The Mills Administration released a report Wednesday detailing how the governor has spent the nearly $1 billion in COVID-era relief funds over the past two years.
The report comes on the two-year anniversary of Gov. Janet Mills’ Maine Recovery and Jobs Plan, which is the governor’s plan to use the over $984 million allocated to the State of Maine by the $1.9 trillion federal American Rescue Plan omnibus package of 2021.
The Mills Administration is required by federal law to spend all of the American Rescue Plan funds by Dec. 31, 2026, and has so far spent nearly $743 million — approximately 75 percent.
“Nearly four years ago, Maine and the world faced a once-in-a-generation pandemic that threatened lives and livelihoods of people across the globe. It was clear then that our state not only needed a strong public health response, but a deliberate plan to stabilize our economy and position our state for future prosperity,” said Gov. Mills said in a Wednesday press release.
“The Jobs Plan has helped strengthen our economy by making direct investments in the infrastructure that Maine people need to succeed, like housing and child care,” Mills said. “While we have more work to do, Maine’s economy is stronger than it was before the pandemic and continuing to grow thanks to the Jobs Plan.”
The three primary goals of the funds, outlined by the Mills Administration in Wednesday’s report, are to help Maine businesses recover from the pandemic-era government lockdowns, facilitate the state’s long-term economic growth, and to improve infrastructure.
Since Gov. Mills’ plan took effect in October 2021, the state has directed $175 million to Maine small businesses, invested in more than 400 infrastructure projects, and has allocated $30 million to affordable rental housing alongside $10 million in grants to the state’s homeless shelters.
To mark the two-year anniversary of the launch of the plan, the Mills Administration also launched an online dashboard showing data on which projects in Maine have received direct grants as part of the program.