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Mills Calls On Congress To Pass Relief Package

Nick Woodward
Maine Public
Gov. Janet Mills at a Maine CDC briefing on the coronavirus on March 27, 2020, in Augusta.

Gov. Janet Mills is calling on members of Congress to resolve their differences and pass an additional pandemic economic relief package.

Mills says she is focused on addressing the wide range of issues caused by the pandemic, and high on the list is helping individuals, families and state and local governments cope with the economic impacts of COVID-19.

“People are losing money to pay rent and food, school supplies etcetera. So this is a dire situation, and the Congress needs to act appropriately and respond to this dire situation that exists all across the country.”

She says only Congress has the financial capacity to provide this level of needed aid, but the deadlock in Congress continues.

“We don’t know what the federal government is going to do,” she says. “There are several versions of stimulus funding packages, relief packages in the Senate.”

Mills, who was a guest on Maine Calling Wednesday, says she is concerned the political gridlock in Congress seems to also be an issue in Maine. She says it will take bipartisanship for a special session of the legislature to be productive, but she is not seeing that right now.

“By not voting, they voted against coming back into special session and that is concerning, that there is partisan politics of that sort going on. So, my focus right now is addressing the pandemic.”

Mills does have the power to call a special session, if the legislature cannot reach an agreement.

Journalist Mal Leary spearheads Maine Public's news coverage of politics and government and is based at the State House.