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$141M budget surplus pushes Maine's rainy day fund to record high

The State House is seen at dawn during the final week of winter, Thursday, March 16, 2023, in Augusta, Maine.
Robert F. Bukaty
/
AP
The State House is seen at dawn during the final week of winter, Thursday, March 16, 2023, in Augusta, Maine.

Maine's budget stabilization fund has reached a record high and the maximum under state law after the state finished the 2023 fiscal year with a $141 million surplus.

The stabilization fund, also known as the rainy day fund, is used to backfill revenue shortfalls during an economic downturn. And at nearly $970 million, it's as flush as it has ever been.

The surplus also means that priority initiatives outlined in the so-called cascade will also receive a boost in funding, including a total of $65 million to various affordable housing programs that the Legislature added to the cascade this year.

Funding for road and bridge projects will also see a modest increase in funding as a result of the surplus.

Journalist Steve Mistler is Maine Public’s chief politics and government correspondent. He is based at the State House.