CARES act

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press

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. 

As public schools in Maine prepare to return to classroom instruction, with many adopting a hybrid system of learning, Democratic Gov. Janet Mills has announced $25 million in federal CARES Act funding to assist schools in developing day programs to supplement in-person instruction.

Scattered through the $2 trillion federal CARES act are dozens of tax changes aimed at softening the economic blow caused by the pandemic. Maine lawmakers now need to decide which of those changes should be incorporated in the state’s tax laws.

Robbie Feinberg / Maine Public

The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged all of Maine's congregate settings, including homeless shelters, which have had to reduce capacity.

Greg Nash / AP Images

Many provisions of the federal CARES Act end this month — including expanded unemployment benefits and the Paycheck Protection Act — and Maine’s two U.S. Senators are calling for more federal assistance.

Bill Sikes / AP Images

This year's back to school preparations will be like no other year.

Robert F. Bukaty / AP Images

The governor's Economic Recovery Committee is recommending that $1.1 billion be spent to deal with the economic slowdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic in Maine.

Maine's labor leaders are calling on Congress to extend the $600 weekly supplemental unemployment benefit for people out of work because of COVID-19. That benefit is part of the CARES act, and it expires at the end of this month.

The city of Portland is making half a million dollars in CARES Act funds available to help Portland renters affected by COVID-19.

Robert F. Bukaty / AP File

Unemployment benefits have been a lifeline for many people who have lost work because of the pandemic. But the huge federal expansion of the unemployment insurance program under the CARES Act has required states to handle massive increases in applications for both regular unemployment and for new benefits offered to workers who had never before qualified.

Robert F. Bukaty / AP File

Gov. Janet Mills has signed an order shifting up to $270 million in federal CARES act money to bolster the state unemployment trust fund. The move assures that benefits paid through the state unemployment system will continue without having to borrow from the federal government.

Susan Sharon / Maine Public File

Maine's Commissioner of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry says those three sectors have been underserved by the federal pandemic relief programs.

Nick Woodward / Maine Public File

Maine Gov. Janet Mills says that she has taken steps to curtail state expenditures through June in order to get through the remainder of the budget year. But the economic effects of the pandemic will also require plans to deal with hundreds of millions of dollars in lost state revenues in the year to come.

Win McNamee / AP Images

U.S. Republican Sen. Susan Collins was joined by colleagues from both parties in introducing legislation that would provide $500 billion in aid to states and municipalities.

Robert F. Bukaty / AP Images

The pace of first-time claims for unemployment in Maine slowed last week, but at about 13,000, are still well above the numbers before the pandemic, which were generally in the hundreds per week.