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Maine pandemic budget gap plan announced

Governor Janet Mills has a proposal to balance the budget despite projected loss of tax revenues from the pandemic.

AUGUSTA, Maine — The state of Maine is facing a projected $528 million dollar shortfall due to the pandemic. To fix that gap, Governor Janet Mills has a plan for balancing the budget for the next ten months. 

Maine's finance commissioner Kirsten Figueroa announced they will use a combination of federal funding, liquor sales tax receipts, and cost reductions. 

Figueroa's proposal can avoid “deep programmatic cuts and layoffs for now." 

The plan includes using $97 million from federal CARES Act COVID relief funding, taking about $70 million from what is described as higher than expected liquor sales taxes, and more than $255 million from cutting spending at various state agencies. 

Some of these changes can be made directly by the governor, but others will need legislative approval.