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Legislature passes budget, emergency steps to fight coronavirus

Governor Mills said Maine will make it through the current challenges of the coronavirus.

AUGUSTA, Maine — The Maine Legislature has wrapped up a highly unusual day, brought about by the crisis over the coronavirus. 

Lawmakers met for a final session today and adjourned three weeks ahead of schedule so that members could follow guidelines of avoiding large public gatherings. They passed a compromise supplemental budget of $73 million by a nearly unanimous vote, and most other bills, including emergency measures aimed at fighting the coronavirus, also passed unanimously or close to it.

Among other things, lawmakers approved more money for the Maine CDC and several proposals from the Governor to give towns and state government flexibility to deal with the COVID 19 crisis. It includes extending unemployment benefits to people who are laid off their jobs because of businesses hurt by the virus. There were also proposals dealing with the timing of local town meetings and one looking ahead to provide flexibility for the June primary election.

Governor Mills thank the Legislature for its speedy work at the end of the session, saying Maine will make it through the current challenges of the coronavirus.

Many of the issues discussed earlier in the Legislative session were set aside to allow today’s votes and adjournment. The Legislature may come back later in the year for a special session to complete that work.

At NEWS CENTER Maine, we're focusing our news coverage on the facts and not the fear around the illness. To see our full coverage, visit our coronavirus section, here: /coronavirus

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