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November 29, 2022

Governor says relief is coming in response to high home heating costs

Janet Mills outside of Becky's Diner, talking to reporters. File photo / Jim Neuger Gov. Janet Mills said she is working on a plan to help Mainers in need heat their homes this winter by providing economic aid.

With Maine's government set to have an extra $282.8 million on its books in the fiscal year ending in June, Gov. Janet Mills said she is forming a plan to provide relief to low- and middle-income residents who are struggling to heat their homes due to the high price of heating oil.

"Later this week, we will release a plan, and work closely with the Legislature, to provide financial relief particularly for middle-class and low-income Maine people whose incomes are stretched thin right now, to help them remain safe and secure in their homes this winter," Mills said Tuesday.

The move comes after the price of heating oil in Maine jumped 70% over the past year to a statewide average of $5.35 per gallon as of Nov. 21, according to the latest data from the Governor's Energy Office. That compares to a statewide average of $3.16 per gallon a year earlier.

Maine's nonpartisan Revenue Forecasting Committee is expected to upgrade the state's general fund revenue forecast by around $282.8 million for the current fiscal year, the governor's office announced Tuesday.

The committee also increased its projection for fiscal years 2023-2025 by $488.6 million.

 “The state of Maine continues to be in the black as a result of federal support and the good fiscal management of my administration and the Legislature," said Mills, a Democrat who was recently reelected to a second term.

"Looking forward, we will continue to budget in a responsible and prudent manner as we address Maine’s most pressing needs," Mills added.

Maine's updated budget projections are based on an economic forecast issued earlier this month by the independent Consensus Economic Forecasting Commission.

Maine fuel price trends 

Below is a graphic depiction of Maine fuel prices over the past decade, based on data from the Governor’s Energy Office.

Source: Governor’s Energy Office

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December 1, 2022

When check go out I hope they are only to people that own properties this time? Checks went out to people that live in apartments and the heat is already included. I am sure none of those recipients signed over the check to the landlord. Heaven forbid! Can we be smart about helping people!

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