March 25, 2023
The $9.8 billion baseline budget includes no new initiatives
AUGUSTA – On Friday March 24, the Legislature’s Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee approved a continuing services budget. The vote was unanimous among present members. The budget measure — LD 424, “An Act Making Certain Appropriations and Allocations and Changing Certain Provisions of the Law Necessary to the Proper Operations of State Government” — goes before the Legislature for a vote next week.
“Our intention right along was to pass a continuing services budget — one that pays the bills and funds essential services. Tonight, we kept that promise. The Committee approved a baseline budget that honors the state’s commitments on education, child care, hospitals, behavioral health, long-term care, and property tax relief. These continued investments will continue to transform our state, while remaining below the spending cap,” said Senator Peggy Rotundo of Lewiston. “A baseline budget may not make for exciting news but it does make for responsible governing, which is what Maine people expect of their representatives. I want to thank my colleagues for their collaboration and diligent hard work over the past few months.”
The continuing services budget provides funding for baseline services, including general-purpose aid for Maine schools, universal school meals, revenue sharing, rural hospitals, and long-term care. This proposal does not fund any new programs and reflects the previous biennial budget — adjusted for inflation.
LD 424 represents part one of the plan to pass the biennial budget in two phases and remains under the statutory cap.
“Maine people and businesses deserve predictability, stability and good governance – and that’s exactly what we delivered this evening. Beyond efficient governance, Part I of our biennial budget continues critical investments in education, behavioral health care, substance use disorder treatment, property tax relief and investments in our childcare workforce. Ultimately, it builds upon the good, bipartisan work that has been accomplished and continues our history of responsible, fiscal management of the State’s resources. There is much more work ahead, but as displayed tonight, we’re ready to stay at the table and keep making progress for Maine people,” said Representative Melanie Sachs of Freeport.
- Maintains municipal revenue sharing at 5 percent.
- Helps more Mainers stay in their homes by maintaining the Property Tax Fairness Credit and Homestead Exemption Programs at current levels.
- Keeps the state’s commitment to Maine schools, municipalities and teachers by funding 55 percent of K-12 public education costs.
- Keeps free breakfast and lunch available to all students.
- Bolsters the state’s child care workforce by maintaining salary supplements for early childhood educators.
- Ensures there are no gaps in coverage for MaineCare recipients, including for children’s health care, prenatal care and postpartum care.
- Ensures Mainers have access to services for intellectual disabilities and behavioral health services.
- Maintains funding for long-term care facilities and nursing facilities.
- Provides tuition assistance to Maine veterans.
- Continues medical and substance use disorder treatment for corrections facilities.
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