Maine Gov. Janet Mills says she is preparing another letter to Congress urging more help for state and local governments as the number of reported cases of COVID-19 continue to rise in Maine and most other states.
In an interview with Maine Public Radio, Gov. Mills said she is worried the unpredictably of the COVID-19 pandemic could mean a greater loss of state revenues than projected and a slowing of Maine’s economic recovery.
“People are now understanding how quickly the virus can catch on and affect their local economy, affect the schools, and how we do everything in our communities,” she says.
Mills says Congress has to realize that every state is facing the problem and it needs to act. "Come to an agreement on funding the state and local governments and untying our hands in respect to the CARES funding," she says. "Those are steps that absolutely have to be taken.”
Mills says right now all the CARES money has to be spent by Dec. 31, even though budgets for states, and many municipalities, run through June 30th.
Mills says when it comes to COVID-19, Mainers cannot let their guard down. “I know it sounds repetitive but washing hands, wearing a mask - and stay apart," she says, pointing to the increasing number of cases in York County, and cases now showing up across the state related to gatherings on the Labor Day weekend.