Both the Maine House and Senate have approved nearly a billion dollars in additional state spending over the next two years, including a boost in funding for local schools.
The bipartisan bill expands health care coverage by making more Mainers eligible for Medicaid and it lowers property taxes through several provisions, including direct payments to those who continued to work last year during the pandemic. Democratic Representative Teresa Pierce of Falmouth co-chairs the Appropriations Committee.
The legislation also provides funding to bring the state share of local school costs to 55%, a goal set by the voters but never met. The additional spending was made possible by state revenues that came in far above estimates. The legislature has yet to act on the allocation of more than a billion dollars in federal funds the state will receive under the American Rescue Act.