On Tuesday, Governor Janet Mills welcomed the release of the final report of the Governor’s Economic Recovery Committee (PDF), which outlines eight strategies to sustain Maine people and grow the Maine economy in response to the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
With the vast increase in COVID-19 cases recently, the Economic Recovery Committee (ERC) also issued a clarion call for more federal stimulus in order to sustain Maine’s economy in the near-term, specifically for the industries hit the hardest, like retail, tourism and hospitality.
Over the long-term, the Committee recommends action in eight targeted areas to chart Maine’s pathway to future prosperity, based on Maine’s 10-year Economic Development Plan released just months before the pandemic.
The ERC recommendations for growth include bolstering innovation and entrepreneurship to grow new industries and accelerate transformation in existing ones; enhancing workforce development to retain workers displaced by the pandemic; and leveraging Maine’s desirability as a safe place to re-locate amid COVID-19 into a consistent program to attract diverse new people to the state. To do this, the Committee’s recommendations include, sustaining investments and innovation in early childhood care and education, the availability of broadband Internet access and digital devices across the state, and policies that address unaffordable and inaccessible housing options, especially around high-demand employment markets.
Established by Governor Mills in mid-May, amid the first surge of COVID-19, the Economic Recovery Committee was formed to offer insight and expertise to the Mills Administration about the economic impact of the pandemic and to develop strategies in response.
The Committee’s first report in July informed Governor Mills’ allocations of Coronavirus Relief Funds for Maine schools, childcare providers, rental assistance, broadband Internet access to students, and the creation of the Maine Economic Recovery Grant program that has distributed $158.6 million to 3,551 Maine businesses and non-profits organizations.
Links to the Committee’s reports, recordings of each full Committee meeting and presentation materials are available on the ERC website.
Megan has worked in Maine politics for nearly ten years and all of her professional career, having served in many roles for staff, elected officials (including former Secretary of State Charlie Summers), in-house with the Maine Association of REALTORS®, legislative specialist at Pierce Atwood LLP providing lobbying services and support to Pierce Atwood’s government relations clients and most recently senior government relations specialist at the Maine State Chamber of Commerce. Megan currently is the Vice President at the Maine Energy Marketers Association.