AUGUSTA, MAINE — MECEP executive director Garrett Martin released the following statement regarding Gov. Janet Mills’ plan for spending more than $1 billion in federal COVID relief funds available to Maine through the American Rescue Plan:
“The American Rescue Plan is a historic investment in people and communities, providing money to households, assistance for basics like childcare and health care, expanded unemployment and billions of dollars of flexible funding to state, schools, local governments, tribes, and businesses.
“Maine is responsible for coming up with a plan to get more than $1 billion to work for Mainers. Gov. Mills’ proposal includes several important priorities MECEP supports, including funding for pre-K and higher education, infrastructure such as broadband and clean water, childcare, housing, and investment in systems designed to improve racial equity.
“Our top priority in using federal ARP funds must be to target relief to those most in need due to the COVID-19 pandemic and economic downturn, who in many cases are the same Mainers who faced steep barriers to opportunity and prosperity long before the current crisis.
“We look forward to learning more details about this plan and the governor’s upcoming supplemental budget proposal, which provides another opportunity to make forward-looking investments to build a more equitable economy. MECEP is ready to work with the administration and lawmakers as the proposal makes its way through the legislative process.”