Gov. Janet Mills delivers her State of the State address at the Capitol in Augusta on Jan. 21. Credit: Natalie Williams

AUGUSTA, Maine — A Maine panel said Friday the state should see an additional $40 million in revenue during the fiscal year ending in June, but projected increases in the next three years could be revised downward if the emerging coronavirus triggers a recession.

The projection led Gov. Janet Mills to say she was adding new initiatives to a supplemental budget package that now sits at $127 million. It signaled good news overall for Maine’s economy, which has produced surpluses for years after the 2009-10 recession.

The state’s Revenue Forecasting Committee is required by law to project revenues over the remainder of the two-year budget and through the next two-year budget. Based on current indicators, that adds up to $139 million, but commission members say they are only confident about revenues over the next few months because they reflect income earned last year.

Forecasters were more cautious after a week of declines in the stock market due to coronavirus, which has affected 82,000 people worldwide with only 15 confirmed cases so far in the U.S., according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“After that, it’s just a guessing game and, like I say, I could come with stories all over the place about what impact this could have on state revenues,” said Michael Allen, the state’s associate commissioner for tax policy, who chairs the forecasting committee.

Mills hailed the projection in a statement as a sign that Maine “continues to be on solid financial footing.” She said her administration will propose two new initiatives alongside her 2020 spending plan, including shielding Medicaid from cuts considered by the federal government as well as rate increases for health services delivered by the state.

Rep. Drew Gattine, D-Westbrook, the co-chair of the Legislature’s budget committee, said the news will give appropriators “added confidence to continue to make smart investments that will help real, everyday people.” Minority legislative Republicans are likely to call for increased spending on roads and bridges. A spokesperson for Senate Republicans said members are reviewing the projection.

BDN writer Michael Shepherd contributed to this report.

This article appears through a media partnership with Maine Public.