MAINE, USA — Gov. Janet Mills announced her plans for the Fiscal Year 2024-2025 biennial budget on Wednesday.
The announcement comes a week after Mills' inauguration on Jan. 4, where she was sworn into her second term as Maine governor.
The plan builds upon the governor's achievements in her previous budget, striving to succeed even further with topics such as free community college in Maine, expanding pre-K, creating more housing, bolstering the state's health care system, and more, a news release from her press office said Wednesday.
The new proposal also includes investing in infrastructure to "fix Maine's multimodal transportation system," according to the release.
"From education at every level, to stable housing, to our health care system, to our transportation system, this budget proposal aims to strengthen what Maine people rely on every day to succeed – all while not raising taxes, living within our means, and protecting us against the possibility of a recession," Mills said in the release.
The budget, prior to the governor's proposal, was estimated to be $9.4 billion, according to the release.
"In December 2022, the Revenue Forecasting Committee projected that the State would take in $10.5 billion in revenue for Fiscal Years 2024-2025," the release said. "This $10.3 billion budget proposal is balanced, does not raise taxes, and leaves the Rainy Day Fund untouched at a record high of more than $900 million."
On Wednesday, Mills also announced a supplemental to the current FY 2022-2023 budget, dedicating "General Funds newly-available from the continued Federal COVID-19 public health emergency to one-time supplemental payments for hospitals and long-term care facilities, as well as other initiatives," the release said.
Kirsten Figueroa, the commissioner of the Department of Administrative and Financial Services, called the biennial budget plan "fiscally responsible" because it maintains the state's Rainy Day Fund.
“This strong, balanced budget is another step forward in supporting the health and welfare of Maine people and in strengthening Maine communities,” Figueroa said in Wednesday's release.
Jeanne Lambrew, the commissioner of the Department of Health and Human Services, also supports the newly announced plan, noting it envisions "a healthier future."
“It continues to prioritize strengthening Maine’s behavioral health system, supports healthy aging in Maine communities, improves services for individuals with disabilities, strengthens child care and child welfare, and invests in public health now and into the future," Lambrew said.
Following the announcement, the Appropriations Committee will review the budget plan.