- Associated Press - Thursday, September 17, 2020

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - Democratic Gov. Janet Mills signed an order Thursday to address a projected revenue shortfall caused by the pandemic.

Her order curtails the General Fund by $221 million and the highway fund by $23 million but avoids deep program cuts and layoffs of state workers, and keeps the state’s $259 million “Rainy Day Fund” intact, Mills said.

Congress and President Donald Trump must act immediately, the governor said, to provide additional aid to state and local governments “to preserve critical services for Maine people and chart a full economic recovery.”

In July, the revenue forecasting committee projected a $528 million revenue shortfall in the General Fund for the two-year budget ending June 30, 2021.

The curtailment order replaces $97 million in state spending with one-time federal relief and adopts about $125 million in savings and efficiencies across departments. The latter includes savings from higher Medicaid reimbursement rates included in the CARES Act.

In 2021, the governor would seek legislative approval for $130 million from efficiencies and higher Medicaid reimbursements, while also requesting $70 million in proceeds from the state liquor store operation.

Also included in the order is approximately $23 million in savings to address the shortfall in the highway fund. An additional $17 million of highway fund savings would require legislative approval.

In other coronavirus-related news:


The Maine Center for Disease Control is investigating an outbreak involving 18 confirmed virus cases at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard.

Those who have tested positive include 13 Maine residents, four New Hampshire residents and one Massachuestts resident, said Dr. Nirav Shah, director of the Maine CDC.

The outbreak appears to be linked to a group of nine workers who commuted from Sanford, Shah said. Seven of the nine people have tested positive, he said.

York County has several virus outbreaks. The largest is at the county jail where more than 70 people have tested positive. The Maine Center for Disease Control is also investing an outbreak at a church and at a VFW.



Another 21 people have tested positive for the coronavirus in the state, the Maine Center for Disease Control reported Thursday.

That brings the total number of people who’ve tested positive to more than 4,960, the Maine CDC said. The number of deaths was unchanged at 138.

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death.

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Manage Newsletters

Copyright © 2021 The Washington Times, LLC.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide