AUGUSTA – Today, Gov. Janet T. Mills submitted the 2021 biennial budget proposal to the Maine Legislature, meeting the statutory deadline. An overview of the budget and related documents will be posted on www.maine.gov/budget by the end of the day.
The Presiding Officers and Co-Chairs of the Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee released the following statements:
Senate President Troy Jackson:
“All across the state, Mainers are looking to their government to help guide them through the pandemic and rebuild our economy. The next budget is key to our success. Mainers are counting on us to continue our work to lower health care costs, provide property tax relief, expand access to high-speed, reliable internet, and grow our economy. These priorities are more important than ever before, and our budget should reflect that through responsible spending and saving measures.
“Our work is just getting started. Next, the Legislature’s budget committee will begin to dig into the document and give Mainers all across the state the opportunity to weigh in. I am confident in Sen. Breen’s ability to guide both the budget committee and the Senate in making responsible spending decisions and much-needed investments in our people, our communities, and our economy. The stakes are high but we plan to deliver for the people of Maine.”
Speaker of the House Ryan Fecteau:
“Governor Mills’ budget demonstrates her clear commitment to making progress for Maine families, while working to ensure our state’s economic recovery amidst the ongoing pandemic. I look forward to carefully reviewing the details of this budget knowing that House Democrats and I will remain focused on increasing access to health care, ensuring our schools are adequately funded, making smart investments in broadband infrastructure and lowering property taxes. Mainers are facing enormous challenges and there is no doubt the work ahead of us is difficult, but I’m confident we’ll pass a commonsense proposal that meets the needs of Mainers across the state.”
Sen. Cathy Breen, Senate Chair of the Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee:
“As Senate Chair of the Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee, I know there is no more important job than making sure we appropriate taxpayers’ hard-earned money in a prudent, respectful, bipartisan way. Now that we have the Governor’s budget proposal, I look forward to diving into the details through a transparent and open process, giving every legislator and every Mainer the opportunity to weigh in.
“This year will be a challenging one, but I am ready to get to work with the Governor and my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to produce a budget that will pay our bills, invest in our future, protect our natural resources, and safeguard essential services like public education and health care.”
Rep. Teresa Pierce, House Chair of the Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee:
“The Appropriations Committee will begin the hard work of crafting a budget that reflects the shared values of Maine people and I thank Governor Mills for delivering a thoughtful proposal that provides an excellent starting point for our work ahead. Our committee will dig into the details, listen to public testimony and spend many hours focusing on how we can improve the lives of Maine families and create more opportunities to bolster our economy. I look forward to the conversations and the hard work ahead of us.”
Maine statute requires a sitting governor to submit a budget document to the Maine Legislature by the Friday following the first Monday in January of the first regular legislative session. The state budget document includes a proposed biennial budget, which outlines a financial plan for the next two state fiscal years. The state fiscal year begins July 1 and ends June 30 of the following calendar year.
Unlike the federal government, Maine statute requires the biennial budget to be balanced, meaning spending cannot exceed available resources in each fiscal year. More information on the budget process in Maine is available here.