Maine Lawmakers To Send $688M Highway Budget Plan To Governor

Jun 19, 2019

The Maine Legislature has sent a $688 million highway budget to Democratic Gov. Janet Mills.

The two-year spending plan is separate from the nearly $8 billion biennial budget signed into law by the governor earlier this week.

The plan includes $40 million in local road assistance, as well as funding for ongoing transportation needs.

Democratic Rep. Andrew McLean, co-chair of the Transportation Committee, said the highway budget is a good plan, but that Maine is lagging in the maintenance of its 8,000 lane-miles of roads and over 2,700 bridges.

"That is unmet need. It is deferred maintenance every single year," McLean said. "And our disinvestment in our infrastructure costs us money and challenges the growth of our economy."

The Maine Department of Transportation estimates there is $100 million in deferred maintenance every year.

Maine's transportation funding challenges are experienced in other states grappling with declining gas tax revenues. The Maine Legislature is considering a transportation bond to supplement the highway budget.

Updated 4:39 p.m. June 19, 2019.