance use disorders. $70 million is set aside to build more affordable housing in Maine for workers and their families and adds $12 million in one-time funding to the Emergency Housing Relief Fund created by Governor Mills and the Legislature in 2022. And, for the first time, this budget creates a pilot program that will help students at risk of homelessness.
Free Community College is supported, as the budget includes $15 million to continue to provide up to two years of free community college for all students from the high school graduating classes of 2024 and 2025, who enroll in a Maine community college full-time.
Where Can I Read More About the Specifics of the Budget?
The budget also includes programs to make child care more affordable, gives tax breaks for retired Maine residents, and more. Find a comprehensive outline of the budget on the state of Maine website.