MECEP applauds the Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee’s inclusion of many life-changing policies in the proposed budget, but cautions lawmakers about the authorization of an untested new corporate subsidy. By including funding for Paid Family Medical Leave startup costs, better targeting property tax stabilization funds to seniors, making the Maine child tax credit usable by families who need it most, expanding eligibility to the Medicare Savings Program, and addressing major shortfalls in our child care system, this budget will give Maine families and seniors a better chance to achieve prosperity and security.
Unfortunately, the inclusion of the new Dirigo corporate subsidies program is troubling not only in its potential cost but also its lack of built-in safeguards like a sunset and full transparency from businesses receiving the subsidies. We strongly encourage lawmakers to address these concerns as soon as possible.
MECEP also hopes several bills still on the appropriations table will receive funding, including efforts to raise the minimum wage, improve wage transparency, and require reporting pay for shift workers.
As more information emerges about the proposed budget, MECEP analysts will continue to dig into details and provide analysis.