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Politics

Dozens Weigh In On Mills Proposal For Spending Federal Relief Funds

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Nick Woodward
/
Maine Public File

Over 50 people testified before the Legislature's Appropriation Committee Wednesday on Gov. Janet Mills’ plan for allocating over $1 billion in federal funding from the American Rescue Plan Act.

Not surprisingly, dozens of interests that could benefit from rescue act funding testified in support of the measure — programs ranging from job training to research to state parks.

Kim Hamilton is with Focus Maine, which advocates for job creation in agriculture, aquaculture, and biopharmaceuticals

"These investments are critical for the future competitiveness of Maine and the resilience of these industries and help us create good jobs. So we stand in strong support of LD 1733," Hamilton says.

Other speakers included the leaders of Maine’s public higher education community, the Maine State Chamber of Commerce, and Luke’s Lobster owner Luke Holden. The committee will craft a final version of the measure, which will go to the full Legislature.

Jeff McCabe, of the Maine State Employees Association, says that the group supports the bill but wants it amended

“By funding hazard pay for Maine’s essential workers, as doing so as expressly allowed and authorized under the American Rescue Plan Act signed by President Biden, we feel that that is essential," he says.