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June 7, 2021

Mills urges swift passage of economic recovery plan

Group photo with Gov. Mills and bluShift Aerospace team Courtesy / Office of Gov. Janet Mills During a visit to bluShift Aerospace in Brunswick last week, Gov. Janet Mills highlighted the importance of the Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan's investment in innovation to spur economic growth.

Gov. Janet Mills is urging state lawmakers to take swift action in implementing the Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan, a nearly $1 billion proposal intended to help put Maine’s economy back on solid footing in the wake of the pandemic.

The Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan also calls for investing in long-term economic growth and building and revitalizing essential infrastructure using funds allocated through the American Rescue Plan Act.

Besides supporting existing small businesses and Maine’s fishing, farming, and forestry industries, the Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan encourages new businesses and job creation and calls for investing in broadband, transportation, affordable housing, and childcare to make Maine more attractive to young families as a place to live.

 “This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity for our state, and I encourage the Legislature to take swift action to enact this plan so we can get to work improving the lives and livelihoods of Maine people and return our state to its path for future prosperity," Mills said in a news release Friday announcing legislation to implement the plan.

Tilson CEO Joshua Broder said the plan's significant investments in immediate economic recovery and initiatives for future growth reflect the critical priorities for Maine recommended by the Governor's Economic Recovery Committee, which he co-chairs with Thomas College President Laurie Lachance.

“Gov. Mills and her administration have paid attention to the issues facing Maine and have put forward proposals that sustain Maine people and build a bridge to prosperity," Broder said. "On behalf the [Economic Recovery Committee], we urge the Legislature to move quickly to enact the plan and deliver these crucial benefits to Maine without delay.”

The legislation comes after the Mills administration reviewed guidance from the U.S. Treasury Department. Mills presented the plan as an emergency measure in order to expedite the infusion of funds as quickly as possible into Maine’s economy while providing stability and certainty for Maine people, businesses and communities to achieve long-term growth through 2024.

If approved by the Legislature, the Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan would infuse $258.5 million into Maine’s immediate economic recovery.

The plan would invest an additional $294.5 million into long-term economic growth and allocate around $418 million to rebuild Maine’s essential physical, communications and human infrastructure.
The Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan also includes $22 million to cover administration and successful deployment of funds, in addition to $4.6 million previously approved by state lawmakers, including transparent online tracking and mandated reporting to the federal government.

During a visit last week to rocket manufacturing startup bluShift Aerospace in Brunswick, Mills highlighted the importance of the Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan's investment in innovation to spur economic growth as Maine recovers form the pandemic.

Her proposal calls for investing $80 million in federal funds for research and development, innovation and public private partnerships to generate new economic activity in Maine.

Mills also recently visited Coffee By Design in Portland, where she unveiled a proposal to help Maine small businesses defray health insurance costs for their employees as premiums rise.

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