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March 15, 2019

Mills' supplemental budget approved, signed

Photo / Jeff Kirlin
Photo / Jeff Kirlin
Gov. Janet Mills, seen at her inauguration, signed a $7.5 million supplemental budget Thursday.

Gov. Janet Mills on Thursday signed the $7.5 million supplemental budget for Maine's fiscal year ending June 30, which will remove the limit on Medicaid-funded methadone to help combat the opioid crisis.

The package also dedicates $1 million towards the state's 2020 bicentennial celebration, provides disaster aid for past storms and increases funds for the public advocate's office related to Central Maine Power and Emera Maine ratepayer cases.

The budget was passed by the Maine House 135-5 Tuesday. The Senate passed it 33-0 without a roll call. The supplemental budget is necessary to bridge the gap to the end of the fiscal year with the state's two-year budget process. The Legislature is also considering Mills' $8 billion two-year budget, which would go into effect July 1.

"This supplemental budget honors state government's obligations and makes important policy changes that will help us fight the opioid epidemic," Mills said. "I am proud this budget received strong bipartisan support, and I look forward to continuing to work with the Legislature on passing the biennial budget."

Key provisions include:

  • A repeal of the two-year limit on how long Medicaid recipients can receive methadone treatment.
  • $2.5 million for disaster relief funds for Maine municipalities stemming from the October 2017 windstorm and York County coastal flooding in March 2018.
  • $1 million for Maine's Bicentennial celebration, which is next year. Originally, $75,000 had been budgeted by Gov. Paul LePage.
  • $320,000 for case support at the Office of the Public Advocate to be used to retain expert witnesses and related costs associated with representing Maine ratepayers in the Emera Maine and Central Maine Power billing, metering and rate cases.
  • $400,000 for leasing accessible voting machines.
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