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Gov. Janet Mills presented her $8.04 billion biennial budget proposal to lawmakers Monday night, calling it “pro-growth, pro-jobs, pro-people.” Her budget proposal calls for a $147 million appropriation over the next two years to support the expansion of MaineCare to 70,000 Mainers, with an additional $29 million to create a Medicaid Reserve Account to cover any contingencies. That spending, she said, would trigger an additional $1 billion in federal money for Maine. “It is the bargain of a century,” she said. The budget also funds the Maine Department of Transportation at $531.5 million over the two years and anticipates $200 million in infrastructure bonding to repair Maine's roads and bridges. It calls for $126 million in funding for K-12 education over the biennium. Mills closed by saying, “In this budget there are no tax increases. In this budget there are no gimmicks. In this budget there are no negative balances.” Republicans, a minority in the 129th Legislature, characterize Mills' budget plan as “unsustainable” and represents an 11% increase over the last biennial budget under former Gov. Paul R. LePage. In the words of Maine Heritage Policy Center CEO Matthew Gagnon, “It will take us back to the days of uncontrolled spending and busted budgets, and will set the stage for future tax increases.”
How do you see Gov. Janet Mills' proposed budget?
Comments

02/14/19 AT 10:31 AM
Perhaps Matthew Gagnon works from home and doesn't venture out onto our pot-holed roads. Talk about busted budgets - that's what happens to my budget when above-referenced roads damage my struts and shocks. Any tax increase in the offing would be less than my annual car repair bill.

02/13/19 AT 06:20 PM
It takes money to make money...and to properly run a state, to be mindful of taking care of its people in all the areas mentioned by Gov. Mills. We didn't do that for the last eight years; that deferred maintenance is now due.

02/13/19 AT 06:19 PM
Mills is the stereotypical tax-and-spend Democrat, she never heard of saving for a rainy day and this budget is a prime example. Nothing in the Constitution or the Bill of Rights stipulates that health care is a God-given right. Further borrowing though the use of bonds to pay for roads only guarantees that when the bonds come due there will be massive tax increases.

02/13/19 AT 12:13 PM
No option to choose: "We need to invest even more in education, health care."

02/13/19 AT 02:37 PM
This will set this state back in so many ways. She is fiscally irresponsible with money the state does not have ... as in her comment about "it is the bargain of a century."

02/13/19 AT 12:55 PM
I applaud her approach to no tax increase. However, this budget and her decisions in other areas to date set up tax increases or program cuts in the future. Also, Maine businesses are going to get a lot of "non tax" expenses.

Falmouth
02/13/19 AT 12:54 PM
It's a good budget that doesn't raise taxes, and, with executive authority, can be modified should revenues not match expenditures. I am impressed by her priorities and comforted by her intelligence and moderation.

02/13/19 AT 12:54 PM
It's headed in the right direction. Now, if we restore some of the tax cuts enacted under LePage, we can actually stop treading water and make progress.

02/13/19 AT 12:54 PM
It would have been nice if you could have posed the possible answers without the editorial components. I think this budget represents a good compromise - a dirty word, I know. Yes, it spends the projected income, but it doesn't increase taxes and it doesn't roll back any tax cuts. I think it's a win-win, and should be given a chance.

02/13/19 AT 12:13 PM
LePage was grossly negligent in so many areas that negatively impacted Maine citizens and the state. Mills' budget appears to be compensating for past fiscal digressions, while keeping an eye on the future. There's no context for Gagnon's quote, but there was at least one thing printed in another source where he was flat out wrong on a factual matter, so his opinion isn't as impactful as his title implies (esp. w/o context).
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