Following its recent meeting, Maine’s nonpartisan Revenue Forecasting Committee (RFC) is expected to upgrade the State’s General Fund revenue forecast by an estimated $461.9 million for the current Fiscal Year (FY), which ends June 30, 2021, and by an estimated $460.5 million for FY 2022-2023.
These projected increases surpass the amount of revenue that had been forecasted for the General Fund prior to the onset of the pandemic by approximately $83 million for FY 2021 and by approximately $58 million for FY 2022-2023.
State revenues have not only returned to pre-pandemic levels but have surpassed those estimates and the State’s budget has held steady
In managing the State’s finances during the pandemic, Governor Mills and the Maine Legislature worked in a bipartisan manner to pass legislation that set aside more than $106 million in the General Fund and directed department heads to tighten their expense, to freeze non-emergency hiring, and to maximize Federal funds, but also to protect services that support Maine people.
Maine’s Budget Stabilization Fund, also known as the “Rainy Day Fund”, has a balance of $267.9 million, an increase of more than $50 million under Governor Mills’ tenure.
Relative to its most recent predictions, the RFC’s forthcoming forecast is expected to adjust revenue expectations for the General Fund upward by an estimated total of $1.35 billion from now through FY 2025. The RFC is responsible for projecting revenues that the Administration and Legislature then use to determine the State’s budget.
Last month, Governor Mills signed into law an $8.34 billion biennial budget for FY 2022-2023. According to the RFC’s projections, the State of Maine is now expected to receive $8.64 billion in General Fund revenues for FY 2022-2023.
In addition to a supplemental budget proposal, the Mills Administration will submit a bond package to the Legislature in the coming weeks, which Governor Mills previewed during her “State of the Budget” address in February. With the passage of the American Rescue Plan Act in March, the Mills Administration is considering whether parts of the bond proposal can be replaced by Federal funds.
Further, the Mills Administration is preparing for the Legislature’s consideration a separate proposal that would dedicate unearmarked, one-time Federal funding from the American Rescue Plan Act for targeted workforce, economic, and infrastructure investments to accelerate Maine’s economic recovery.