I’m proud of the collaborative effort that this budget represents. Building on four weeks of public hearings, my colleagues on the Appropriations committee from both parties worked diligently and in good faith, line by line, for nearly five months. Throughout we benefited from bipartisan recommendations from each legislative policy committee and we received enormous cooperation in our deliberations from the executive branch and commissioners. Significantly, our legislative leaders, Speaker Sara Gideon, Senate President Troy Jackson, and our respective caucuses empowered us with great trust that was reflected in the final floor votes last night. I have no doubt that the consensus we reached will serve the state well for the next two years.
In particular, I am proud of some of the sections that I spearheaded which provided funding and direction for:
- revitalized state energy planning to increase Maine’s renewable energy generating capacity
- the development of a new ten-year strategic economic development plan with a focus on scientific research, development, and commercialization and other integrated planning across state agencies
- support for a new Maine Climate Council charged with planning for ambitious ten-year and 30-year goals for significant carbon emissions reductions.
- an expansion of broadband and grants for rural economic development
- Maine Legislature approves new state budget of nearly $8 billion, Press Herald, 14 June 2019