New year, new budgets, new ways to put working families first

In passing the 2023 budget plan, our representatives in Congress took an important step in providing the kinds of tools Maine working families said they need, including supports that make food, child care, health care and housing more affordable. As with every compromise, there were also missed opportunities. Maine legislators now have an opportunity to pick up where the federal budget left off by creating the tools and supports that build the high-quality jobs Maine workers want, offer the high-quality services Maine families deserve, and ensure that no Mainer is left behind. Here’s a quick run-down of what the federal budget got right, what it missed, and what’s ahead.


  • Permanent summer meals program for kids in families with low income
  • Requiring states to provide a continuous 12 months of coverage for kids who enroll in Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Plan (CHIP)
  • Increased funding to address homelessness and provide rental assistance
  • Increased funding for early childhood education programs
  • Retirement savings match for savers with low income

Missed Opportunities

  • Failing to extend the enhanced Child Tax Credit, a proven tool that reduced child poverty to a record low in 2021
  • Failing to include the include the Advancing Equality for Wabanaki Nations Act, which would have allowed future federal laws that impact Indian country to include tribes in Maine
  • Ending enhancements of food assistance and mandatory Medicaid extensions for new mothers

What’s Next

To ensure a full and robust economic recovery from the pandemic, Maine must continue to put working families first. Here are some of the impactful policies we’ll be encouraging Maine legislators to focus on in 2023:

  • Expanding Maine’s Child Tax Credit
  • Expanding early childhood education supports
  • Paid Family Medical Leave
  • Expanding MaineCare to cover all adults of qualifying income
  • Making free community college permanent
  • Increasing wages for direct care workers
  • Advancing sovereignty for the Wabanaki nations